Clichés, overused as they may be, aren’t always true. And when it comes to matters of love and romance, they hold even less validity.
We use romantic clichés to help us feel better about our lives. What we say might not be true, but we feel less alone and more capable of dealing with what's on our plates.
The way I’ve always seen it, though, is that if clichés are feeding us inaccurate information, they might be doing more of a disservice than anything else.
For that reason, I’ve compiled and analyzed a few of the most overused clichés about love. After doing so, I’ve realized that not only are these clichés slightly inaccurate, they also make zero sense.
They may help you feel better about your singleness -- and they might make for great lyrics in Adele songs -- but categorizing them as truths isn’t going to help you find love.
So, without any further ado, here are six clichés about love that make no sense whatsoever.
"If you love them, let them go."
As a rule of thumb, if you love people, don't cast them out into the wilderness and expect them to come back to you. Most of the time, they won’t.
Human beings are not kittens. You can’t just sever ties with someone and expect that person to wander to your front door, in the middle of the night, on his or her own volition. This sounds nice in theory, but hardly any romantic situations like this will happen in real life.
If you love people, make sure you don’t let them go. Once they go, they’ll probably be gone forever.
"When it's real, you’ll just know."
I can understand what this cliché is trying to say, but it just doesn’t seem very accurate. "When it’s real, you’ll just know” ... until it’s fake, that is, and you realize you were wrong about everything you thought you knew (and just spent the last three years of your life in a toxic relationship).
The fact of the matter is that it’s impossible to know. I'm confused. How will we know? Will an 8-ball be telling us?
That’s what makes the whole courting process so gosh darn stressful. We don’t know sh*t, really, and we probably never will.
If we were able to “just know” who our true loves were, then every dive bar across the country should "just have" a miniature wedding chapel (or chuppah or mosque) somewhere by the back bathrooms, just to expedite the whole process. You know -- add some vertical integration.
"You’ll find love when you stop looking."
This one makes absolutely no sense to me. Stop looking? What are you, f*cking nuts?
If I were to lose my remote control in the sofa after a spliff or two (which happens quite regularly, actually), the last thing I would do is stop looking. In life, when you want to find something, you’re going to have to look for it.
Whether it’s a missing pair of shoes or your car keys or even a girlfriend or boyfriend, the chances that you'll find any of these things will decrease significantly once you stop looking. Trust me.
If you think you’re going to suddenly stumble across your next girlfriend once you “stop looking” and start chain-watching Netflix all night with a carton of ice cream to scoop, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment. Get back on the horse, and keep fighting the good fight.
"Love means never saying you're sorry."
I can speak on this one from experience. Love means never saying you’re sorry...ABOUT THE PETTY SHIT. Yeah, if your girlfriend, like, drunk-eats your leftover pizza, then sure, maybe you just sort of let her off the hook without an apology.
But when it comes to the bigger things, OF COURSE you’ll want an apology. In fact, love should mean constantly saying sorry until things are settled.
If my girlfriend were to cheat on me or call my mother some derogatory name over Thanksgiving dinner, then you know what? Yeah, I’m pretty sure an apology would be in order. A big one, at that.
"Love don't cost a thing."
Love certainly costs a thing. In fact, love can cost quite the pretty penny. This is a classic cliché that sounds great in theory but has very little practical relevance in reality.
Love don’t cost a THING? Okay, so I suppose we’ll just panhandle our brunch and sneak in through the backdoor of some second-rate movie theatre for our date tonight (maybe steal someone’s popcorn).
In what universe does love not cost a thing? It’s America in 2015 -- even the free sh*t costs something if you read the small print.
Weddings cost money, purchasing a home together costs money, raising a family costs money. Unless you plan on marrying a bunch of free samples from Costco, I can assure you, love will cost something.
"You always want what you don’t have."
Yeah, clearly. Why would you want something you already have?
Think about this one for a second. If you just bought a nice venti coffee from Starbucks, you probably aren't thinking, “Ugh, I want a hot beverage so bad.” And that’s because you already have one in your hand.
Wanting something means having the desire for something you’re lacking.
This is why kids, every single winter, create gift lists for Santa -- so that Santa can bring them things they don’t have.
Ever wonder why kids get upset after unwrapping a pack of socks on Christmas morning? Yeah, because they probably already have a drawer somewhere in their room full of them. They didn’t want socks, because they already had socks.
I don’t get it, man. I don’t.