True love, soulmates, there is someone for everyone… our ideas around love are often sweet and optimistic. I, like many of you I’m sure, grew up on fairy tales and romantic movies where two strangers would bump into each other at work or at a quaint coffee shop and fall head over heels in love.
We like the concept of two people meeting naturally because it aligns with society’s view of love being uncontrollable and destined. But as I’ve learned, there are many myths about love that we should stop believing in.
1. You find love when you least expect it
Some of us do fall in love without any intention of trying but this idea, for the most part, is not realistic.
How many times have you followed your schedule and suddenly come across a person you could imagine yourself dating? What are the chances that your ideal person will magically appear on your morning commute?
I believe life is a game of probability – if you do not change your routine, you will endure the same results. This means, that if you haven’t yet fallen in love naturally, you’re probably not going to anytime soon.
Sometimes we confuse looking for love with signs of desperation. You must look for love in some ways, to create opportunities to find it. So rather than pushing it to the side, make finding love a priority. Put yourself in new places to connect with new people – this is more likely to increase your chances than rather than hoping love will appear out of the blue.
2. Nice guys finish last
Women want a nice guy – we want to be treated with respect and made to feel we’re incredibly special and unique.
I’ve never heard a woman say, ‘I hope my partner humiliates me in front of my family tonight and makes me feel absolutely worthless.’ Nice guys finishing last simply doesn’t make sense.
Publication DMarge believes some guys ‘try too hard’ and ‘frantically adapt themselves to fit in with a girl they fancy’. Like my blog on this topic notes, there is a difference between being nice and being a pushover.
3. You can’t help who you fall for
Falling in love is not something that happens overnight (or at first sight if you ask me). While love is something we cannot just change or switch off, we do have control over the process of falling in love. We can recognise when we are starting to fancy someone and can choose whether to develop our feelings further by opening ourselves up and building a connection.
Bustle spoke to dating coach Laura Bilotta, who believes ‘Falling in love is definitely a choice. You have to let your guard down and be vulnerable in order to fall’… ‘if you don’t allow yourself to get to know someone than you’re also choosing to not fall in love.’
Telling ourselves we can’t help how we feel gives us permission to make bad relationship choices. Instead of blaming ourselves for dating the wrong person, we can say, ‘It’s not my fault, I couldn’t control how I felt.’
4. You should play hard to get
I watched a video yesterday of a dating coach telling women to play hard to get because men are ‘hunters’ who want to hunt and take charge. This type of advice makes women wait around all day checking their phones because they don’t want to be the first to text.
According to Business Insider, there is no evidence to suggest playing hard will make someone interested. If anything, it may make a person believe you don’t want them to pursue things further.
A healthier alternative is to work on staying balanced. This means not running away with your feelings in the beginning by obsessively analysing and checking your phone. It is easy to get caught up and make someone a priority before you are even certain they are worth dating.
5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
If my boyfriend went away for a week, I would be more excited than usual to see him again. I understand the notion of absence making us appreciate our loved ones. However, sustained periods apart does not sound like a recipe for love.
Love grows with intimacy and connection. Many of us fall in love with our partners after a few months when we have removed our guards and spent adequate time learning those cute habits as well as the somewhat irritating ones.
While I am not suggesting long-distance relationships do not work, they are much harder to manage. With time apart, we can feel vulnerable. Our feelings of missing someone can turn to insecurity and possibly resentment.