Do you believe in romantic love
The greatest love myths: 6 love mistakes that can stand in the way of true love
Love stories have always made our hearts beat faster. Even if we are aware that love seldom follows the dramaturgy of books or films: The stories work so well because we believe, at least in part, to recognize ourselves in the longings of the main characters. Most people have a romantic idea of love. Perhaps it is precisely some of these transfigured beliefs about what love must and must be able to be that keep us from living real love.
Love stories reflect what we crave, what we fear, and how stupid we can be in love at times. They show that we are not alone with our dreams and fears. In this way we can smile at our own mistakes from a distance about the love affliction of the main characters, mourn, and in the best case even learn from them. At the same time, the mostly formulaic narratives of classic love stories shape our definition of romantic love: two are made for each other, they just have to overcome a few obstacles, then they find each other in a happy end. All's well that ends well. Or?
We know, of course, that real life is not that easy. And love not at all. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a closer look: What do we dream of and what do we mean by romantic love in real life? Everyone has an idea of what love must be and what it must be able to do. We are aware of some ideas. But some beliefs are hidden and laid out in us as an unconscious thought pattern. They can prevent us from experiencing and living a deep, fulfilling love. Which of the following myths do you know from your own love life?
1. Adorable, overwhelming sex is a sign of deep love
Fulfilling sex can be addicting. This desire, this complete becoming one with the moment, the loss of control and the immersion in sensual pleasure - all of this makes us feel alive, desired and full of energy. If a person triggers these intense passionate feelings in us, then it has to be love, we think all too quickly. Much of the romantic films are based on this idea, as is a large part of our love afflictions. Because initially passion is just that: attraction and desire. Those who physically attract us and with whom we harmonize sexually are not always good life partners for us - or we are for them.
True love takes time to develop. She also needs a respectful distance to get to know the other person and to find out whether their needs and ideas about life really match each other. Passion and sexual attraction can be the beginning of love. Or even just a moment of happiness that we can enjoy all the more, the less expectations we have of a possible future.
2. When I (finally) have a relationship, I am happy
To love and to be loved is without question one of the basic human needs: A fulfilled love can give us stability, strength and joy. It can even be beneficial. But the love that has this ability lives among other things from the fact that both partners take responsibility for themselves. That is our job, both without and especially with a partner: to take care of ourselves and to take our happiness into our own hands. With a job, friends and hobbies that correspond to our values and fulfill us. With the decision to find joy in small things every day. Then love can be the icing on the cake that completes our happiness.
That doesn't mean that we first have to find the perfect job and the perfect life to be in love. But even in difficult phases in life, we shouldn't draw all of our happiness from partnership. This burden is too heavy and in the long run it can take away the lightness and magic of love. It works the other way around: Happy people are magically attractive: Their ability to think positively and to shape their lives according to their needs makes them inspiring partners at eye level who we like to have by our side. Why not be such a fascinating person yourself?
3. There is only one true love
The romantically transfigured ideal of the one great love that lasts a lifetime can lead to the fact that we have excessive expectations of our partner and never open ourselves to love. Or that we belittle a love in retrospect and say “I didn't really love him or her”. “He wasn't the right one” or “She wasn't the right one”. Behind these sentences lies precisely this terrifying claim to eternity. Perhaps another perspective can take the pressure of expectation out of love and allow us to look at past relationships with more appreciation: Every love is a true love in the moment it is lived.
People develop for a lifetime. Just as there are different phases of life, we can have several love relationships, all of which were a “true love” in their time and were just right for us. At every point in time we have loved as much and as well as we could in that moment - even if we may later discover that our ability to love has changed and intensified.
We can only love in the now. Whether a love will last a lifetime remains to be seen - but even if a love only accompanies us for a while, we can appreciate and celebrate it.
4. With the “right one”, a relationship is always easy and straightforward
No matter how wonderful and great our partners (and ourselves) are, relationships take work. Two people meet with their stories, their injuries, their needs and ideas. There will be different opinions. There will be arguments. There will be hurtful words. Lovers don't love each other every moment. Sometimes you find your partner really stupid and wonder whether you can and would like to spend your life with someone like that.
These questions and doubts are healthy and can have a cleansing effect: because to love means to consciously choose to love again and again. And that also means that we contribute our share to our love every day. By treating our partner with mindfulness, respect and empathy. And by ensuring that there are always romantic, funny or exciting moments that keep love alive.
5. My partner is responsible for my feelings
This is a tough nut to crack that is not only difficult to crack in love relationships. When we look at the world through the lens of our experiences, values and opinions, we sometimes find the behavior of others to be disappointing and hurtful. We then mostly believe that the “wrong” behavior of the other is “to blame” for our misfortune. We forget that there are innumerable ways to react to a situation: someone else in our place might not be unhappy in the same situation.
For example, if someone forgets their birthday, there are sure to be partners who get angry and scold. Others cry and feel unloved. Still others just laugh and kiss their forgetful loved one because they didn't expect otherwise. Some take precautions and regularly remind their partner of important dates. One behavior - a thousand possibilities of interpretation and reaction. It is our own expectations and judgments that trigger our feelings. Of course we can ask for a birthday present. And of course we are allowed to have and express our longings and needs.
At the same time, we should not forget that our partner is an independent person who is allowed to have different needs and opinions. These usually have nothing to do with us: Our partner does not want to hurt us with his “otherness”. People are rarely interested in harming someone else. You are busy looking after yourself most of the time. If we understand that, then maybe we can look at our counterpart with a little more mildness and humor - and ourselves too.
6. If I try hard enough, the relationship can work
It could all be so damn good if he or she were different (on this or that point). Everything is perfect, we are a great match ... if only he / she would treat me differently. Even if we are very empathetic with ourselves and our partners and even if we are ready to do everything for love and the relationship: There are differences between people who make a nourishing, fulfilling love relationship impossible in the long run. If the needs of two people diverge so much that either one of them always bends or the other has to suffer, then it is better to part with one another in mutual respect.
The energy that we put into such a relationship we can better use for ourselves: Instead of cultivating a love that brings more pain than joy, we can use the time to grow and provide ourselves with everything we can need - so that next time we may make a healthier decision when choosing a partner.
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