Not all romantic quotes are true. Some sow the seeds of discontent or even divorce.
‘Tis the season for weddings. And if you’re like most people you probably wonder how many of the couples who walk down the aisle are going to make it – especially if you’re one of the couples walking down the aisle!
Like anything in life, beliefs and expectations have a lot to do with whether or not a couple will make it.
That’s why when I saw this list of romantic quotes about love and marriage that I got worried. Many of these quotes romanticize love and marriage so much that anyone who takes them to heart will have a difficult (or maybe impossible) time keeping their marriage intact.
Let me give you a few of examples.
“That’s when you know for sure that somebody loves you. They figure out what you need and they give it to you – without you asking.” Adriana Trigiani
OMG! Really?! This is an absolute recipe for disaster. Marriages take work and maintaining love takes work. The obsession of new love wears off over time and an expectation that your spouse will continue to read your mind and know exactly what you need exactly when you need it is the stuff of epic battles and destroyed feelings.
Lasting love requires that a couple learns to communicate about all things – especially those things that they would like from each other.
“I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.” Henry Ward Beecher
The first time I read this quote in relation to marriage my stomach turned. When one spouse worships the other or expects to be worshiped, they create huge amounts of distance in the relationship. The one being worshiped is placed on a pedestal and is expected to live up to unrealistic expectations. The one doing the worshiping usually feels less than their spouse.
Marriage works best (and most easily) when it’s between two equals – not when one spouse is superior to the other.
“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” Sarah Dessen
On the surface, this quote is beautiful. The problem comes when couples believe this is the only way true love appears or that it should maintain this flash and throb without effort on their parts.
True love isn’t always so dramatic when it appears. True love can also appear as a slow smile started in friendship that gradually blossoms into a radiant smile of bliss. There are no rules about how love happens so expectations about there being only one way to know you’re in love can lead to both heartbreak and missing out on the love of a life time.
“Your absence has not taught me to be alone, it merely has shown that when together we cast a single shadow on the wall.” Doug Fetherling
YIKES! Does anyone else feel smothered when they read this?
Every healthy couple needs to be able to have time alone together and separately. It’s by each spouse being a whole and complete person on their own that they can bring all of themself to the marriage and not expect the other to complete them (which we all know is a recipe for disaster).
Not all romantic quotes about love and marriage set you up for a rocky (at best) marriage. Some of them are beautiful and speak the truth.
“I don’t want to be somebody’s crush. If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am.” Stephen Chbosky
Being 100% you without either of you hiding behind a mask is the surest way to know if your love is true. And that can be a tricky thing especially over time because we all change and grow. So the challenge is to continue communicating and learning about yourself and your spouse throughout your marriage.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin
This quote hints at the effort involved in keeping a marriage alive. Sometimes I think of it more as waking up each and every morning and making the decision to love my husband today – even on those days when I’m not feeling especially loving.
And that’s truly the test of a marriage – choosing to do it even when it might not be the easiest thing in the world because you’ve decided it’s worth it. Anyone who can do this day in and day out will have a successful marriage despite what the overly romantic quotes might lead you to believe.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who are struggling with an unhappy marriage and wondering if they can make it work. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you're ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.
Looking for more help with and information about marriage work? Read more advice in Unhappy Marriage?
This article originally appeared on Marriage.com.