August 4, 2015

Misconceptions About Love

Hello, Saee here! Before I say anything else, let me just say a huge THANK YOU to smilesifyXO for allowing me to guest post on her blog today. I’ve been stalking her blog for a while now and it felt so, so great to write this post. It was a huge deal for me and I learned a lot from her. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. Hugs and kisses!


Whether you’ve been in love before or are in love right now or even want to fall in love in the future, you know what love feels like. You are familiar with that nice fuzzy feeling in your heart, warming you up from the inside.

However you are also familiar with a list of things that are supposed to happen whenever you experience this powerful and beautiful emotion. Years and years of watching romantic movies and reading love stories, has shaped and fashioned your idea of love. And when the love you feel fails to live up to these unrealistic standards, you begin to stray. You wander off from the path of happiness and end up with a not-so-good experience or after thought about love.

To avoid any of that, let’s talk about certain misconceptions that we all have about love.

1)      Love is only once and stays forever

This is the most common and disastrous misconception about love. You have to understand that love is not a once in a lifetime thing. Love is never once. You can love over and over again. A beautiful emotion like love cannot ever be limited. You can love multiple persons at the same time and your love for one cannot be compared to your love for another. Each time you  love, you love with a different ferocity. Just because you’re in a nine-year committed relationship does not mean you cannot love someone else ever again. No. This brings me to the other half of the misconception that true love stays. This is completely incorrect. Love, although the most powerful emotion of all can curb or can be curbed. It is not permanent. Just like you can suddenly stop feeling envious of someone, you can suddenly stop loving someone too. And you may try your best to answer the whys and why nots but trust me, you’re better off without the unnecessary soul-searching. Love can happen twice, thrice--even ten times--and each time it’ll be true and each time it can go away as easily as the one before.

Do not for God’s sake beat yourself up about not being in love with someone you’re supposed to love with all your heart. It usually happens when the guy you’re going out with suddenly decides he wants to get married and you’re just not ready. Or when you are in love with two people at the same time and don’t know what you should be doing. In time, you’ll figure it out. Be patient and believe in your love.


2)      Love hurts. Always.

This is another false concept that has been emphasized through novels, movies and social media all the time. In stories, there is always a difficulty or a problem that love has to conquer. Name one book or movie that was based on love and that did not show emotional and physical difficulties involving love. Are the difficulties because of love? In most cases, not. Take Romeo and Juliet, for example. Theirs was a tragedy. Why? Not because they fell in love, but because of the strife between their families. Was love responsible for the strife? No. Then how can we generalize that love is what hurts?

I get really upset when I see quotes on Tumblr or Facebook that go along the lines of “If it’s true, it’ll hurt.” It has got to stop. Love does not hurt. Love is one emotion. Hurt is another emotion. Pain, sorrow, heartbreak are different emotions. They are not caused by love. They are caused by rejections or unfulfilled expectations. “Love always hurts” is something that abusive boyfriends or girlfriends count upon to save their relationship. When in suffering blame it on love. No, honey, you have to stop doing that. Love won’t and shouldn’t hurt.

Remember that awkward conversation from Sex and the City?

Samantha Jones: Relationships aren't just about being happy. I mean, how often are you happy in your relationship? 
Charlotte York: Every day. 
Samantha Jones: Every day? 
Charlotte York: Well, not all day every day but yes, every day. 


In fact, I’d like to stretch a mile and say, “If it hurts, it ain’t love.”


3)      Love is only between a man and a woman

Many societies have for years generated the image of a man and a woman tangled in an embrace as the image of love. It has traditionally been impressed upon young minds either through the medium of social obligation or religious instruction that love is a bond between man and woman. However, love cannot be restrained. A man can love a man and a woman can love a woman in the same way a man loves a woman. One cannot put boundaries on love. The love between a lesbian couple and a gay couple is the same as the love between what the society calls a ‘normal’ couple.

4)      Love has to be equally reciprocated

Another disastrous misconception. Everyone falls prey to this one. You will not always be loved back by someone you gave your heart to. I mean, come on, it’s been years and Ryan  Higa is still unaware of my existence. Does that mean I should give up? No, I’ll keep stalking him till death do us part. Kidding, but the point is you won’t always receive the love that you give. But that’s okay. Life goes on, right? You’ll fall in love again. Hopefully with someone who lives on the same continent and is not fictional, taken or dead.

Anyway, it is common to assume that you cannot be in love if it’s not equally reciprocated by the one you love. False. You tell me, haven’t you ever loved someone who didn’t love you  back? But just because they didn’t, did it mean what you felt was not real or true? Of course not. It was real, as real as the love between couples. Even in a relationship, the love is felt individually by both parties. It is not a joint sentiment. It is mutual, not one and the same. Love is different when it’s expressed in a relationship and when it’s suppressed from a distance. But it is love all the same.

I know this girl who has loved a guy for more than three years. He is unaware of her feelings, indifferent to some extent. And yet she loves him. She wants him happy--be it with or without her. Look me in the eye and tell me her love isn’t true.

5)      Love will be like living a fairy tale

This is a misconception that has been harped on and on by Disney movies and the stories we tell our girls when they’re young and at their most vulnerable and impressionable age. We tell girls that love means a Prince Charming on a white horse, that love means a happily ever after. It’s not all true. When you view love through the fairytale filter you make basic mistakes like assuming:

·         A Prince will swoop in and kiss away your problems
·         A Prince has to court you and initiate the relationship first
·         You need a Prince to become a Princess
·         Your happily ever after will revolve around love and a Prince

Just think about it. Finding love is great and all but it’s not the only thing in the world. In fact, you don’t have to find  love. There is no The One that you have to settle with. Remember love is not once? Nor does it come with a forever guarantee. Happily ever after can totally be you sipping wine on a yacht in the Caribbean.

6)      Love is blind

This is the falsest statement about love. Love does not mean overlooking problems. It does not mean doing everything that your partner asks you to do and then covering it up with “Oh, you know, love is blind.” It’s okay to go out of your way once in a while to make your partner feel special like cooking their favorite dish, booking  movie tickets or even throwing a surprise party. You see, when you do these nice things, you do them because you want to, you do them out of love.

But when your partner throws in the classic “If you truly loved me” to make you do something you do not want to do, that’s when your blind love becomes dangerous. When your love is turning a blind eye to your own needs and feelings, that’s when you should be alarmed.

When you do crazy things with your boyfriend or girlfriend, make sure you do them cause you love him or her, not because you should do them as an obligatory gesture of love.

Love should invigorate your senses. It should sharpen your vision. A dynamic emotion like love cannot be blind. If you tell your friends proudly that you let your girlfriend or boyfriend walk all over you (in nicer words, of course) because “Love is blind," it’s about time you got your eyes and relationship checked.

7)      Love means constant display of affection and romance

Love is not just four-hour-long  phone calls that end with “Love you too”. Love is not just showering kisses or sleeping together every night. Love is definitely not just candle light dinners and weekends on the beach. That is romance. It’s a part of love, but it’s not a major one. Love is a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear to trust. Love is a patient caress and a meaningful “Take care”. Love is so many other things than just romance. It  is genuine care and affection for a person that goes beyond  the display of  love every day. A couple can still be in love if they don’t go out every evening. Even if they fight through the night but wake up and smile at each other, they are in love and their love is no different from the romantic one that you’re so used to seeing in movies.

8)      Love is happiness

Love is not happiness. It cannot be happiness. Love and happiness are two different emotions. You can love without being happy and you can be happy without being in love. One is not synonymous with the other. Neither does the onset of one guarantee the onset of the other. People, girls in particular, like to think that all their problems of insecurity, depression and loneliness can be cured once they are loved. No. Love is just an emotion. It cannot hide or rub away other emotions. It can help, yes. But not much really. Your problems, girl, are your own. Only you can handle them and solve them. Not love, not your partner.

9)      Love is a grown up emotion

I’m going to get a lot of criticism from the grown-ups for saying this, but I’m quite firm about it. Love is not restricted to age. A sixteen year old can love as fiercely as a twenty-eight year old.  However there are certain other factors at play when you consider their love. Let’s take an example:

Joey is a senior in high school. He’s madly in love with his popular best friend Alice. He thinks Alice is fun to hang out with and has really nice legs. They could be their school’s hottest item if only Alice would say yes to Joey’s advances.

Anna is in her late twenties. She likes a guy at work. Charlie is smart and is the Assistant manager at her branch. After her last relationship, Anna is looking for someone who can understand her need to make career a priority. She thinks Charlie, her hardworking senior will understand her need to achieve. He has a passion in his eyes and a certain gentleness in the way he talks. She likes how reliable and homely Charlie seems.

Did you notice the difference? Both Joey and Anna are in love. Their love may be the same, but their worlds are entirely different. While Joey is looking for a girl he can have fun with, who can make him popular in high school, Anna is looking for commitments that are much more long-term. Joey has yet to learn and understand a lot. He’s still fueled by hormones, while Anna is calm and has learnt from her previous mistakes. There is a difference in their maturity levels. Anna thought like Joey when she was younger and Joey will think like Anna when he’s older. But who’s to say their love is different?


10)  Love cannot be controlled


I honestly, truly believe that there is no such thing as “I couldn’t help falling in love with you” No. I like to think that emotions, like actions, are based  largely on choice. Just like how you can put a smile on your face on a sad, monsoon day with efforts and choice, you can  stop or start loving someone with enough efforts and firm choice. I know, not many will agree. Maybe no one will agree. But I can tell from my own experience that you can ‘choose’ to love or not love. Don’t tell me it wasn’t love if I could stop or start it of my own free will because I know it was and you cannot judge or compare it. This may sound complete BS to you if you’re in love and want to be in love for long but to the girl who’s trying her best to move on out of a difficult relationship, who thinks she can never stop loving this person who doesn’t love her back or isn’t the man she thought he was, the girl who knows she’s loving the wrong person and who just does not want to be in love anymore, this is hope. You will get over it. Trust me. 

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Hello there, everyone! It's me, smilesifyXO, here! I just wanted to give a really big thank you to Saee for taking a chance to be vulnerable and sharing her thoughts about love here on Smiles No Matter. I think that society definitely has established strong ideas about what love is or isn't, but society isn't always right. I hope you guys found Saee's guest post to be extremely insightful as I did! Please share your thoughts in the comments below! 

If you'd like to see more of Saee's work, please head over to her blog, Wonderland. Saee is a very talented writer, and I myself really enjoy reading about her thoughts and experiences. 

Do you have any thoughts about love that you would like to share on this blog? Please let me know if you would be interested in writing a guest post by emailing me at smilesnomatter@gmail.com! 

Smile on :)

22 comments:

  1. This post is sooo good! I agree with everything that you've been written here. Especially with numbers 1,6 and 7. And I really hate when someone say that you only love once in a lifetime, that's absolutely wrong. And also love is not just kissing and telling -I love you-, love means supporting each others and being with you partner in stressful situations. ♥:)

    http://georgiarose5.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thankyou so much, I'm so glad you agree with my views!
      I strongly believe love can and should be shared, it cannot ever be limited to one person. All our lives we search for The One while we could be feeling love for almost anyone and everyone.
      I so agree with you when you say that love means being with your partner in stressful situations and not just "I love you"s. I wish everyone knew this. :)

      Love xoxo
      Saee

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  2. I love this article!

    http://marynmakeup.blogspot.cz/

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    1. I'm so happy that you do, thanks a bunch, love!

      xoxo
      Saee

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  3. Saee did an awesome job!! It was so fun collaborating with her for this part of the series ^_^

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    1. You don't know how happy this makes me feel. <3

      Love xoxo,
      Saee

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    2. It is true though! You have such a sweet personality and wrote an awesome blog post! You should be proud of yourself :)

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  4. Lets follow eachother. Just follow and leave a comment. Then I will come back to follow you. Loves.

    www.nilgunozenaydin.com

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  5. I really liked reading your post, #1 makes it so hard. I feel like this misconception hurts a lot of people when love ends.

    http://perlasancheza.blogspot.com/

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    1. Wow, I'm so glad you liked it! I'm honestly baffled by how many people think it's a real misconception. Society has us believing in the whole "true love is only once" thingy so badly, it's difficult to accept that love won't stay forever.

      Love xoxo
      Saee

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  6. I really enjoyed this post. Love is many things to many people but society does have a knack for turning it into a lot of unhealthy things or narrow minded things too. Love doesn't hurt, something else causes you to hurt. Love isn't blind, you may chose to overlook something but that is a separate decision. A lot of it is the fault of the media and what it portrays but at the same time we make the media so it can be pretty complicated when you think about it.

    -M
    www.violetroots.com

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    1. You penned your feelings out so beautifully! I agree that the media has certainly done a lot to skew our perceptions of what love really is. It has definitely come to focus more on sex and status. Who's having sex with whom, and who is officially in a relationship with whom. But--while love may involve these, it isn't exclusively these, and even doesn't have to include them either. Thank you for leaving this comment!

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    2. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this. <3
      Society has a way of imposing notions and stereotypes upon the minds of the young in subtle ways. When we view love through the infinite filters of society, the emotion loses its meaning.
      And yet as we blame society we forget that it is us who make the society what it is. We encourage and build up these norms that end up crippling us. I agree wholeheartedly when you say that it's pretty complicated.

      Thank you so much, M for stopping by. :)

      Love xoxo,
      Saee

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  7. This is going to be a long comment, so sorry about that.

    First I have to say that overall, I agree with your basic points. I don't quite agree with how you fleshed all of them out, but the main points, yes.

    A few thoughts/comments:

    #3 - Love is between a man and a woman. We will have to agree to disagree on that one because we obviously have different worldviews. However, since people have differing opinions on this subject, I'm not sure it can correctly be called a misconception since we are talking about beliefs and opinions.

    #7 - Love means a constant display of affection and romance. This one bugs me too! It is a major problem that people think love is only the feeling and so when the feeling is gone, oh, I must not be in love anymore. That is so not the case. Love exists even when the feelings do not. Love is more action than feeling. And that ties into your #1 point. When love is an action more than a feeling, it can last forever, because it is not dependent on your emotional state.

    #9 - Love is a grownup emotion. I see what you're saying here. What I thought about was, maybe adults have a more mature love. As teens, our thoughts, feelings, sometimes even our principles and beliefs, are all over the place. So loving someone in a true love (i.e. putting them above ourselves; being willing to sacrifice our own desires and needs for them....) might not be possible since we are still trying to figure ourselves out. So in a sense, really loving someone IS an adult "emotion", since they (generally) have the maturity to love someone. And obviously I'm talking romantic, marriage love, not friendship or familial love.

    I want to say again, overall, I think I agree with what you are saying. And I'm not trying to criticize you, I just wanted to share some thoughts I had while reading. That is a great thing about living in America is that we can do something like this; each share our thoughts and opinions on a subject.

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    1. Hey Smylinggirl! I really love the way you voiced your thoughts and comments here. It is great that you've thought so much about love, and I think you have developed your ideas so well. I especially like your commentary for #7 and #9. 7 because I completely agree with you that love is an action, not limited to a feeling. And I had talked to Saee about 9 before publishing the post due to similar concerns; what we had agreed on was that love can exist for teenagers--the love itself is real and undeniable--but it matures and certainly is different as people change and the context changes as we get older. As for #3, I hadn't thought of it that way. I think that acknowledging that love is greatly contextual as you do is great! :)

      Thank you for your awesome comment!!

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    2. I really appreciate the time and efforts that you took for typing that well-thought out comment. And of course, you're free to voice your opinions.
      I really liked how systematically you've made your point, so really there is no need to apologize for the long comment. In fact, I love such 'long' comments!

      I still believe that Love is only between man and woman is a misconception as I know there could be love between people of the same sexes too. However, the whole world hasn't yet come to that conclusion. So as of now, it's not a misconception to them.

      When you say love is an action, more than a feeling, then is happiness, sorrow and every other emotion just action more than the feeling? I agree that people tend to think that once the feeling is lost, they're not in love. But without the feeling , would they continue to act in the same way that they did before?
      I agree with you when you say love can last forever. It can, but it may not. I think it's futile to expect love to stay forever.

      Smylinggirl, I totally get what you're saying about how the love is more mature when it is between adults than between teenagers. There is no denying that fact, I guess. Even smilesifyxo agrees there is of course a difference in the love. I like to believe however that the emotion remains the same.

      It's so nice of you to stop by, read and leave such a beautiful comment. Thank you so much!

      Love xoxo,
      Saee

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  8. this is amazing :) i love reading your blog!

    mfashionfreak♥blog

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  9. Hey girl! I am the "Unknown X"! found your blog accidentaly and I really like it. I try to check it every day for new posts. Go on please! Good job! I am also a blogger and I would be grateful if you took a glance at my blog. I am from Greece so I write Greek but you can translate my blog in your own language or whatever language you want. It is a teenage blog and there we discuss about various teenage (not only) issues. My blog is anonymous because in this way I can write without fear and just like the way I want. Hope you enjoy it! If you like it let me know please.
    Link: http://e-efiboi.blogspot.gr/
    Thanks a lot.
    With love,
    "Unknown X"

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  10. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow...great post.!

    I must say its been Really thought provoking for me. Well, the whole blog is anyways..XD..:D

    if I may add something to this post, I must bring up the point of loving God. I mean the inner truth. ...err..the True destiny, or Our True Purpose...cant put it into words....its experience anyways...but iam sure many of you would probably understand...

    well, its a totally different and superior topic, but even though, these "misconceptions about love" actually metamorphosizes into "concepts/charecteristics of love" if put up to explain the love of/for God!!


    Just adding when i got the chance...:D

    All the same, its a great post, i must say again...(y)


    -Zameel Haneefa
    http://lifeturnstoday.blogspot.com/

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  12. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.

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