10 Misconceptions People Have About Falling in Love

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Pickup artists, and pretty much every type of media, like to tell people all about how love works. But most of the time what they are selling is total nonsense. Many of the tropes in movies, video games and the suggestions of countless supposed charmers of the opposite gender are not only wrong, but can make the challenge of finding love that much more difficult. If people could get past many of these myths and false barriers, it would be much easier for them to find that special someone to spend the rest of their life with.

10. Children Are Mean To Other Children They Secretly Like

Many television programs and novels have done their level best to reinforce this, to the point that many people believe this entirely bogus idea. There is no support for the popular idea that children who romantically like each other at a young age are mean to each other. Children are simply selfish, and aren’t even interested in romance yet.

Relationships develop when children get older and start to become interested in dating and romance. At that point truly lasting pairs happen when there is mutual kindness, friendship and interest. Many of the confused beliefs people have come back to Freud’s obsession that children are subconsciously interested in their parents.

It was his belief that before children knew it, they were interested in their opposite gendered parent sexually, and afraid of retribution for their same gendered parent for feeling such. In order to fit in they would then model themselves after the same gendered parent, to avoid appearing as a threat. While psychologists no longer believe in these notions, Freud’s theories have still had a lasting effect on the popular mindset.

9. Knocking Someone’s Self Esteem Is A Ticket To Relationship Town

Commonly known as ‘negging’, those who push the dark arts will often try to dress it up in nicer terms. However, in the end the idea is to call into question the person’s own self confidence whenever possible, often being very subtle about it in order to slowly bring them down. This is both morally reprehensible, and also a completely ludicrous idea.

Relationships built in this manner hardly ever last long and nearly always have a great deal of drama. Messing with someone’s confidence on purpose is only going to create a strife filled relationship, that won’t be worth the small pleasures you would be able to glean from it.

8. Girls Prefer Borderline Arrogance in Guys

While everyone knows that pretty much every person finds confidence attractive on a certain level, there is always a way to overdo it. Many of the pickup artist types will tell those willing to listen to them that it is important to aggressively assert yourself, and that girls do not like “wimpy” guys, who aren’t willing to be man enough.

This approach nearly always fails. While some women may find stereotypically masculine men attractive, the more arrogant men will just end up turning off any possible attraction. Confidence is good, but the way the trait is described by pick up artists is nonsense. One of Vice’s subsidiaries interviewed some experts on wolves, the animals pick up artists are usually referring to when they talk about alpha traits and how to be a confident and dominant male.

However, these would-be-gurus completely misunderstand how the relationship of a wolf pack works. There are actually two alphas, the top male and the top female. They didn’t reach the position by being dominant, but because they were the parents and their children were taught to behave by them – this is how most wolf packs are created in the first place, although the hierarchy can sometimes get confusing later.

The experts also explained the pickup artists fail to understand the type of animal confidence they are trying to mimic. When an animal such as a wolf starts going around making gross displays of cockiness and loud aggression, it generally means that the animal is actually feeling very insecure and isn’t in a dominant position at all. Just like with humans, confidence is about being secure with who you are, not about being the loudest and toughest in the room.

7. Girls Do Not Go For The “Nice Guys”

This is such a common myth you can find girls and guys of almost any kind repeating it over and over, even though we should all really know better by now. Certainly some very nasty guys are very good at manipulating others and tricking women into abusive relationships, but this does not mean that women are happy to be with people who are horrible to them, and do not wish to be with a “nice guy.” Psychology Today cites a study from 2010 that surveyed 1,365 women from various countries, ranging from the ages of 14-68, about what they were looking for in a romantic partner.

What they discovered was that women will often go for the “bad boy” types when they are looking for a quick fling, but are more likely to be on the lookout for the nice guy stereotype when seeking a long term romantic partner. They also discovered that the older women got, the more likely they wanted the more stable choice.

However, more to the point, many of the people claiming to be “nice guys” have very little willingness to go out and put themselves into the dating scene and face possible rejection. It is easier for them to stay at home, and complain that they aren’t with anyone because girls only go for mean guys. Many of these guys are hardly nice at all because they spend more time being angry at women for not dating them, and less time going out and simply showing off their personality and interests to others who may have common ground. The real trick is to just talk to the person you are interested in and see if there are common interests or perspectives that might make you a decent match. If nothing else, you may make a good friend out of it.

6. The Friend Zone Is A Real Thing You Can Get Trapped In

The idea of a “friend zone” has become so utterly ingrained in so many people’s minds that it may never fully go away. Many people are under the impression that if they get too close to a girl, without actually dating them yet, then they will get stuck in a magic “zone” where the girl doesn’t want to risk dating them for fear of ruining the friendship.

This is total nonsense. While there are very few statistics kept on how many people marry their childhood sweetheart, the idea that being friends ruins your chances isn’t supported by any research. Furthermore, two researchers at Emory University recently did a study on 3,000 married couples and a data analyst named Randal Olson turned in some handy graphs and tables for people to peruse. The data showed that those who tended to spend a lot of time dating before they got married were much more likely to have a long, successful marriage. The sweet spot for having the lowest chance of divorce were three plus years before marriage.

This doesn’t mean that simply protracting your relationship before marriage will make your divorce less likely, but rather that those who had a long term, stable friendship while dating before they officially tied the knot were more likely to stay together. For those who still aren’t convinced, no scientist believes in the “friend zone.” It was coined on an episode of the show “Friends”. And you really shouldn’t listen to those jerks.

5. The Myth About The Magic Button

Many young men today are given the idea from popular culture that if they want to have worth as a person, they need a girlfriend of the right caliber to help give them that social worth. Many are convinced getting that girlfriend just comes down to doing the right things. You just have to be nice enough, make the right offers to pay for things, hold doors and all that, and you will get your girl.

It’s almost like people are trained to think that getting a girlfriend is like playing a video game — if you just do the right tasks, and grind for it, you will eventually get your reward. Unfortunately, life is not like this and it has given a lot of people a skewed perspective. Manipulating people is never going to lead to a healthy relationship, and there is no set of magic actions you can perform to sweep a girl off her feet.

4. Physical Attraction Is Incredibly Important In Relationships

Now, we aren’t saying that certain people aren’t going to be more attracted to others physically — that’s natural. However, what looks people find attractive can vary wildly, and most people care far less about that than others believe. Statistics show that in the end, most relationship decisions, whether they last long term or end in divorce, have very little or nothing to do with physical looks — at least as far as the woman is concerned.

Studies have shown that women tend to be more interested in stability, and in the right personality, while men tend to place more emphasis on physical beauty. This is why you often see men with women who tend to be somewhat more attractive than they are. However, overall physical attraction is still not nearly as important a factor in any relationship as many people believe.

3. People Are Having Way More Sex Than You

Many people, especially young people, after seeing it on countless TV shows and in countless movies, are convinced that people are having way more sex and are in way more relationships than they usually are. Shows like Seinfeld reinforce this myth by having the character who is supposed to be a trope not meant to be particularly attractive (George Costanza), still have countless girlfriends with whom he is sexually active.

However, while television and the media would have you believe otherwise, and some have even called the more recent generations a “hookup” culture, the truth is that the facts don’t bear it out. Time reports on research conducted by a Professor of Psychology named Jean Twenge from San Diego State University. After analyzing data on over 26,000 adults and their responses, they discovered that not only are the latest generation hardly a hookup culture, but that they are actually having less sex than the baby boomers.

Not only that, but there are more young people who are opting to not have sex at all until much later in life than usual. Strangely enough, the most sexually active group of people currently to be older people — so much so that some health experts worry about STDs spreading among senior citizens.

2. Rejection Is Reason For Personal Offense

Recently pick up artist sites have convinced young men that if you aren’t getting a girl, then there is either something really wrong with you, or you just aren’t using their amazing dating methods properly. This has led young men with poor self-esteem like Elliot Rodger to shoot a bunch of young women because none wished to date him.

These young men are being taught to react in a hostile manner to women who aren’t interested in their advances, and take it all very personally. The simple truth is that a woman may simply not find your particular interests or personality compatible — it shouldn’t be a reason to take offense.

1. Others Should Always Appreciate A Sexual Compliment

This one will be very obvious to any women reading, but some men may not be aware just how bothersome this can be. Most women, when asked, will tell you very clearly that being told to smile, or asked to smile by complete strangers, is incredibly annoying and grating. However, this happens to women when they go out all the time — it is a very selfish request. Men will randomly compliment strange women, which isn’t necessarily wrong as long as the compliment maintains a certain level of decency. Oftentimes though these men go on to suggest that the women should smile more, or would be prettier if she smiled, especially if she didn’t seem to appreciate the initial compliment.

Some guys may think they are flirting, or being cute somehow, but when you ask women about it they tend to be less enthused about the attention. When people aren’t feeling particularly happy, they may not have any desire to smile, and being asked to do so will only remind them more of their bad day. NPR asked women from around the world about their experiences being harassed, including being randomly told they are beautiful or being told to smile. The women who shared their stories were only negative about the comments, and many of them felt fearful when given the unwanted attention by strangers.

No one really enjoys being told what to do, especially by someone they don’t know, and while complimenting someone may be okay in certain situations, no one enjoys a continuation of compliments from a stranger when they have already shown their disinterest.


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