I’m probably the coldest person you’ll ever meet. Sometimes I feel like a vampire; you know the ones that can turn their emotions off. But, no, that doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about L O V E; though. The fairytale romance where your prince charming comes to save you from all the evil people, harm, and pain, and takes you to his gigantic castle where you will live happily ever after. That is what love should supposedly be like, right? Everything should be perfect, no fighting, no disagreeing, and we can’t forget, the ability to bring each other back to life with one, simple kiss. That’s what we all want. We are waiting, and waiting for that perfect one to come by. When we see that our relationship is nothing like that, we just stop trying, and lose hope, so we leave or let go. Hence, we keep waiting for the one, thinking that he/ she is still out there, captured by an evil witch and waiting for us to free them. Now, I hate to break it to you, but if you think that any of that is real, you need a reality check and I am here to give it you. Often, thing around us have an influence on us, and that causes us to have unrealistic expectations about love and relationships, and make us depreciate what we have; therefore most people end up divorced or single nowadays
We are influenced by the things and people around us such as: movies, songs, poems, fiction stories, friends, etc. tricked us into thinking a certain way. For example, when we think about love, we have this unrealistic fairytale love expectation and think it’s’ wonderful everlasting feeling that will only be true when we find the perfect one. We have unrealistic expectations that love is suppose be perfect and only causes happiness. But let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how long you wait for the perfect one to come by, you will not be satisfied because your expectations are unrealistic, and causes you to have the wrong impression about love.
I love fairytales, but people tend to forget that they are not real. One of the unrealistic expectations is that love is supposed to be easy and when you find the one it will be an everlasting feeling. When we’ve been in a relationship with same person for a long time, we tend to think that we don’t love them anymore, or that we are “falling out of love,” after a while. When we feel like we are not in love anymore, we give up and think that the person is not meant for us because feelings faded, and we expected to feel the same way we did in the beginning of the relationship.
I am currently reading a book called, Act with love, and in this book Russ Harris states that when you define love as a feeling it will not be everlasting because feelings don’t last long. He compares our emotions to clouds that continually shrink, grow, and reappear. I have to agree with him. Feelings change. In the beginning those love feelings are strong, but after a while, as we start getting used to each other and get to know each other better, they start to fade. That why it’s better to think of love as a decision or action rather than a feeling. We have no control over feelings, but we do have control over our actions. According to Russ Harris, the action of love is something you can do, regardless of how you are feeling. For example when your partner made you mad, you can still decide to act with love and give them a hug, and still love him.
We don’t only have unrealistic expectations about love and relationships, but we are also make unappreciative of what we have. The media and people around us support us to give up quickly when something in our relationship is not going the way we would like it, and they comfort us by saying that we deserve better. This causes us to be unappreciative of what we have. It makes us compare ourselves, and our partner to others. We compare our relationship to others and we want what they have. What we tend to forget is that the person who is now “not good enough” for you, was once the person we were crazy about and would do anything for. Don’t let things around you affect or influence your relationship.
When something goes wrong, or something happens that we don’t like we tend to give up so fast because we expect our love to be like movies, songs etc. We all want that perfect partner that gives us what we want; one that doesn’t complain, get angry, and just always does the perfect things, but this is real life and we need to accept what we have. It is a waste when people get out of a relationship for no legit reason, but just because they think they’re not in love anymore. What they failed to realize is that this will happen with each and every person they are with. You know why? Because just like Russ Harris said, feelings are like clouds; they change and it is up to you to act with love, so your relationship can improve. Falling in love is easy but to stay in love is hard. You have to act with love to stay in love, it will not happen by itself. It’s not about finding the right person, but it’s about learning to love to person you found.
If you want a fairytale love as an example of how it should be, then watch Shrek. In this movie Shrek changed from being selfish and rude to a loving, caring and protective husband and father. He gave up his privacy and freedom to be with Fiona, and Fiona gave up her riches and beauty to be with Shrek. They both fought through whatever battle and worked on themselves, so they could be together.
Just because your relationship is not like the movies or like others, does not mean that it has no value or worth. Matter of fact, it has more worth than any relationship in the movies because it is real. Also, if you believe people that tell you that their relationship is perfect, it is time you wake up. Russ Harris used a quote in his book; “there are two types of couples: those who have a wonderful relationship, and those whom you know really well.” No relationship is perfect and I can guarantee you that, so start appreciating what you have and work on making it better.
We need to realize that love will never be easy. A relationship is a hard as it can get because there are two people with different opinions, different background, different ideas, etc. But throwing away years of work and trust for no reason will leave you hurt and with nothing, while you could’ve done something to improve your relationship. To get with someone else will take a lot more effort and there is also no guarantee that you will succeed, so work with what you have.
Start by working on yourself. Lower your expectations, and work on your values. What kind of partner do you want to be? Do you want to be loving, caring, and supportive? Then keep those in mind and start living up to them. Every time you want to give up think about your values, and why you started this relationship in the first place. You need to fight in order to survive. I’m not saying let your partner walk over you and do whatever he/ she wants, but try to work it out and find a solution, instead of giving up.
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” -Sam Keen
Furthermore, I want to recommend Act with love, by Russ Harris to everyone who is in a relationship, or wants a relationship. It’s a great book, and very helpful; go check it out.