Debunking love myths - Life lessons from media references
Love, romance, relationships, dating, call it whatever you like, it is a tricky landscape. Before we actually find ourselves in relationships, a lot of the game begins ‘upstairs’. Hence why you really want to prime your mind to be in the best mental space for when you enter into one.
It is a bit of a jungle out there with the steady diet of myths, common media stereotypes, voices and opinions of friends and family. It just seems as if everybody wants to cast a vote in your love life. Stop for a moment and consider that some of the old washed out advice and sayings need to be replaced by some fresh and positive alternatives. Here are some bits and pieces of love quotes, and popular media references that we would like to blast to smithereens for a more positive, upbeat and self empowered stance when it comes to love.
1. 'Someday my prince will come' - Snow White
Bless her dear little heart. When we were young and impressionable we all really loved fairytales and animated movies, but there comes a time when we have to look at things from a more mature and seasoned stance, take just a little step back and examine some of what we heard from Snow White with a slightly larger magnifying glass.
Rewrite the message:
Whether you are in a relationship or not, let’s hope that you have never sat hopelessly and helplessly pining for your prince or princess ‘Charming’ to enter into your life. The problem with the Snow White scenario is that the movie paints an all too clear image of what we shouldn’t be doing - sitting around waiting for someone to enter into our lives and bring with them a little ray of sunshine. At the end of the day, having a relationship is not a cure, a band aid or a fix to soothe your painfully single state. Even as a singleton, your should be having fun, going out, getting excited about life, hobbies, interests and pursuits, regardless of whether you form a romantic relationship or not. Whilst love and romance is exciting it is not the ultimate achievement that there is in life.
Personal Mantra to switch to:
- I am my own hero!
- I am committed to working on me, my skills and abilities before I introduce anybody into my life
- I write the script
- I CAN create my own destiny!
2. 'I love you, you complete me....' - Jerry Maguire
'You had me at hello' - Dorothy
There are two glaringly huge warning bells that sound immediately upon hearing this. Hopefully the sun never dawns on a day when you ever utter two such statements.
Firstly - ‘You complete me’ - You are your own person, with your very own special brand of thoughts, hopes, feelings and aspirations. That in itself should be something beautiful that you celebrate each day. The idea of two people being involved in a relationship where they complete one another only raises the alarm that both individuals are not fulfilled separately, individuals. Which begs the question, if you are not complete, happy and secure within yourself as an individual, why would you want to involve another person in your chaos and instability?
Secondly - ‘You had me at hello’- How to put this mildly… You need to get some standards! Too many times in life, we find that we accept far less than we should, in our hope to acquiesce our loved ones come across as accommodating, lovable and accepted. So much so that we could end up forgetting our set of values, what’s okay with us and what we stand for? Movies and fantasy aside, we need to be able to require a whole lot more from our partners and hold them to a far higher standard and that can only come from us defining and raising our own standards.
Take some time for reflection. You may argue that nobody is ever entirely whole and complete, whatever that is, but the truth is that you can come close to living the best quality of life possible.
- Pursue interests
- Make time for hobbies
- Connect with your spirit
3. ‘I love you so much it hurts’ – Ray Charles
Though Ray Charles may not have insidious intentions when he produced this song, the message in itself may be a bit damaging. Love is not supposed to hurt. If you have come to a point where you interpret dysfunction as normality, you need to examine the core of your life, the values that you have grown up with and your present state of mind. The emotional traits of jealousy, possessiveness, being territorial and emotionally dependent on somebody else are not tokens and evidence of somebody being in love with you. But rather of somebody who is ill adjusted in their own lives and trying to force their will upon you.
Rewrite the message
There are so many positive reasons as to why a person may choose to love someone and equally many positive and amazing ways in which to express this love.
- Write a letter, tell your loved one how much they mean to you
- Get poetic write a few descriptive words about them and capture them on short video
- Do something meaningful for them in their lives- do they love back rubs, a particular type of chocolate or sport, put a sparkle in their eyes, by getting them something meaningful as a gift.
4. Shut up and kiss me – Various movies and music videos
Rewrite the message
There are many moments in life where we’ve heard this line ‘Shut up and kiss me’ and we’ve possibly thought, how sweet, amazing and romantic! Or is it really? When these words are uttered we imagine that it is usually at the moment in a movie when a dark and brooding hero has finally snapped and wants nothing more than to overcome his desire by grabbing a few hot kisses with the object of his affections.
But look deeper, is this is really as innocuous as you imagine? Or is it a ploy to silence the other person’s point of view before even listening to what they have to say. Instead of reaching this point in a relationship surely there are ways in which to communicate what you have to say.
Yes, a hot, passionate embrace may be a temporary fix to a bigger problem, but once that is done, the same problems and issues remain. So what is the way forward?
- Listen to each other
- Decide in times of peace and stability how you would deal with unrest and instability when it happens.
- Practice empathy
5. “I’m… just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”- Notting Hill
Consider that if you have to be asking someone to love you, that perhaps that person is taking up more space than is necessary in your life. Love and associated emotion should be given freely between two people if you are in any doubt as to whether a person loves you, question who in the relationship is withholding affection and why.
Rewrite the message
- Define who you are, what you are about.
- Know your values
- Find the ‘click factor’ between you and your significant other. If there is too little that is similar or too much that is different between the two, you may seriously want to consider why it is that you two are around each other in the first place. Do not force a connection that simply isn’t there.
At the end of the day, we can’t steel our hearts against each and every cheesy media reference that there is out there, and we definitely don’t have to view every single one with suspicion. However we can observe, keep our eyes open and ears peeled and exercise our freedom of choice when it comes to the messages that we take to heart.