Common Myths About Love
Most of us come into adulthood with a distorted vision of a healthy love relationship. Our models of love often come from songs, books, friends, and media, which depict love as fast blooming, overwhelming, intense, romantic, and requited. But these models display only one aspect of love, the beginning, which is heavily influenced by infatuation caused by chemistry. Good marriages contain many more elements than just chemistry, yet the lovers in these examples may never get us far enough into the story to see them. We don’t know whether the lovers stayed together long enough to determine if they were compatible or committed enough to stay the long term. We see an hour and a half of two people enduring misunderstanding and frustration, and then going romantically off into the sunset. We never get to see what happens next. We fail to see the hard work, commitment, patience and forgiveness that any quality relationship takes.
These images of love leave us with serious myths, such as:
Passion equals love. Most people love something that is new.
My lover should meet all my needs. This is impossible, and the reverse is true. No human can meet your needs. Only God can do that.
Once love dies, you can’t get it back. The emotion of love may get blasted by words and hurt, but the commitment of love should be rock solid.
Chemistry is all that matters. Chemistry should be the last thing you trust.
Love conquers all. God love conquers all, but our love is not consistent.
When things get tough, it means you have the wrong partner. This is the most selfish kind of love. Giving love is not dependent on your partner’s response. Certainly people would have been the wrong partner for God, but He loved us in spite of our flaws.
My lover should make me happy. True happiness can only come from God. People are not capable of providing lasting happiness.
Once in love, you stay on a high forever. This myth puts incredible pressure on the other person. This is not genuine love.
Love is a feeling, and you either have it, or you don’t. Love is a decision, and you commit to honor and care for someone no matter what their response is to you.
These are all lies, or at best, gross misunderstandings of the true nature of love. The chemistry plays out. You eventually come off the high of infatuation. But that does not mean that love is dead. Not at all. In fact, it may be just beginning. It looks dead only because our expectations lead us to misunderstand the way love grows. It grows over time and through our commitment. The better we understand what love really is, the better we adapt to life changes and keep that love alive.
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