Our perception of what makes a relationship healthy can be skewed—and often we don’t realize. That’s why today we’re tackling 10 of the biggest misconceptions about love and myths, mistakes, and blind spots that can damage relationships, and exploring how to overcome our own misconceptions about love!
1) What is love, anyway?
Sometimes, falling in love is just too darn easy. When there’s intense passion and physical attraction, it’s impossible to ignore your feelings. And that’s great—except if that initial euphoria fades and you realize the two of you don’t have much in common. You need mutual values to form the foundation of something meaningful. In a strong relationship, your partner is your best friend. Just being with them is enough.
2) Men are misunderstood
According to Helen Fisher, Chief Scientific Advisor at Match.com, the global response to COVID has produced a historic change in courtship. Before the pandemic, 58% of singles were looking to settle down. Today that’s risen to 76%—and it’s men who are leading the transformation. According to Fisher’s studies on 55,000 single Americans, men tend to fall in love more quickly and more often. They want to move in together faster, and are more likely to believe that a hookup can lead to “the real thing.” In 2022, the data shows that men are far more likely than women to want a committed relationship within the next 12 months.
3) Permanent happiness?
Lots of us have fallen into the trap of believing turbulence in the relationship to be a sign that it’s over. But relationships take work. They have to be nurtured. So as long as both of you are willing to work through your troubles, things can improve, and you can restore your mutual happiness to its former level. Every relationship ebbs and flows. You need to be flexible, roll with the changes, and grow together—not apart.
Do you believe there’s someone out there who’s your perfect match? Perhaps you’re lucky enough to feel like you’ve already met them. But while the idea of a soulmate makes for a great romcom or fairytale, in reality it can lead to singles finding themselves on a neverending quest for perfection—a perfection that doesn’t exist. Belief in soulmates might be preventing you from accepting someone’s flaws and seeing them as a fellow human being, just as prone to mistakes as you are. There are actually many potential matches out there for everyone. It really boils down to finding someone who shares your goals, values, and vision of what makes a good life. It’s the imperfections—both theirs and yours—that add in the charm, mutual growth, and excitement.
5) Love equals intuition
‘They love me—they should know what’s wrong when I feel down!’ This isn’t always true. Being in love doesn’t magically grant your partner the power of telepathy. A great relationship is built on strong communication and an ability to be open about your feelings. That’s how our partner can best understand us and support our emotional needs.
6) All love looks the same
Some people assume everyone loves in the same way they do. But when you reflect this notion onto your own relationship, you might be disappointed. A lot of this comes down to attachment styles. People with a secure attachment style feel safe and peaceful in their relationships, while those who are insecurely attached may experience fear and anxiety—and sometimes these two attachment styles may be present in the same relationship! The key to success is always to understand where the other person is coming from: What is their relationship history? Have they been hurt or betrayed in the past? If you can look past your preconceptions of what love looks like, you might just find your relationship blossoms.
7) The passion has declined—something must be up
During the notorious honeymoon period of a relationship, it’s easy to forget that the fiery romance will eventually ease out to something far less all-consuming. But passion starting to take a backseat doesn’t necessarily mean the two of you are falling out of love. Passion is high at the beginning because everything is new and exciting. As time goes by and you fall into a gentle rhythm with your partner, the hot and ever-present excitement decreases in intensity—but that doesn’t mean the love has actually gone anywhere. Rather, it’s been channeled into something far more profound: a sense of trust, security, and happiness. And if you want to, there are lots of ways to try new and arousing activities to reignite the passion in your relationship.
8) Problems don’t disappear
Even if there’s a stark difference between you and your partner—and deep down you foresee it being a problem in the long term—it’s tempting to disregard it and just enjoy the moment. ‘It’s all good—we’ll figure it out later,’ goes your rallying cry. But unfortunately, love alone isn’t enough to sustain a relationship. The two of you need to be proactive in working out issues in the here and now. Otherwise they’ll fester, and rear their ugly heads when you least expect it. Of course, differences are inevitable, so what you need to decide is whether you can work together to overcome them. You both need to feel equally heard and understood, and find a compromise. After all, this relationship is special—so the question is, are you prepared to fight for it? Or is this doomed to be a losing battle?
9) Keeping score
A lot of couples believe a lack of communication is their single biggest problem—but for many, the real obstacle is competition. ‘It’s your turn to take out the trash.’ ‘I’ve done the dishes three nights in a row.’ ‘You need to pull your weight around here.’ When we keep score in a relationship, we end up putting ourselves and our partner on opposite teams. This not only risks eroding communication, but can even lead to the two of you ultimately falling out of love. Try instead to conceptualize the pair of you as a single shared resource. When one partner’s tired and drained, both are affected. When one needs help, the other should be there to back them up.
10) Meeting people is easy
How much are the movies to blame for people’s perception that true love often begins when the guy or girl just appears out of nowhere? Too many people want all the benefits of dating without having to put in the time and energy. They fail to see that the investment they make in their career can just as justifiably be put into their search for a great relationship, too. There’s no way around it: Just as you’d put in the hours to train for a marathon or volunteer in your community, so there are things that take time in your quest for love. Carve out 20 minutes every so often to update your dating profile, check people out on the apps, and send likes and messages. Your efforts will pay off. Today, half of American marriages began on dating apps.
Love is tough—and that’s what makes it worthwhile
Love—whether finding it, maintaining it, or even making the heartbreaking decision to end it—is the most complex element of life’s rich tapestry. We all get it wrong from time to time, but there’s no need to be hard on yourself. Each of us comes at love from our own unique angle, so you’re bound to hit tricky waters when trying to unite your own sense of romance and commitment with someone else’s. At least by understanding common misconceptions about love you become better informed about what works. And if you need a little extra help, that’s where we come in.
Maclynn International is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New York, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today, and discover our vast network of attractive, eligible singles, all of whom are ready and waiting to meet someone truly special.