5 Popular Beliefs About Love That Are False (But You Believe Them Anyway)
Everybody wants the formula to love. If you could control love, you could find a partner when you’re ready, avoid heartbreaks, and be in sync with your partner.
The love formula would make your life ten times easier.
You want to believe this love formula is true, so it gets easy to forget love isn’t a math equation. You can’t really explain love. Each person has different experiences, opinions, and expectations. You’ll find millions of definitions of love.
That’s why the popular advice you hear so often doesn’t work.
Yet, it shapes your decisions. You choose your partner, how you behave, and even when to end a relationship, all based on bad (and, for some reason, popular) advice.
That’s incredibly dangerous.
It’s time you take control of your love life. It’s time to unlearn the unspoken rules that dictate your relationships and build something that’s truly meaningful to you.
1. You need a relationship to be happy.
If you watch any romantic comedy, you know love is a basic ingredient to happiness. The protagonists will face challenges, and maybe they don’t even want to find love. Still, by the end of the movie, they realize they can only be happy together.
But what is happiness anyway?
I’d say yes; love can make you happy. But that’s not the only way to achieve that. You build happiness on multiple pillars. Love is only one of them. I bet you want a nice house, interesting friends, and unique hobbies to entertain you.
You’ll find multiple people who are not in a relationship and are happy.
When you believe love is the only way to be happy, you put too much pressure into this relationship. Your expectations are way too high (and unrealistic). You shouldn’t outsource your joy. Besides, you’ll accept things you normally wouldn’t (like abusive relationships).
You learn since you’re a child that you need love to be happy. Yet, happiness only comes when you’re well with yourself.
2. You can’t love more than one person at once.
Relationships follow one unspoken rule: Monogamy. You choose one person, and you’ll only love them. Relationships need two people, not a group.
Except your feelings don’t care about monogamy.
Can you control when you feel happy? I guess not. You can’t control your feelings. Why would love be the exception? Love just happens. You can’t command love and say, “I’ll limit my feelings to one person.”
You can love more than one person for once.
You may think these feelings mean you don’t truly love your partner, but that’s far from the truth. Imagine your friendships: Liking one friend doesn’t change your other friendships. Relationships are independent. And it also doesn’t mean you should act on these feelings.
Even if it doesn’t change how you feel or behave, this perspective makes you more mature. This way, you don’t feel frustrated in your relationships (or ruin something nice just because you’re confused).
3. Love and sexual desire are the same.
There’s no romantic love without sexual desire. When you think about it, sex is at the center of every romantic relationship: If you’re not attracted to your partner, you may as well stay friends.
But love and sexual desire aren’t the same.
Yes, you may feel them in the same intensity at the start of your relationship. But relationships change (and so do your feelings). When you’re in a long relationship, your sexual connection with your partner can go up and down.
If love and sexual desire were the same, nobody would cheat.
You can love someone and feel sexually attracted to another person. It doesn’t make you an unfaithful monster. When you separate these feelings, you can understand what matters more to you.
4. Every woman wants children.
Do you feel shocked when a woman says she doesn’t want to have children? Even if you don’t, you’re not the rule; you’re the exception. Children are at the center of every woman’s life. It’s barely a choice; it’s an expectation (not always from women).
Society expects women to have children.
Yet, not having children is becoming a popular choice. And it makes perfect sense: Children change your life in ways you can’t imagine. It changes your finances, your routine, the place where you live, and even your relationship with your partner.
That’s why it’s dangerous to assume every woman wants children.
Women can want different things: A career-oriented life, to travel, or just to enjoy life without children. It’s hard enough to know what you want. So don’t assume you know what others want.
Each person wants different things out of life. It’s easy to assume others want the same as you (especially when it’s the only lifestyle you know). But there are multiple different perspectives in the world. Before you make a life-changing decision, ensure you and your partner want the same.
Having children is a life-changing decision. You can’t force it into others or do it to meet society’s expectations.
5. Men should start sex.
Feminism changed the way we think (thankfully). But men and women are still different: Some behaviors are still more associated with one gender than the other. Sexuality is one of them.
Women’s sexuality is still taboo.
How many women do you know are comfortable making the first move? I assume it’s not many. Taking the initiative in relationships is still associated with a masculine trait. You expect men to ask for the first date and start sex (even when you’re in a long relationship).
Except this mindset hurts everybody.
How many opportunities do you think men miss because women aren’t comfortable enough to make a move? What if that mindset makes you miss the love of your life?
Before you blame women, try to see it from their perspective. When a woman makes the first move, she risks being labeled as a sl*t (especially when it happens multiple times). You can’t spend years slut-shaming women and still expect them to be brave.
Women are just as sexual as men.
These pieces of advice are extremely popular. You see them in movies, in your friendships, and in books. Maybe you didn’t even need to hear it: You learn these truths without even realizing it. It’s common knowledge.
Yet, they don’t work.
If this advice could guarantee you’ll find love, nobody would be single (unless they want to).
It’s not easy to unlearn patterns. It takes self-awareness, questioning, and understanding what’s behind your mindset. It might sound simple, but it takes years to change your habits.
I don’t have a formula that can “bring your loved one in seven days.” But these mindset shifts can give you a new perspective. This way, when you find someone you like, you’ll be prepared.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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