Three Myths About Romantic Love
These myths about romantic love are some of humanity’s biggest lies. They stem from people’s tendency to idealize the “perfect couple.” We idealize each other and love is a convenient way to cover up each other’s defects. Love is everywhere. Even animated movies teach children that the prize for overcoming adversity is perfect love.
The main problem with romantic love is that it turns men into protagonists and women into prizes. You might not realize it, but this always happens in movies, TV shows, and other media.
Myths about romantic love
The following myths about romantic love negatively affect your relationships. They can lead you to create unrealistic and harmful expectations about the person you’re with.
1. Soul mates
When you watch your first Disney movie, you start believing that there’s one person out there especially for you. These movies (and society in general) make you believe you’re destined for this person and that, when you see them, you’ll both fall in love immediately. They also make you believe that your relationship will be perfect, you’ll get along perfectly, and this person will fit right into your plans. Society makes you believe that love should be faithful and exclusive and that it doesn’t matter if you have prior relationship experience or not.
However, isn’t relationship experience a good thing? Studies say yes. Having different relationships often helps you determine what you want and what you don’t. It also offers clues that can help you figure out what you’re willing to compromise on. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a lot of partners. It means that it’s not essential to only have one.
2. The omnipotence of love
Most stories, movies, and other media allude to love’s omnipotence. They make people believe that love can overcome any obstacle and that it makes you infinitely strong and resilient. The problem is that so many people put up with relationships that trample on their dignity because they believe this idea.
Love can’t do everything. In fact, it’s nothing more than a social construct you can reject if it doesn’t mesh with your personal or professional life. Not everyone is prepared to have a long-lasting relationship. Nor is everyone ready or willing to have just one type of relationship.
There are couples who live together. Others are perfectly happy with their space so they live in different houses. Some couples decide to overcome an obstacle together and others decide to separate. All of these options are equally respectable. The most important thing of all is that both partners are equally happy.
3. Opposites attract
We often tell children that if a classmate is bothering them, it’s because they like them. This is a dangerous myth, and it goes hand-in-hand with the idea that opposites attract. This myth can affect relationships in two different ways. The first is directly related to the omnipotence of love and soul mates. In this situation, both partners accept their differences, thinking that their love will overcome all their obstacles.
The truth is that couples with very different beliefs will end up arguing constantly. Debating is a very important aspect of a relationship, but constant conflicts may affect unity and compatibility.
The second is quite popular in literature, movies, and TV. It’s the idea that love can change a person. You know the story: someone (usually a woman) finds a partner that’s wrong for her right off the bat. However, instead of looking for someone more compatible, she does everything in her power to make the other person change so she can have a relationship with them.
The truth is that people don’t change just like that. The mistake people tend to make is loving a person they think their partner will become in the future instead of the partner they have with them today. After all, that is the person they’re in a relationship with.
Compatibility, tolerance, respect, and a healthy attraction are important and can lead to a strong, lasting relationship (if that’s what you are looking for). In the long term, attempting to copy others’ relationships will make you have unrealistic expectations that will only lead to frustration.