After growing up with romantic movies like Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman, in a home full of love and strength between my parents, it's easy to look back and see why my idea of love and relationships has been a little skewed over the years. Expectations of romance and happy endings can lead to even greater disappointment than heartache, so here are the five beliefs I had to let go of in order to find true love:
1. If a man over 40 is still single, there's a reason.
This isn't always true. Sometimes it's a simple case of timing. We don't all meet the right people in our 20s or even our 30s. We don't always have the right life situation to allow the relationship to flourish even when we do. Judge a man by his character, not his history.
2. You can change a man if you try hard enough.
You've been with him for years; he still says he doesn't want kids or to get married, but you keep holding onto hope. I've yet to see this story have a happy ending. Believe them when they say they don't want something. Whether it's with you or just in general, he's not lying. Men CAN change but not at your pace and not because of you.
3. Dating apps are a waste of time.
Love can be found on a dating app/site, and I speak from personal experience. I met my first love on Tinder. If you date smart, you can meet people whose paths you'd never otherwise cross.
4. Love conquers all.
There's only one person who can ever heal someone, and it's that person themselves. Don't try to save someone. It's as
futile as trying to change them. If they're carrying old baggage from relationships, childhood, whatever—unless they are willing to heal
themselves, you can't heal them. You can never travel someone's path for them, no matter how much you love them. Trust me.
5. Love is enough.
One of the toughest lessons of my own journey was learning this. Love alone isn't enough. Despite what the movies tell you, happy
endings don't just materialize. A strong, sustainable relationship is like a jigsaw puzzle. If the important things aren't aligning in some way, then you aren't aligning. If you can't agree on how to think, act, connect, and live together, it doesn't matter how much you love someone. It won't work.