Have you dreamed of having a relationship like the ones you see in the movies?
Sounds nice, right?
A fun, flirty (sometimes crazy), romantic journey that ends in magic and bliss no matter what screwed up problems each of the people in the relationship bring to the table?
The relationships you see in movies are not real.
The “love interest” dynamic is created to entice viewers and keep them interested and engaged throughout the entire film because it turns out, our human brains love stories… especially romantic ones.
We love these stories so much, we’re willing to spend a lot of time and attention fantasizing about them, consuming them, and worst of all… believing them. We like to believe that true love will always win and that two humans are completely made for each other. That they complete each other.
Believing these fake ideals is a huge reason relationships flatline. When one partner (or both) choose to believe stories and misbeliefs they will unconsciously (and inevitably) drive their relationship into the ground.
So what are some of these beliefs to be aware of?
I’ve found there are five that tend to destroy relationships over and over.
If we can set aside our misbeliefs and courageously question what is really true for ourselves and our partners in each moment, we will start to change the course of our romantic relationships and learn how to be more honest and loving in our partnerships.
Keep reading to learn the five myths about love that you might believe to be true!
No one completes you, you complete yourself.
Many women and men in love say that their partner is their “missing piece”, “other half” or “better side.” Some people even go out looking for this in love.
This almost always backfires.
When you look for someone else to complete you, you aren’t giving yourself enough credit that you can complete yourself, just as you are. If someone else becomes your “other half,” I promise it’s going to hurt like hell when they leave you.
Many of us have bought into the idea that a partnership is “one.” Meaning, two people become one whole. This, I would argue, is quite possibly the biggest problem in most failing relationships. You’re not one! You’re two!
You and your partner are two distinct individuals who are growing at different rates, enjoy different things, and have lived completely different lives. It’s a mistake to believe that when you are in a romantic relationship, that all personal growth, fulfillment, and self care goes out the window, because now someone else is there to do that for you.
I’ve spoken with many people who believed this myth and guess what, they came to me because their relationship was struggling to survive.
This is one of the biggest myths I debunk in my upcoming book Fierce Love: Creating a Love That Lasts – One Conversation at a Time.
Remember, no one will ever be enough until you believe you are enough. You are a whole, complete person on your own and so is your partner.
This myth can come as a shock to many and can be a very hard pill to swallow for most. Why? Because this is the baseline of almost every romantic movie you’ve seen. We’ve been conditioned to believe that this is true!
“True love will always find a way”
“True love conquers all”
“True love means never having to say you’re sorry”
This is all wrong!
Beau Taplin says it beautifully: “No, I do not want to be loved unconditionally. I want to be shown when I am treating you less than you deserve. I want you to leave if I ever start making you promises I do not see through. Love me for my flaws, yes, but don’t you dare ever allow them to hurt you.”
This is true love.
True, long-lasting, deep love comes with conditions.
Have you ever known someone to give and give and give? These people can be inexhaustibly obliging and draining to be around. This is what giving without condition looks like. It’s giving to the point of depletion.
If you think you can get through anything because you and your partner believe in unconditional love, you need to stop it!
If anything can be forgiven and all can be smoothed over with one “I’ll love you forever no matter what you do,” then you are opening your relationship up to much vulnerability.
What’s to stop your spouse from cheating on you or your partner from hurling verbal attacks at you whenever they please? If there are no repercussions to your actions, then your love is left open for attack.
True love clarifies the conditions in which you and your partner feel safe to be together and holds you both accountable to those boundaries and goals. (More on the myth of unconditional love here.)
My upcoming book dives deeper into this idea and even gives you a roadmap to having the conversation that clarifies your conditions with your partner or spouse.
If you are still determined to find unconditional love, get a dog!
I had a friend show me her list of ideal characteristics in a partner and when I saw it, my jaw dropped. Not only was the list exceptionally long, it was unrealistically detailed.
The problem with lists is they actually limit the possibilities that can come to us. We might think we are getting “real with ourselves” when we make a list, but we’re really just putting expectations on the next person that enters our lives romantically.
These lists are a symptom of perfectionism.
You’re chasing a fantasy person that does not exist. How could they? Your list of demands is totally made up!
You could spend your whole life trying to find this “person” and end up going from one relationship to the next thinking that the grass will be greener on the other side of the fence.
Spoiler alert: it’s astroturf.
And really, dating someone perfect sounds boring and full of pressure. Humans are imperfect and life is messy. When you commit to someone, you’re committing to a robust and diverse list full of the best parts of them and the worst parts. It’s not fair to your partner (or yourself) to ask for only the dreamy, flawless characteristics and be unwilling to negotiate on the rest.
To change this, you can start by letting go of the unrealistic expectations you have for your “ideal match.” Then, if you must make a list, do it. Then be it. Turn your list into a set of ideal characteristics for yourself and do your best to live them out each day.
We attract the love we want to find by being the love we desire.
How many times have you said or thought, “If he or she loved me, they’d know I’d need … fill in the blank (a hug, to be held, a cup of tea, etc.)”
The truth is, your partner doesn’t know! Because guess what? It’s 2021 and we still can’t read minds!
As Miles Davis said, “If you understood everything I said, you’d be me.” You aren’t dating your clone… So speak up!
I’ll admit that in order for me to get a message from someone it has to be wildly clear and obviously announced, otherwise I truly don’t know what you mean or what you want. I’m not the only one like this. In fact, it’s better to assume most people are like this to encourage more clarity in your own communication.
The point is, if you are not speaking clearly or having the conversations at all, then you are assuming that the other person was gifted telepathic powers overnight. And that’s not fair to your relationship.
If you need something, tell them! If your feelings are hurt, tell them! If you are pleased with them, tell them!
Do your relationship a favor and simply ask for what you need and stop assuming that your partner knows. Your partner’s inability to read your mind does not mean they don’t love you, it just means they can’t decipher cryptic messages.
The sooner you speak up, the easier it will be.
My upcoming book, Fierce Love: Creating a Love That Lasts – One Conversation at a Time, makes this process even easier. I give you the tools and exercises to deliver your message kindly so that your relationship can thrive.
Love is not all you need because as humans, we have many needs. And just because you’re in a romantic relationship does not mean that love is all you can survive on, let alone thrive.
Sometimes what we need is difficult to pinpoint, so we might “leave it up to love” to give us what we don’t know we want yet, but here’s the truth: Love can’t give us what we want if we don’t know what we want.
People often think that their love will change others, or even save them. You might decide that your love is so grand and pure that it will cleanse your partner of all character flaws and defects and you’ll be left with a shiny new human ready to please you in the most perfect way possible.
If you’re someone who has tried this, you know it doesn’t work. Depending on your love in this way gives our soul an impossible mission to complete and leads us towards suffering and failure.
If love was all you need to create deep and lasting relationships, then things like abuse, infidelity, or addiction would become totally acceptable in your relationship. Because your love will save it, change it, or fix it, right? No way!
You and your partner might grow apart and want entirely different lives after years of being together and I don’t care how much love you have between the two of you, it’s not going to bring two diverging paths back together.
There are plenty of things you need in addition to love to have a healthy and sustainable relationship. In my new book coming out soon, I challenge you to write these needs down and commit to bringing them into your life as soon as possible.
Love is not all you need! You need so much more!
When we believe in stories or ideas that are simply not true, it can be damaging to our own self love and our relationships with others. It’s time to ditch the unrealistic expectations we’ve been holding on to so that we can learn how to communicate better with our spouse or partner and create healthier, more connected relationships.
Misbeliefs are one of the biggest factors that lead relationships astray.
If you want to learn how to be a better partner in your relationships, you can start by becoming aware of these myths and doing your best to change your thought patterns and actions that contribute to them.
To learn more about these five myths and the conversations you can have to change the course of your relationship, pre-order my book, Fierce Love: Creating a Love That Lasts – One Conversation at a Time, that’s coming out January 11th 2022!