MANY of us who grew up reading Mills and Boon and Harlequin romance novels have conjured up our own ideas of what true love really is. Many feel that love is long-lasting, that once you fall in love you will live happily ever after, and still others feel that love is having someone in their lives that they will always be able to count on.
While love, at least the dictionary definition, is "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person", it's also not some of the things we've been led to, or have convinced ourselves, to believe.
Indeed, as the women below point out, there are some outright lies about the emotion that have to be corrected if one wants to indeed find real true love.
Here are some lies, and the truths.
1. Love is blind.
"Love is not blind," Denise Blackwood told All Woman emphatically. "I grew up hearing that love is blind, but people just choose to see what they want to see when they want to see it. They just ignore the reality of the person they claim to love simply because they are overwhelmed with the person at the time."
Blackwood said her personal experience has taught her this lesson, since when she met her partner he could do no wrong in her sight. However, looking back years after the split, she realised that the signs were right before her eyes from the start. He would never offer to help out with the bills, he always kept tabs on her whereabouts (though she found it cute at the time) and never bonded well with his own children.
They broke up after living together for three years because he refused to help her foot the bills, became obsessive and abusive and treated her son with disdain.
And even the other definition of 'love is blind' is incorrect too, Natalie Scott said.
"Don't go into a relationship with someone who is unattractive but who's 'nice' on the premise that 'love is blind'," she warned. "Love is not blind. It's desperation that is blind when you're almost 40 and still single. And when the nice, not-so-attractive guy loses his niceness, your eyes will open to your mistake."
2. If you love someone, you will always love them.
Jevene R, said this is a lie she has stopped believing. "I was in love with this police guy. He treated me like a queen. I was fresh out of high school when we met and we planned to get married in three years. You would never see one of us without the other and I was truly in love with him."
Then the bombshell. A year and a half into the relationship, her sister became pregnant. Her boyfriend was the father.
"That was about 17 years ago," Jevene said. "Today, I look at him and feel nothing. In fact, I just wonder how I could have loved him."
3. When you fall in love, you will live happily ever after.
"Happily ever after does not exist," Marion Brown, who was abused in a relationship, said. "When lick start ketch you and man a kick you down and not supporting him pickney, tell me seh love is happily ever after."
4. Love is getting butterflies in your stomach when you see/hear the other person.
Rachel White said she has never experienced butterflies in her stomach when she is with her husband of 11 years, but knew from the moment they met at a church function that she was in love with him.
5. Opposites attract.
"Opposites destroy relationships. I have proven that," Linette Thomas said. "How can opposites attract when two people are pulling in two different directions? I broke up with my long-term guy because he is selfish and insensitive and I am the opposite. I would give my last to make him happy and he couldn't give a damn about my feelings. Foolishness that," she said.
6. You can make someone love you.
Cynthia McDonald said she does not believe it is in anyone's power to make someone else love them.
"There is nothing you can do to make someone fall in love with you," she said.
Karey Mitchell, who got pregnant on purpose, concurred. "Love is not something you can force on someone. If he loves you, he does, if he doesn't he doesn't. Neither stew peas nor pregnancy nor prayer will change his mind if he's not feeling you."
7. You'll always feel 'in love' with the person you love.
"The feeling will wear off after a while, and what's left is the work you put in with your partner," Tanya Richards, married for five years, said. "Don't be fooled by the people who say they still hear bells, 12 years later. Sure you love the person, but after a while, it's more of a companionship — a deeper, mature love. So don't expect to be giddy with love forever. After the giddiness comes the dirty socks on the floor and dealing with cheating and the mortgage and infertility etc. And sometimes you'll even hate them, but you still love them.... deep, deep down."