Remember those fascinating Mills and Boon love novels, the ones we hid under our school books to read at night and the romantic movies that literally swept us off our feet with their mushy love scenes? I don’t remember the names of those novels or the movies anymore, but I sure remember how they made me feel.

Somewhere in the back of my mind they made me build a wish list of the qualities I wanted to see in my better half—the way he should be, the way he should not be, the way our life will be together and the magical ways life will turn into a fairy-tale once we are together.

But real life was a complete eye opener. It is for a lot of us who unconsciously carry these ideals (even when they scoff at it) and get into relationships disillusioned by their own beliefs and expectations. This often leads to facing a fall in the real world.

It thus comes as no surprise that, according to John Cacioppo, an expert on loneliness from the University of Chicago, roughly 20 percent of individuals—that would be 60 million people in the U.S.—feel alone and credit this loneliness as a major source of unhappiness in their lives.

It’s time for a reality check and to bust those Love myths that have been deluding our senses and blocking us from having balanced, healthy relationships.

1.  “Someone somewhere is made just for you; Love is about finding the missing half, the one person who will complete you.”

The Truth: This has to be the most distorted and yet the most widely followed description of love and relationships. In reality, a healthy relationship constitutes of two wholesome people. They share and grow together with time, and experience and aid each other’s emotional and mental growth along the way.

But in no way are they dependent on each other to find fulfillment in their own life. And if you do feel the need for someone else to complete you, maybe its time to introspect and find the real reason behind that feeling: an insecurity, a dream you didn’t persuade, an unrewarding job, or something else?

2. “Love at first Sight! I will see that person and knows it’s him/her. Some magical signs will alert me that he/she is the one I have been looking for all my life.”

The Truth: While people can be instantly attracted to each other, some scientists say that being in love means really getting to know someone over time. Since love is about finding your soul mate and a person you can connect with at a mind-and-soul level, it is impossible to fall in love at first sight because there is no way you can tell if a person’s values, beliefs, and thoughts match those of your own just by looking at them.

For that you need to spend considerable amount of time together, meet often, or do activities together.

3. “ Love means everlasting happiness. Couples in love, are always happy and sharing laughter and giggles all the time.”

The Truth: This is one of the deadliest myths because it makes people believe that relationships should bring them happiness and somehow evade their sorrows and transform their lives into one long, romantic fairy tale.

The truth cannot be far from this. Finding the right partner is just the beginning of a relationship which brings with it its own responsibilities: the hard work that is required to understand the other person, particularly his or her ways of doing things, which you then must mold with yours so that you can somehow find a balance and create a zone of peaceful co-existence, where differences can stay together without colliding.

Yes, it requires that much thought process!

4. “If it is meant to happen, it will. If I am supposed to meet my soul mate one day, I will. I just have to wait for the D Day.”

The Truth: It’s funny how we leave the most important decision of our life in the hands of fate and literally sit with folded hands waiting for the perfect one to just one day appear out of the blue.

In reality, we have to just keep looking to find someone we are compatible with. Just like finding our dream job, finding love too takes a lot of preparation, thought, planning and action. The relationship needs to be nurtured, strengthened and allowed to grow.

5. “Love is another name for sacrifice.”

The Truth: By dictionary meaning, sacrifice refers to “giving up on something that is highly valued.” If you think from this perspective, love will never demand or create a situation where you have to give up on something you value most.

A loving partner will never demand you to give up on something you treasure, e.g. an old friendship. In fact, he or she will ensure that you will always get to keep this precious relationship in your life. Adjusting and compromising to make the relationship is acceptable but sacrifice is not.

6. “People in love never fight. They just live happily ever after.”

The Truth: Since no two people are 100% alike, it is natural that some friction will be created when they share the same space 24 hours in a day.

It is also impossible for them to be in the best of their moods all this while, but the couples who survive these rough patches are the ones who create something meaningful and useful even from arguments, and take a step forward in understanding each other better after a discord.

7. “Jealousy, Thy name is love”.

The Truth: Jealousy is just another name for irrational insecurities. It represents weak bonding and distrust.

Misunderstanding jealousy for Love is just spoiling its name and disrespecting the selfless emotion that love truly is. If you were to truly love a person, you would rejoice in his/her happiness, try to be a part of his success and joy, and accept his family, friends and loved ones as your own and value the things that are important to him or her.

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