The myth of romantic love as propagated by our culture is that we are destined to meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after with the one. This illusion first starts to take shape when were we children reading and watching fairy tales of beautiful princesses meeting and falling in love with their handsome princes. I think as adults all of us secretly hope or hoped that when we meet or met the right person, we would live happily ever after in perfect union and harmony, and since the match is perfect, we would be able to satisfy all of each other’s needs forever and ever. What seems like an innocent fantasy of ball gowns, horse-drawn carriages and swooning princes is actually quite influential in perverting and distorting our perception of love.

It comes as quite a shock when we start to experience that our beloved prince or princess no longer seems to want to satisfy all of our needs as they did when we were under the spell of falling in love. Friction starts to arise, we no longer feel perfectly in sync, we fall out of love, and then begin to plague ourselves with the dreadful thought that we may have made a mistake and did not, in fact, end up with our one true love, our soul mate. We start to believe that maybe what we thought was love was not actually the real thing and are now doomed to either live unhappily ever after or get divorced.

This myth of romantic love is a dreadful lie. And although this commentary is a simplistic explanation, there are countless couples who are either ashamed of the fact that they are no longer in deeply romantic love with their partner (a stage in most healthy relationships that is only present for a time at the beginning) and thus put on a image of marital bliss for others, meanwhile experiencing deep sadness or depression around the fact that their relationship is not what it appears to be. Or they may say to themselves “I am no longer as in love with my partner as I was in the beginning, therefore I must have chosen the wrong person,” which also leaves one with feelings of sadness, depression, and regret.

At the same time, there are lots and lots of couples who invest in, work on, create, and experience long-term or life-long mutually satisfying, healthy relationships. What’s the secret? If the fairy tale version is not love, what is?

What does it take to love someone and stay committed to them? I’m interested to hear what my readers have to say about their views on love. Please share by leaving a reply just below.