There’s a lot to say about love, but it seems the most enduring quotes always contain the most misguided wisdom. Here are eight love adages that sound way better than they actually are.
“Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”
This saying is sort of true, in the sense that when you’re in a long-distance relationship you have more time to imagine that your boyfriend is the perfect combination of all your favorite rom-com heroes in between lovelorn text messages and long phone calls in which you listen to him breathe on the other line. Inevitably, your imagination plays tricks on you, and your boyfriend turns out to be human. Let’s trade this outdated adage for this one: “In general, long distance is the wrong distance.”
What’s true for magnets must be true for people, right?
“When love is not madness, it is not love.”
Just about every romantic comedy is built on the notion that love should make you feel really crappy before it makes you feel good. There’s something to be said for skipping all the drama, though.
“All you need is love.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were true? Wouldn’t it be nice if life was a lot like your favorite pop song?
“Marry a man who loves you just a little more than you love him.”
This piece of sage advice was once meant to help women find husbands who wouldn’t beat them even though doing so was within their legal rights. Romantic, right? Today, this bit of conventional wisdom may not hold as sinister a meaning, but it does imply that women are better off if they protect themselves from inevitable heartache by not being fully invested in the relationship.
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
The 1970 film Love Story may be lauded as one of the most romantic stories of all time, but every couple in the history of monogamy will probably tell you love means saying you’re sorry quickly and often. We’re pretty sure even couples from the caveman era apologized when they needed to.
“All is fair in love and war.”
Is it really? At the very least, this idiom needs a second a sentence: “Wage it wisely.”
“Love is a friendship set to music.”
This adage serves no purpose other than to irritate me about the fact that my life doesn’t have a soundtrack.