1. It will be love at first sight.
Some people do experience this, and it’s probably the initial biological attraction that ignites physical feelings. However, some couples are able to work out beyond that, falling in love with each other for more than what they are physically attracted to. But this principle is not universal. You usually cannot decide whether or not someone is or isn’t right for you immediately. You can look at couples who thought they were in love at first sight and they’re now divorced, and vice versa.
2. You should “just know.”
Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you have absolutely no idea. Sometimes you are so confused you don’t know which way is up and it takes you years to figure out what you want and need from someone, or if someone is right for you or not. It’s okay. It’s completely and totally okay. It’s, if anything, normal. Choosing someone to spend your life with and cohabitate with is a huge decision, especially if you want to involve vows of marriage or children in the ordeal. You should question things. You shouldn’t replace blindly “knowing” with sound judgment. Use the two in tandem.
3. The Cinderella stories.
They all perpetuate the idea that love will save you. Prince Charming (or Princess Charming, and I’ll get to gender in a minute) might never come along, and what does that mean for you? That you can’t and won’t live a happy and fulfilling life? Romantic love is a wonderful goal to have, but the problem with it is that you can’t depend on somebody else to make you happy. Nobody else is responsible for you. Please remember that.
4. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Ha. This could not be more untrue. In fact, I think that love is always saying that you’re sorry when an apology is due. There are few things that will destroy a relationship quicker than someone unwilling to apologize when they really need to. Hey, we all mess up, but we just have to be honest about it and make sure people know that we care and didn’t mean to hurt them.
5. “Men are distant, women are emotional.”
We’re taught so many things about gender roles, and much of it revolves around behaviors in a relationship. It’s just another sad way we are constrained from being who we are. Men are emotionally distant, women are too emotional, men go out and work, women stay in the house and raise children and cook… you know how it’s supposed to go. But it doesn’t, and shouldn’t necessarily.
6. The “you had me at hello” idea.
Same principle as love at first sight, different implication, though. You should not mentally, physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise commit yourself to someone immediately. You need to give love and trust time to build. Relationships are between two people, they’re not ideas you have in your mind.
7. Love is between a man and woman.
How many mainstream movies have you seen where the protagonists were homosexual lovers? Not the supporting roles– the main characters. How many movies have you seen where the plot was about love between two people of the same sex or gender or what have you? Probably close to never. We are taught that love and marriage is solely between a man and a woman, when really, marriage is a commitment to be with someone through the good and bad and to be their partner to love and support them through their lives. You do not have to have different genitalia or gender identities to do that.
8. It’s over when someone cheats.
I’m not downplaying the severity of a cheating significant other or spouse. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and has instantly dissolved countless relationships for good reason. But for as many as it has destroyed, just as many have kept going. Just as many have stuck to their vows and saw each other through a process of healing and forgiveness. Things aren’t black and white when it comes to love. It doesn’t necessarily have to be over when other people say it should be. It’s over when you say it should be.
9. All of life’s woes will be resolved once you have love.
The danger with this is that when you find your great love and discover that all of your woes are, in fact, not resolved, you will tend to blame them for not being good enough. Trust me when I say that this is detrimental to both your relationship and to your own well-being.