Generally speaking, Hollywood creates a love story that is unrealistic and too perfect – sweeping romanticism, grand gestures, dying for love, epic tragedies.  These romance movies draw us in emotionally and touch our souls, tricking us to believe that’s what real love looks like. I’m guilty of loving these movies, but I understand that the love stories in most of these movies are not sustainable.  And if you’re looking for success in your next relationship, I suggest not setting your expectations based on Hollywood.


Here are 5 ways Hollywood gets real love wrong:


  1. Love is all you need

“All you need is love. Love conquers all.”

Love alone can’t solve all the problems let’s be honest. You need to have other important things, like loyalty, trust, purpose and meaning.


2.  You cannot walk away from love

“No matter the price, you cannot walk away from love”

No, sometimes you have to walk away. There are plenty of good reasons.


3.  Love is not being able to live without that person

“Can’t live, if living is without you”

You can live without him/her. It would be unhealthy and obsessive not to be able to.


4. A love that never dies

“Our love is forever”

Love is so much more than a feeling. Love can be broken down into physical response, emotional intimacy, and commitment. And to stay in love takes work. Human nature makes us work for love. Love doesn’t endure all.


5. Love is a single soul inhabiting two bodies

“Soul mates.”

Ahh the idea that there’s only one other person for you. You can choose to fall in love with that person, but if it doesn’t work out, chances are there are others out there for you. Not only is it very possible to experience real love with more than one person in a lifetime, it’s possible to fall in love with more than one person at a time.


There are movies out there that teach us real love lessons. Lessons about moving on after a breakup, choosing love with someone new, getting caught up in “what ifs” and not appreciating what life actually is, the value of a broken heart, accepting your partner’s flaws, hardships of codependency, creating arbitrary rules for a relationship, growing apart, alternatives to monogamy, and so much more.


The key is to not get caught up in a fantasy of a fairy tale. True love, the kind in real life with all its imperfections and struggles is something to be treasured.  True love is about looking at a relationship from a different lens. A lens that sees beauty in imperfection and connection as something more than "butterflies"...it sees love as a reflection of the complexity of being human.