1. People think love is like a quote picture from a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Ever since quote pictures began littering social media sites, people have experienced bouts of something I call “brain-fart syndrome.” When processing love quote pictures, the brain malfunctions and emits a gaseous chemical that corrupts rational thoughts. People either raise their expectations of what love “should” be to level impossible or they fall for an endless charade of cheesy lines and call it love.
In essence, that divides people into two categories: those that hold out for a man/woman based on unrealistic ideals and expectations, and those that are fling-magnets, a kind of trial-and-error type that believe “this one is The One” and keep believing that for the next one and next one. Those in the first category never find true love because they’re chasing a person that may not exist, as well as a flawed conception of love. The second category never find true love because by the time they fly through countless “The Ones,” they’re mentally exhausted and have lost all hope.
2. People think stable relationships do not include fights.
By fights, I mean disagreements, arguments and the usual “I’m gonna leave you” threats that never materialise. The longer you stay in someone’s company, the easier it becomes to find irritating habits and traits that necessitate a fight or two. Nothing in life is all smiles, kumbaya round the campfire, and tiny marshmallows in the hot chocolate. Sometimes telling your partner he chews like a hybrid beast starved for two decades will result in conflict. And sometimes you have to bang your combats on the floor a few times and take a stand for what you believe is right (even if it may be wrong), because it’s easy to roll over and become a doormat. Voicing your grievances is important, and if it happens to escalate into a disagreement that has the neighbours peeking our the window then so be it- just as long as the issue is resolved at the end of it.
3. People throw in the towel when shit hits the fan.
It’s easy to love someone when everything is all good. Add a little family issue, money issue, or psychological issue and people start sprinting for the hills. Fun and laughter is only one half of being in love. The other half is hardship and ugly-crying (the kind where your nose leaks and animalistic sounds emerge from your chest). The thing about unconditional love is that it really doesn’t care what the situation is: be it a stroll under the stars, or a tumble through a shit-storm. Love says “Okay, I’ll be there.”
4. People look for greener pastures, thinking there’s someone else “better” out there.
The truth is, perfection is overrated. Annoying traits, quirky habits, a crooked tooth or two or some love handles eventually become things that make your partner, YOUR partner. There’s always going to be someone better-looking out there, someone funnier, someone smarter, someone richer but that someone will lack something that makes your partner unique, endearing and charming. The thing is, if you really love someone, there really wouldn’t be a need to keep searching for “ better,” because you would have realized that you already have the best. The best for you. And guess what, that’s all that should matter. Why should you care if Johnny there has a lingerie model draped over his arm like a cashmere blanket? Why should you care if Mary found Henry Cavill’s long-lost brother and strokes his eight-pack ten times a day?
5. People expect a “good” relationship to sustain itself.
Relationships are hard work. It requires time, effort, understanding and patience. Once you’ve hooked your catch by pulling out all the bells and whistles- it simply means you have to keep reeling that catch in or the line will snap and he/she will swim away. There’s nothing worse than a lazy partner that treats a relationship as if it was a cactus, because no relationship is going to sustain itself. Sometimes a relationship will feel like an endless run on the treadmill or a climb up Mountain Everest in nothing more than your knickers. But, it’s always worth it.