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How to Know Whether it’s Real Love or Just ‘Fairy Tale’ Romance

by Jeannie Assimos - March 31, 2014

Ahhh, expectations! Many of us have grown up believing that falling in love might be a bit like the fairy tales we’ve witnessed on the big screen and question if love does exist. In today’s guest blog, author and relationship expert Nancy Pina describes the difference between the two and gives us all a little reality check.

The hugely popular Disney movie ‘Frozen’ portrays a young woman swept off her feet by a handsome prince after only one day. Romance movies and novels do create an impression that love at first sight is the norm, and that love and relationships are based on high chemistry and strong mutual attraction.

They completely bypass the process of relationship formation, establishing a strong foundation of mutual love, respect and trust and creating a lasting friendship with the person you may want to commit to. Everything we put into our mind, whether it is visual images or the written word, does stay in our subconscious and builds particular mindsets that make up our perception of what real love looks and feel like.

So, what does real love look like?

1. Intensity is not a sign of genuine love. It is important to remember that relationships do need time to mature and go through the steps of dating to determine if that person is trustworthy, honorable, respectable and possesses high integrity. Many people tend to romanticize love and believe they will intuitively know the right one when they meet by chance.

2. You want to believe the fairy tale. Whirlwind romances are so appealing because they boost the ego: You are put on a pedestal, treated as a cherished object of love, given gifts and flowers, perhaps even over the top outings, trips and dinners to lavish places. Intuitively, you probably know this type of treatment is not sustainable nor does it lead to substance. It is the icing on a cake and very superficial but it is fun and glamourous. It’s easy to rationalize away thoughts of why this person is so enamored without knowing much information about you. Additionally, there is not much effort on your part; it is a one-sided experience.

3. Don’t ignore the red flags. While the media loves to portray women needing a white knight in shining armor who will swoop in and rescue her from a boring, monotonous life, it is not authentic and should not be your aspiration for commitment. It’s easy to be susceptible to and attracted to men who make huge displays of affection and create an urgency about spending as much time with you as possible.

High chemistry relationships have some similar components such as:

  • Pushes for quick emotional and physical commitment;
  • Rushes to define the relationship as exclusive;
  • Overwhelms you with attention, affection and gifts;
  • Talks of inclusion: future plans, vacations, activities;
  • Quickly introduces you as a couple to friends, family and children; and,
  • Conversations tend to center on topics that established couples engage in, such as, the number of children, where to spend holidays, house hunting, etc.

Remember: the most romantic relationship you will ever experience is the one that you nurture over time with a man who treats you with the love, honor, respect you deserve. He will be trustworthy and stable in his emotions, devoted to your shared life together. He will dependable and reliable and those positive character traits are more desirable and romantic than any idealized grand gestures.

Do you still believe in the fairy tale or are you a bit more realistic?

More from Nancy Pina at YourTango:

Don’t Forget about Marriage on the way to Career Success

Is Your Marriage a Positive Teen Dating Example?