True love: everything you need to know

Doubts about the existence of true love? Today we reflect on this to dispel some myths.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on November 16, 2021.

Last update: November 16, 2021

Love is an idea that is anchored to social paradigms. It is for this reason that each society has its own concept, one that its citizens assimilate throughout their lives. Movies, television, cartoons, education and religious beliefs, among other variables, also help shape what is believed of him. Faced with all this, where is true love?

Many think that true love is a utopia. Others that it is a construction to sell romance novels and chain film successes. It is also called romantic love, and for some it is the recipe that allows a relationship to flourish for years and years. Today we reflect on the matter hand in hand with the contributions of science.

Is there true love?

It depends on what is meant by true love. As we have already explained to you in our article on what love is, it is impossible to separate this experience from biochemical processes. Quickly, the brain releases hormones specific to each of the stages of love (lust, attraction and attachment).

This is why you do not feel the same the first month as when a couple of years of relationship have already passed. An article published in Psychological Review in 2002 suggested that the basis of authentic prosociality can be explained through brain processes, so that what is known as true love does exist.

However, as the evidence points out, the experience of love does not manifest itself in the same way in all people. There are many variables that determine what an individual believes love to be. For example, some experts point out that the influence of cinema determines what is thought about love (especially during youth). Others highlight the experience of family and friends.

In this sense, we can summarize that there is no unitary idea of ​​what true love is. Despite this, and although it is not unitary, it does not imply that there are no patterns that some people associate as such. It is therefore convenient to harmonize the ocean of doubts that we have regarding it, something that we will do in the next section.

7 things you should know about true love

Many of the things we discuss below contradict much of what you know about true love. However, almost everything that is claimed to be known about him is forged on the basis of myths. The less the following ideas will make you reflect.

1. There is no better half

There are many compatible couples, both for traits and for shared goals, so it is worth exploring until you find someone ideal.

Also known as soulmate, is perhaps one of the most irrational ideas around true love. In ancient times this term was used literally; that is, somewhere on the planet there was a person who shared part of our soul, so fate was that they were together again.

Although it is true that today this idea is used with less mysticism, part of it is still shared. The problem with believing in a better half is that it sets unrealistic expectations. Expectations that, when not satisfied, end in disappointment. Ultimately, to think that true love is only achieved by getting our soul mate is to wander the path of idealism.

2. True love is founded on projects and goals

When a person thinks of true love, they usually do so in a very romantic context. He forgets that, in reality, the most important thing about him are shared projects and goals. It doesn’t matter how much you feel towards someone, or what someone feels towards you: if there are no common goals, any relationship is doomed.

Let’s take the most popular example: raising a child. If for you it is essential as your life goal to have a child, your ideal partner is the one who also shares this project. Otherwise, one of the two will end up directing his life along boundaries that he did not intend to travel. Paths that, sooner or later, will frustrate you and make you unhappy.

3. There is no such thing as and they lived happily ever after

The end of every romantic tale is this, why can’t it then be transliterated into real life? Well, partly because novels, movies, series, and fairy tales are fiction; and fiction takes licenses that cannot be taken in reality.

Are there love stories that end this way? Yes, of course. Is it something that is true in all cases? Not at all. No true relationship is always surrounded by happiness, as you will encounter frustrations, fights, upsets, and anger along the way. This should also be interpreted as true love can also have an expiration date.

4. Deep down it is built on friendship

Many think that the love of a couple is nothing more than a more intense manifestation of the love you profess for a friend. Following this postulate, a couple relationship is a friendship relationship that has been cultivated in a more intense way. There can be no love without friendship, so this is the substrate on which goals, projects and common objectives are planted.

So your true love will be your best friend. He will play a double role, one that you will also not be able to distinguish because it is intertwined. Without a true friendship, any relationship hangs in the balance, not to mention that it is a direct path to dissatisfaction.

5. True love cannot end in suffering

True love can only reap pleasure, not suffering. These words can be revealing, you may not even believe them. However, they only reflect a reality. After all, love can only cultivate pleasure, enjoyment, satisfaction, and delight.

Surely you are wondering the following: then what happens with heartbreak? Well, heartbreak does not contradict the previous postulate: you suffer from heartbreak when there is absence of love, not when you have it. In addition, many of the feelings associated with him are actually the result of jealousy, attachment or pathological dependence, not consequences of love itself.

6. It cannot be imposed or compelled

Love must be genuine, natural, passionate, and beautiful. When it is forced, everything that is tried to build ends up falling.

It seems like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be emphasized: you can’t force someone to love you. You cannot pretend that a person feels the same affection that you towards him, since true love cannot be imposed or forced.

Understanding this is very important, and will even allow you to quickly overcome heartbreak episodes. Of course, it is something that you apply in conjunction with the above.

When you understand that there is no soul mate, that love is built on projects, that it has an expiration date, that it is founded on friendship, that it does not lead to suffering and you add this postulate, you recover better after a failed relationship.

7. You do not reach it without first looking for it

To what we have already exposed we add an additional reflection: true love is something you should look for, not that it comes to you by magic. This is a very frequent mistake, since when you have an idealistic vision of this experience, you will believe that it will come without you looking for it.

On the contrary, you can only find that person with whom you want to share part of your life when you are willing to receive it. Also, when you make the right decisions that lead to it. Locked up in your room you will never be able to find that love you long for in your life.

We hope that these reflections will be of great help to you. Whether you share some of them or not, the important thing is that you give yourself a space to consider them. You may not have been able to experience love in all its glory because you keep making some of the mistakes noted above.

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