5 Beliefs that Keep You From LoveReal difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~Theodore N. Vail
Like most young girls, I dreamed of having a fairytale romance when I grew up. I wanted the declarations of love, flowers and breathtaking kisses in the moonlight. He would be handsome, appear at just the right time and whisk me away to my beautiful new life.
What actually happened in my romantic life turned out to be very different from what I dreamed of as a girl. My journey included many dating mishaps, a few relationships, one marriage and over a decade of single parenthood.
When I look back, I see that much of my heartache stemmed from expectations that were unrealistic. It’s easy to absorb romantic myths and think that they are true, but doing so can hinder your chances at real love.
If you believe any of these myths, your love life won’t be all it can be. Take a look and consider whether any of these beliefs are affecting your expectations in relationships.
Myth #1 – The Soul Mate
It’s so romantic to believe that you have a soul mate — that there is some wonderful person out there who is perfect for you and all you need to do is meet him. Then sparks will fly, bells will ring and the rest will be cake.
How many people does this actually happen to? If you hold out for a soul mate, you’re missing a lot of opportunities to be with someone real now.
- You have many possible soul mates. The idea that there is only one person for you and that they will be perfect is unrealistic and destructive to your love life.
- There are no perfect people. When you meet someone new and don’t get bowled over by a tidal wave of love, it doesn’t you can’t be great together. Most good things take time to build.
- Think about the last three people you felt insane amounts of chemistry for. Where are those people now? Do you really need to go down that road again?
- Your ideal mate is someone who is kind to you, shares your relationship goals and is available to have a relationship with you now.
Sometimes, the idea of having a soul mate is simply an excuse not to be active in your own life. This belief absolves you of responsibility for spending years alone because you haven’t met your soul mate yet. Don’t fall for it.
Myth #2 – If It’s Meant to Be It Will Happen
It can seem just plain wrong to be practical when it comes to love. We all want to believe in magic and romance. Love itself is magical, but counting on magic to bring someone into your life is not realistic.
Our culture actually encourages us to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to love and romance. One of the most destructive of these false expectations is the belief that love is supposed to just happen, and if you do anything at all to find it you are desperate.
- Consider logic. When else in your life did you ever wait for something to show up on your doorstep because it would “just happen” if it were meant to be?
- Anyone who has enjoyed a decent measure of success in life has learned to work for a desired outcome. It is something that we expect to do.
- Once you have a great person in your life, does it really matter where you met them? Is it really so bad if you have to go to some singles events or date online if you find the person of your dreams in the end?
- Putting in some effort to reach for your dreams is not desperate — it’s smart.
Making a plan of action for finding love may not sound very romantic, but being in that loving relationship sure does.
If you want to meet someone special, take some action. Fill out an online profile, talk to people when you’re out and about, go to singles events and chat up someone new. Love is worth the effort.
Myth #3 – You Just Haven’t Met the Right Person Yet
It’s easy to think that it can take years of searching and angst to meet one other human being on this vast planet who is suitable for you. Although it can be challenging to find the right person, it’s not impossible.
Chances are that it’s more than fate keeping love out of your life and there are definitely steps you can take to improve your situation.
Here’s why you haven’t met the right person yet:
- You’ve given up. You want it to just happen, and you’re not doing anything to help it along.
- You’re too busy with the wrong person. It’s possible to burn years on unfulfilling relationships that go nowhere. These relationships leave us jaded and needing time alone to recover.
- You’re not the right person (yet). This may be the most pervasive reason of all. In order to have the right person in your life, you need to be the right person.
If you think you just haven’t met the right person, consider whether any of these three statements are true for you, and address them now. Doing so will increase your chances of meeting someone right for you dramatically.
Myth #4 – The One That Got Away
Sometimes you meet someone who seems really special. Maybe you felt safe with him or life was wonderful and exciting when she was around. You hoped it could last forever.
You were crazy about her and you know you will never meet anyone like that again. The relationship is over now, but you still think about him. Believing that this person was the one and only human you could ever be happy with is dangerous to your romantic future.
- The one that got away wasn’t the One. This person did not see your value. To spend any time hoping for the return of someone who left you is to refuse to be open to the one who will love you and create a life with you.
- Do you really think he’s secretly pining for you while he’s taking his new girlfriend out on the town? Face the fact that it is totally, irrevocably over and take the time to mourn the relationship. You must move on if you are ever to find happiness.
- The one that got away is a figment of your imagination at this point. It is impossible for anyone new to compete with what you’ve made him or her out to be in your mind. Realize that as time goes by it is common to lose touch with the way things really were.
Don’t let your past keep you from having an amazing life. It’s time to let go of anything that is keeping you from having the love you want to have. The one that got away has moved on, and it’s time for you to do the same.
Myth #5 – You Shouldn’t Have Expectations in Dating
When you go to work every day, you expect to get paid. When you head out to the gym you hope to get in shape. Every action, great or small, is undertaken with a hoped-for outcome. Dating is no exception.
There’s nothing wrong with having some expectations in dating and relationships.
- Having expectations for how you will be treated identifies you as a quality person. When you have expectations, it shows that you value yourself.
- Having expectations provides internal structure. If you have expectations of a beautiful relationship, you won’t be so hot for a “friends with benefits” arrangement. You’ll make decisions that are consistent with what you want instead of sabotaging yourself.
- Have expectations for your overall relationship goals, not for outcomes on individual dates. You can still have a perfectly wonderful date with someone who doesn’t end up being the One.
Expectations are a good, natural part of life as long as you are honest about them and take responsibility for them. Hidden expectations cause trouble. Own your desires, don’t apologize for them or deny their existence.
These five beliefs are very common and can be toxic to your love life. Most people believe at least one of them.
The thing that all of these myths have in common is that believing them puts you in the passenger’s seat in your very own life. If you really want to have a beautiful relationship, it’s time to find out how you may be getting in your own way.
Examining your beliefs and taking charge of your own life is the best way to have the wonderful relationship and life you dream of having.