Romantic Doesn't Make It Real

BY: - 7 Jul '10 | Relationships

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by Aja Dorsey Jackson

Negative images of love and marriage are visible almost everywhere you look. On the other hand, we hold true love up to these impossible ideals, leading us to believe that anything falling short of those isn’t true love. I have recently begun to pay more attention to some of the common sayings and ideas about love and come to realize that a lot of them just don’t make any sense.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

I was online looking at reactions to this quote and there were several that suggested that with true love there should never be any reason to have to say sorry because you wouldn’t hurt one another. I can’t think of any eloquent way to say how I feel about that suggestion so I will just say: That’s crap. In reality love means having to say you’re sorry. Love means having to say you’re sorry sometimes when you don’t even feel like saying sorry just to keep the peace. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you are no longer human and therefore incapable of inflicting pain on the person you love. Often lines get crossed and we hurt one another unknowingly. Sometimes we hurt one another out of anger. It inevitably happens, and being able to recognize that and include the words “I’m sorry” in your vocabulary can be an important part of keeping your love life intact.

“When you know, you just know.”

The problem that I have with this quote is that it seems to assume that love always strikes like a lightning bolt and then feels undeniably certain from there on out. While I am not saying that it cannot happen like this, I don’t think that it is everyone’s experience. Love, especially when it comes to marriage, can be scary. As sure as I was that I wanted to get married, there were moments leading up to our wedding that I felt uncertain and afraid. I remember talking to a married friend about it who told me “You’re about to vow to spend the rest of your life with someone. It’s supposed to be scary.” Knowing that it was okay for love to come with a little bit of fear made me feel better about my nervousness when it came to taking the plunge.

“True love at first sight”

There are undoubtedly people who met and say they have fallen in love at first sight and have gone on to stay together for a lifetime. I won’t say that this is impossible just because it has never happened to me. What I will say is that whatever that initial feeling is, whether it is love, lust or some combination, is a feeling and is not the same love that it takes to maintain a relationship for a lifetime. That initial love feeling is something that you somehow slip, fall and end up in. But the true love that comes from commitment really is a choice. True love to me is a decision to love someone through your actions, regardless of how tender and loving you may feel in that moment. I don’t know if that level of true love is something that happens upon the first meeting.

Do you have anything to add to my list of romantic myths?

Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer and public relations consultant in Baltimore, Maryland. Find out more about her at www.ajadorseyjackson.com or follow her on twitter @ajajackson.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2229 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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2 WordPress comments on “Romantic Doesn't Make It Real

  1. reefinyateef

    My contribution to this list is the myth that men somehow take longer than women to “mature” to the love stage. This supposedly justifies some women dating exclusively above their age, but I've seen little boys (and girls) at all ages.

    1. Aja Dorsey Jackson

      I heard that a few times I was getting married because my husband is my age ( a couple months younger) I had a couple of people tell me that he was too young even though we are the same age because the fact that I am a woman meant I was more mature. I agree with you Reef, I have met immature women and men of all ages.

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An Arranged Marriage Is Not Such a Bad Idea

BY: - 7 Jul '10 | Relationships

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by Tiya Cunningham-Sumter

My husband and I are raising two great girls who are going to (prayerfully) grow up to be two great women. Based on the values we are teaching, GOD first, self-love and self-respect, family and education are just a few of the many values we want our girls to walk away with. As they get older we hope that they will continue in the way that we’ve taught and choose future spouses that mirror those same ideas. In our circle, we have friends that are raising their children in similar ways. As I watch them and know that their children will also (prayerfully) grow up to be great people, I started to understand why in other cultures (like some Indian cultures), arranged marriages were a preferred choice.

As a child the concept of arranged marriages made absolutely no sense to me. I thought no one should have a say in who you love or spend the rest of your life with. Although I do not have the power or the desire to arrange a marriage, I can relate to the idea behind it. We all want the absolute best for our children and their futures. If you were able to see how the mate your child will choose was raised, wouldn’t it ease your concerns as to whether or not they chose the right person? If it was a person your child knew and grew up with, wouldn’t it make you feel more comfortable? For me, it absolutely would. But in wanting the best for their futures, I must also seek their happiness. So even though we are longtime friends with a great couple who have two great little boys the same ages as our daughters, I will allow my girls to live and love as they choose, for the most part. But I will be there to help heal any broken hearts and there to cheer when they do fall in love and settle down. If it happens to be one of our friends’ little boys, of course I would be pleased. But in the meantime, I will stay out of their matters of the heart. So, although I would never arrange a marriage, I do understand.

BMWK, what are your thoughts on arranged marriages?

By Tiya Cunningham-Sumter, a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, Founder of Life Editing, creator of The Black Wives’ Club and an Administrator of Still Dating My Spouse. Tiya resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2229 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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