I am not a love expert, nor will I claim to be. To be honest , I haven’t had very many encounters with it at all. Well at least not romantically. However, in those rare encounters whether it be through observation or personal experience I’ve learned a couple vital lessons. The biggest of all being that we often go into love with unrealistic expectations. This occurs for numerous reasons; fairy tales, romance movies, societal influence, listening to friends, etc, etc. So I was inspired to do a post about common myths and misconceptions people have pertaining to love. In order to help write this post I asked a couple friends to tell me some ideals and misconceptions they had heard or had concerning love. I did not include them all because just as some of you may not agree with this post I did not agree with their perspective. Nonetheless with their feedback I came up with the following five myths and misconceptions about love, each of which I explain and provide my perspective on.
1) Love solves all problems.
This has to be the most common of all misconceptions. I am not saying that love is not a wonderful and powerful thing, but I am saying that love itself is not magic. People think that all their problems will be fixed simply because they love each other and that is not true. The way I see it, love does not fix the problems it provides us with a reason to fix the problem ourselves. Simply put if you love someone you SHOULD be willing to try and work through an issue. Unfortunately, love does not guarantee that you will put forth the effort required to fix the problem or that any amount of your effort can fix the problem. Some things are just not meant to be and love has nothing to do with it.
2) When someone loves you they make time for you, period.
When someone loves you, of course they should make time for you. The problem with this statement is that it does not take our humanity into account. Humans are imperfect, selfish beings, who constantly make mistakes. Some people can love you but cannot find a balance between work and their love life. Sometimes it is for selfish reasons and sometimes it is for the very person they love.
For example: Say your boyfriend has an nontraditional job; a musician. Being a musician is not the most profitable job starting out. So he spends hours upon hours writing music and seeking every available opportunity to showcase his music. He isn’t intentionally not making time for you but he knows in order to get where he wants to be in life and be able to provide for you he has to put in the work now.
Sometimes people don’t have time because they are trying to provide some stability for the person they love. This is not always the case. Sometimes they place their personal goals above you and although they love you they see anytime where they aren’t working towards their goal as an opportunity lost. I am not saying this is fair nor am I recommending such a lifestyle. As someone who is close to several musicians I understand the difficulties not only their lifestyle but of the person dating them. It is not ideal but my mother told me you determine what you can tolerate. Some people can deal with it, some can’t. Either way, just because someone does not consistently make time for you does not always mean that they do not love you. Let us not forget that circumstances play a major role in all aspects of life and love is not excluded.
3) If they love you they won’t cheat or (insert any action that isn’t positive).
No, I am not advocating cheating. In fact this statement does not apply exclusively to cheating. It was just the most common thing I heard. This statement applies to anything. Too often we, specifically females, listen to our friends when they tell us someone cannot possibly love us because of something that they did. I’ve heard everything from “she wouldn’t cheat on you” to “he wouldn’t yell at you’. Come on people “he wouldn’t yell out you”? Whose parents never yelled at them? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
No one? Didn’t think so. Most parents yell at their kids but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Now cheating is a bit different but most cheaters I know don’t cheat because of the person they dated. They cheat because they allowed themselves to be in certain situations and when tempted they eventually gave in. Should they have resisted? Yes, but that does not mean they do not love you. Depending on how often and how they cheat you may or may not need to leave them. And it is very possible that they do not love you the way in which you need to be loved. However, everyone loves differently. Sometimes it takes more for people not to do things and unfortunately that more isn’t love. We are human and just like some people are liars, some people are cheaters. Most of us have lied to the person we love before, does it mean we didn’t love them? Not at all. Like I said I am not advocating cheating nor am I telling you to stay with someone who is cheating on you. Those are your decisions to make. I am simply pointing out that specific actions (versus overall behavior) may not always be the best way to determine their feelings.
4) Love is JUST a feeling.
Yes, love is a feeling, but I have never believed that is all it is. Considering how powerful love can be I find it unfair to categorize it simply as a feeling. Personally, I believe that love is a choice. We put ourselves in situations and eventually let down walls in order for such an emotion to be fostered. People always say that we risk “missing out on love because we are too guarded” or “we were to concerned with something else that we missed what was right in front of our face.” How can you miss out on something if it is not a choice? If love were simply a feeling and not a choice I would love “what was right in my face” because I had to almost instinctively. Additionally, love is an experience. There is nothing in this world like being in love. It changes perspectives and can affect almost every aspect of our life. What exactly love is cannot be conveyed with only one word. Even the Bible cannot explain it in one word but uses several verses to define such a thing, specifically 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. So why would do we try to define it with only one?
5) Love doesn’t fade.
This one is subject to debate as are all the rest but I do believe love can fade. Love is like a plant and if it isn’t watered and groomed it withers and die. It is almost impossible to maintain something you put no effort towards keeping. I was tempted to do a sixth misconception; love should not be hard work, but it seeing as it was so similar to this one I decided I could address the same points under this heading. Love is about relationships, romantic or platonic, and like relationships it takes work. It is not easy to love people. Being the selfish species that we are, I have yet to realize why we think we are easy to love. More often than not, we aren’t. The ones that think they’re the easiest are probably the most difficult. That being said if we do not nurture our love it is very possible that it will fade. Why we still reject this is beyond me considering the increasing divorce rates and the numerous pop songs on the subject.
Examples: “fades away” by Trey Songz and “Nothing Last Forever” by Maroon 5.
Yes, I do understand that songs and their titles may not always be the best supporting statements considering they are not always riddled with truths and life lessons but in this case I happen to think they are quite appropriate. ;)
Like I said before, I am no expert and this post is only my opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree, everyone is entitled to their own opinion… or at least that’s what they tell me.