Great love is the kind of love that takes you through the gamete of emotion and hardship and against all odds somehow manages to persevere. At the same time, great love has also unfortunately been misconstrued for a long time. We all experience this type of love in different ways, but books, movies, and the media have exploited the idea of it, spinning true love as either something out of an adult film or a romance novel. This is, of course, a huge mistake that creates false perceptions about how relationships work in the real world — love tends to be a little more complicated than what the media portrays. To help combat the misrepresentation of what true love is, we’ve compiled a list of myths and realities about it.
Myth: Love means being smitten, googly-eyed, and happy forever. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, then it must not be true love.
Reality: Great love means that challenging situations are temporary and do not necessarily dictate or define the fate of the relationship. In solid relationships, both partners will find a way to work through problems and see the person they love underneath it all. It requires a certain amount of unconditional love to do so. Apologies in this arena are crucial, and it’s important to remember that you’re on the same team. Great love doesn’t mean there won’t be rough patches, but it’s the ability to work through those rough patches and not turn away from them that makes a solid relationship.
Myth: Great love means grand gestures and constant romance.
Reality: Yes, true love can definitely mean those things, if you want it to. It also involves less romantic things, like kissing your partner when he or she has morning breath, and making sacrifices for the person you love.
Myth: If what you both have is true love, then you two should still be feeling butterflies when you’re around each other.
Reality: Unfortunately, butterflies fade — unless you’ve spent a long time way from each other. For the most part, butterflies are nerves and if you’re constantly experiencing them, then there may be bigger problems in your relationship. When you are truly, madly, and deeply in love with someone, that love is supposed to bring you a sense of peace, calm, and security. That’s not to say when you spot your S.O. from across a crowded room and catch each other’s eye, that it still doesn’t give you a little zing inside once in a while. That is completely normal. But the nervousness that accompanies the unknown in your relationship will die off. And that’s a really good thing.
Myth: When you’re truly in love, the sex is passionate, amazing, and frequent.
Reality: Although sex in real-world relationships has its ups and downs — sometimes you’re in the mood when your partner isn’t and vice versa — it may not always be as explosive as you’d like it to be. As time goes on, in a comfortable, loving relationship, sometimes you have to schedule time or squeeze it in whenever you can, because life gets in the way. You both need to put in the effort and realize how important physical connection is to maintain a good relationship. You need to take the time to learn what works for the both of you, whether it’s helping with the dishes or giving a really off-the-charts amazing massage. Sometimes, you must make the connection happen.
Myth: If you are truly in love, then all of your happiness will stem from your partner and relationship.
Reality: Oh how untrue this is. Part of being in a healthy, loving relationship is maintaining a strong sense of self. Full disclosure: If you are not happy, feel secure with yourself, or feel unfulfilled as an individual, you will not feel any of those things in a relationship. You need to maintain a strong sense of self in order to have a happy and balanced relationship. Make sure you have “me” time, whether it means pursuing individual passions or hobbies and make time for your friends. These reasonable individual pursuits will only strengthen your relationship.
Always remember, gentlemen, that great love is not about big, flashy gestures — it’s about the little things: the loving hug at the end of a long day and the nice kiss to go along with it, holding hands when you go out to dinner, and making sure you’re touching in bed at night, even when you’re both upset with each other. True love is about going out of your way to make the person you love happy, and most importantly, it’s about loving each other even when you hate each other. If you have found this kind of love, cherish it and consider it your own version of an adult fairy tale.