We are inundated with messages about what is love from all sides, dating advice columns, songs, movies, media etc. But it is important to exercise judgment and be selective about which definition we follow.
Because more often than not the messages that have ingrained in us through media are actually harmful behaviors and have nothing to do with authentic love.
Here is a list of 4 behaviors that media tells us are romantic but are actually harmful:
Myth No. 1
Jealousy & possessiveness is a sign of love
We have been fed this illusion that if your partner really loves you deeply, they will feel deep & intense emotions like jealousy and possessiveness for you.
Jealousy is an intense emotion for sure, but not of a positive kind.
If you feel possessive about your partner & get jealous if they spend more time with others and try to restrict their social life so that they stay only with you, you are considering them as an object that you own and not as a human being.
It is not love because in the process, you are negating their very presence as a living being and reducing their identity to an inanimate object.
Each individual is independent and has a right to have their own social life and pursue their dreams and passions.
Myth No. 2
Having no boundaries in a romantic relationship is a sign of deeper intimacy.
This is another common illusion that is fostered by media that if you are in an intimate relationship, you should have no boundaries.
That’s utter bullshit.
Healthy boundaries are a prerequisite for a healthy relationship. On the other hand, when partners fail to create any healthy boundaries, they tend to get caught up in the unhealthy relationship patterns of codependency.
Let’s understand what healthy boundaries are.
Setting healthy boundaries means you communicate clearly with your partner, who you are, what do you want, what your beliefs & value systems are?
On the other hand, respecting someone’s boundaries means understanding what someone finds uncomfortable and not doing that thing.
A healthy relationship is one where both partners know how to communicate and respect each other’s boundaries.
It is build between two mature independent individuals who come together in an interdependent relationship .It is when two people come together and inspire each other to reach their highest potential without losing their individuality in the process.
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” – Khalil Gibran
Myth No. 3
Constant arguments are a sign of chemistry.
Another misconception instilled by media is that the most romantic couples are the ones who fight, break up and then get back together only to repeat the entire cycle again.
While this high intensity roller coaster ride might look like a sign of a passion filled love affair but it is actually not healthy.
I am not stating that healthy couples have zero arguments. Every couple has their share of disagreements and arguments.But if any relationship involves constant conflicts that get abusive to the point that the partners end up breaking up again and again, it is a sign that the relationship is toxic.