Nowadays, we often hear the word "love" thrown around non-stop, to the point where it just seems like a justification for everything. As though it's lost it's true meaning, in which case a lot of people miss the point. And here I speak of love in general terms (not just romantic relationships).

Here are some misconceptions that many people have about love:

1. Love Means You Don't Need To Try.

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In any sort of relationship, many people, instead of actively playing a role in maintaining that relationship, just expect it to work itself out and stop trying. They basically put the plane on auto-pilot. The truth of the matter is, it takes a lot of time, energy and (most importantly) honest communication. You're meant to communicate and grow with friends, family, and lovers, not stay in the same place in perpetuity. I'm not saying that those efforts won't be taxing, but in the end, we know it will have been worth it.

2. Love Means You Agree On Everything.

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This couldn't be farther from the truth. Whether a person agrees with you or not, (and this applies to anything: philosophy, politics, religion etc.) has no bearing on whether or not they would be a good friend to you. Sometimes, how people live and what they believe is contrary to what your preconceived notions of them are. You may disagree, but nobody likes a closed minded individual, who lives in an echo chamber. Especially when the arguments that keep your mind closed have gaping holes in them. Having your perspectives challenged is a part of life; it helps you grow into a better, more thoughtful human being. Besides, there's always a chance that the person you disagree with may actually make sense!

3. Love Of/From Others Will Give You Happiness and Self-Fulfillment.

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Wrong...Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. To quote the New Testament: "Love thy neighbor as yourself". That being the case, how can you love someone else, when you don't love yourself? Moreover, how do you expect others to love you if you have no idea who you are? To paraphrase Buddha: "You have to look inward, to find yourself and reach the state of Nirvana" (not the band). Happiness is a decision, and self-fulfillment is a long process of inward reflection and personal decisions. They don't result from external factors. Happiness and self-fulfillment come first. Enough said.

4. Love Means Acceptance Of Flaws.

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If you knew a person with an addiction of any kind i.e. sex, drugs, alcohol, wearing socks with sandals...lol etc. would you accept their lifestyle, or would you acknowledge that their lifestyle is harmful to their health and well-being and make attempts to help them change their direction (or just pry them away from it)? Furthermore, if you had a friend who was unemployed, would you let them crash on your couch and support them for a while? If yes, would you be willing to support them indefinitely, or just until they got back on their feet? A lot of people suffer from what Dave Ramsey calls "Toddler in a Poopy Diaper Syndrome." "Sure it stinks, but it's warm and it's mine". If we love someone, we sometimes need to tell them that with an unchanged diaper, comes a rash (so to speak).

5. Love Is Blind.

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It's been said that we don't choose who we fall in love with. That statement can be true or false depending on the circumstance...but, it doesn't stray from the fact that you made a decision to spend time with that person (and vice versa) leading you to make a mutual decision to choose to take the next step. Moreover, it has also been said that you shouldn't judge other people. A healthy amount of skepticism and thorough, informed judgment can prove to be useful. It can help us to spot the aforementioned "toddler in the poopy diaper" and try to change them before they get a diaper rash. The process can be irritating to say the least, but in the end they'll thank you. I know it seems like I'm repeating myself, but if it's blind, it'll eventually trip on a trash-can in the middle of the road. Judge, but judge wisely.

6. Romantic Love Requires Sex.

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I can go on a full rant about this, about how it creates a strong bond between you and your lover, and if that doesn't work out between you, all of that was just pointless (especially if sexting was involved, a practice which I find rather ridiculous and extremely risky) this does no good for either the emotional withdrawals experienced, or your future spouse. Chastity, at least in my opinion is the best course of action to take in romantic relationships, simply due to the fact that it allows the two people involved to see clearly and logically past the infatuation stage as well as focus on other ways of creating intimacy in the relationship. For more on the virtue of "Chastity", a friend of mine, Jonna, wrote an article addressing this, which includes her experience with the subject: https://catholicisthenewcool.blogspot.com/2018/03/why-does-church-say-i-cant-have-sex.html

7. Love Means Never Fighting Back.

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I've covered this in my article on the Cristero War, this is not an endorsement of vengeance or violence, rather an encouragement of self-defense. Some people would have you believe that the golden rule: "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you", implies a stressing of pacifism. This is not the case. Love of others is not solely a willfulness to take a severe beating without defending yourself, rather it's a willfulness to stand up for values, beliefs, as well as individuals in defense of them. It means protecting the innocent, the poor, the weak, etc. from those that would take advantage of them. It seems that the golden rule is true, but needs some added context: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, yet defend beliefs, values and individuals, who many would harm."

8. Love Means Never Offending Anyone.

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Anybody who says this, is just ignorant of reality. You can never fully communicate anything to anyone, if you're constantly walking on eggshells. Let's say for instance that you have a brother who is married. One day you see your brother's spouse in a Costco parking lot making out with your brother's best friend. Provided they haven't seen you, what would you do in this situation? Would you choose to offend your brother by telling him about his spouse and best friend? Or would you offend your brother's spouse and best friend by telling them they should stop? You could also say nothing and wait for the inevitable, but then you'd be lying to them...which would offend them if they find out you withheld the truth. In the words of Thomas Paine: "He who dares not offend cannot be honest."

9. Love Is Only An Emotion (And In No Way Logical)

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Probably the biggest misconception on this list, because it is so incredibly blind to the reality of what love is. Love, like most emotions, is a decision to allow yourself to react in a certain way towards a certain individual or a group of friends. One thinks objectively in most cases, to do what is in the best interest of another person or persons, for their sake, whether they like what that means or not. What most people don't know is that the majority of the emotions we experience, we only feel because we allow ourselves to feel them. And if we feel something which may be interpreted as love, it is because we gave ourselves consent to feel what we feel.

10. Love Is Love.

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This has to be the most ridiculously ambiguous statement I have ever come across. "Subjective concept given without clear definition = itself". In order for this statement to be even remotely true, one would have to give a clearly proposed definition of what love means, but even then so, the phrase "love is love" is not a well reasoned argument, like it or not. This argument relies strictly on emotion, and given that love is not strictly emotional, it has no place in any sort of debate. The logical aspects of love, i.e. thinking objectively through the infatuation phase, coming to a decision to spend time with another person, or group of people (potential friends), etc. must be taken into account with regards to forming an argument. Otherwise, it's just a bland, emotional statement with no basis in reality.

For more on the subject of love, PragerU made a video addressing the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qfum5vc4Ew