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What Our Parents Forgot To Tell Us About Falling In Love


Watch this video first, the whole way through, then check out my article below for why I think hidden within it is one of the most important lessons we can learn for our love lives.

I can’t remember a single relationship I’ve ever had which didn’t hurt at some point. The hurt that comes from an argument where things are said that are hard to take back. The hurt that comes from feeling jealous, feeling like I somehow wasn’t enough. The hurt that comes from missing someone when they go away, even for a day or two. The hurt that comes from worrying you might lose someone.

Even in the best relationships I’ve had there has been some element of pain, for a negative reason or a positive one. It didn’t matter. There was still pain. I’m guessing that you’re experiences of relationships have been the same. Because the fact is, relationships can create pain. In fact, they have the ability to create pain more than any other area.

So why on earth do we put ourselves through it? Are we just masochists who enjoy putting ourselves up for this time and time again? Or is there something more to it?

I have been meaning to put this video up for a long time. It’s from the film 44 inch chest. Not a very pretty film – although my East-End London roots always seem to give me a peculiar affinity with films that contain a bunch of East-End accents, no matter how violent they may be – but this particular scene caught my eye.

The context is that Ray Winstone’s character has kidnapped the man his wife was having an affair with. Now not all of us would go to the extent of kidnapping the person who had an affair with our partner, but we’d perhaps be lying if we said we wouldn’t want to! So in his emotional state he goes into a passionate monologue about the nature of marriage and relationships. Despite the violent context in which it is placed, and the coarse language with which it is peppered, I found it deeply touching.


Because it gives an accurate depiction of what even beautiful relationships sound like at the grittiest level.

The little things done for each other that often go unappreciated. The little smile that is appreciated more than anything else in the whole world. The moments where we go out of our way just to make the other person happy, where their approval is the only thing we could want for. The paradoxical situation of love being both ‘lovely’ and ‘murder’ at the same time.

No matter what we believe, relationships can be hard graft. That’s not to say they’re not effortless at times, but hard work goes into making a relationship stronger, just like it does in any other area of our life. This speech cuts through the fairytale that so many people are expecting when they get into a relationship. A fairytale that leads so many people to much pain with dashed expectations when their new reality doesn’t match the blueprint of how they thought it would be.

I truly believe that a huge number of relationships fail because of: 

  1. The expectation that it’s somehow ‘supposed’ to be easy
  2. The unwillingness to put in the hard graft when met with the reality of the situation.

Funnily enough, despite all this hard work and ‘murder’ I would consider myself a true romantic. Not a romantic in the sense of everything being beautiful and effortless and ‘floaty’ the whole time…

But consider this – in order to do all of this we have to decide that there’s someone out there we deem to be worthy enough to put in all of that effort for. Someone who is worth the pain and hard moments. Choosing our partner is a big decision. We often rationalise that it is a big decision by talking about how much time we are going to be with that person. But the more I think about it the more I believe the part of that decision that really carries the most weight is the choosing of the person we are going to put in all of this hard work for. The person we are going to go on this journey with; whom we are going to endure this pain for.

Forget the flowers and the romantic crap. We are starting a journey with someone in our lives. Someone who has the power to hurt us or make us happy on a level that perhaps no one else can. And yet knowing that this person could have such a profound impact on our feelings for better or worse, we still willingly give them that power. We put our heart in their hands with the belief that on some level they deserve it, and that it’s going to work.

What could be more romantic than that?

Matthew x

P.S. I had an idea for this week – leave a comment below about what love means to you…

Let’s get some ideas flowing in this amazing little community we have!

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119 Replies to “What Our Parents Forgot To Tell Us About Falling In Love”

  • What loves mean to me…it is very difficult two souls be together with all the stuff they bring to the relationship, but I believe in love I believe in partnership, in friendship and in the special connection between two person that desire the same things or not but want to share with each one everything…

  • Love is the best feeling on earth. Very often it makes me smile and sometimes I get excited. It doesn’t have to be about a person necessarily. But the feeling is the strongest if it’s about somebody. With love, everything lights up. I feel trust, in me and in the person I love. And therefor i feel happy, calm & safe. Love is worth all the pain and work that comes with it, for nothing can compare with it and the feeling of homecoming.

  • Love, for me, are the small signs of affection that makes us know, for sure, that we matter, are seen and loved. I don’t want at fancy diamond ring on my birthday, I’d prefer my favorite candy on a rainy tuesday. It shows you know me and think about me, and for me, THAT is love.

  • That is a moving scene, an inspirational article, and yes, I guess I have been aware of the fact about balancing ‘expectations and romance’ and real-life relationships and how much we can endure for each other. I am not alone in realising this. Your article has inspired me to stand stronger by my belief. Thank you:^)

  • Love is being able to perceive the other person for themselves, not a person that we have creaed in our minds of the person we think them to be based on what we know their potenial is. No one could possibly lve up to their full potential all the time, so holding this model of our loved one in our minds as the person they actually are, is unrealistic. When we see the soul of the person stripped of potential, and being who and how they are on a daily basis, this allows us to really love them.

  • I think love is in finding that one person that you want to share your entire life with and make the commitment to
    make it last forever through the good and the not so good.

  • Nice piece, thanks Matthew!

    We found the clip moving – love’s awesomeness lies in the little mundane gestures indeed.

    You make an excellent point about the importance of finding the right person. Love is pretty amazing for its own sake. But because it is selfless, it’s easy to dispense it on the ‘wrong’ person – someone who isn’t the right person to appreciate it from us.

    We believe that loving the right person is one of the most important decisions we can make, and not an easy one to achieve. But once with the right person, we can really enjoy the best kind of love – one where communication is relatively ‘easy'(though not without mindfulness and effort) and relatively painless.

    Love that hurts a lot is love with the wrong person. A bit like our speaker in the clip who knows what loves is, but seems to have been sharing it with the wrong lady.

    Looking forward to staying in touch!

    1. I agree with your statement in terms of marriage. The clip is amazing and true though certainly I’d hope never to be in the position of either are in–happens too frequently and almost happened to me kind of in reverse/sideways just recently- thankfully dodged that ‘bullet’-too scarry for words. The clip to me is more about obsession/lust being mistaken for real love. Just for the record, the first thing I try to check is if the individual is married/separated/attached and if they are run very quickly away.

  • I think I got the wrong idea about love cos my own parents didn’t have a clue. Their relationship wasn’t exactly strong.

  • I guess love can take effort. I don’t think it is healthy
    if it is a never ending assault couse though. I think
    these things are a question of balance. Perhaps it is
    important not too take each other for granted. Respect
    and appreciation are impotant. Appreciation of the little
    things,not just the big things. Apologising is important
    if your out of order, you are not grown up until you can
    apologies. Listening to each other is important on a
    regular basis. Point scoring is not good. Saying thank you
    is important and basic good manners.

  • love.. is friendship, is caring and being cared for, its giving and being given too. love is understanding, listening and being listened too. love is forgiving and being forgiven. love is laughter and joy. its standing by each other in good times and bad times. and most importantly is communication of each others feelings because without communication how can you understand each other. love is unconditional.

    1. Awww…That brought me to tears! lol

      Something happened to me and I lost a huge amount of memory so I don’t remember anything about love! lol Then, I concentrated so much on dating and finding the right guy, met someone special and now don’t know what to do! lol I don’t know what to do to be loving! Any recommendations?

      1. I think focusing on basic things, like treat him the way you would want to be treated (golden rule?), etc., is a good start. Also, just be honest with him, explain to him your memory situation and that you feel like you’re re-learning how to love, and he should be willing to help you along the way. He can tell you what makes him feel loved, etc.

  • love?
    its just a feeling…a dangerous one but where you can accept everything as it is…it could be a thing, person, animal or life itself but; it’s ok with that.
    The rest is up on us to decide how to take it.

    1. No feeling is a ‘just a’ because it’s always about a minimum of two separate individuals emotions, thoughts blending of two lives on many different levels in even the most simple things–and many times it turns to attach to even more individuals — even if you are ‘lucky in love’.

  • It might seem crazy but I think Love is like having a baby:

    You carry it with you everywhere and it depends on you to grow. There are times when you feel it moving inside you, and it brings you to tears of joy. There are times that that are tough and get on your last nerve. It can bring labors of pain that you have never experienced before on a level you didn’t know could hurt so bad. But, afterwards you see what has come out of that labor of pain and it makes all of it worth it.

  • From a medical point of view I would say passion is the natural urge to procreate. Love later serves to bring up the offspring together, a feat hardly handable alone. Other than that, love, and especially the pain that inevitably comes with it, is able evokes an infinite amount of creativity and energy, that might otherwise stay hidden under the layers of daily routine. It is not the feeling of love i question but rather the point of realtionships, that will in most cases ultimately take that creativity and energy away. As Oscar Wilde said “When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”

    1. Wow. Not very “romantic” to hear … but true: Oscar Wilde said “When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”

      I realized recently after a whirlwind romance with someone that fell flat, that wow, wouldn’t the REAL romance be that instead of showering this stranger with gifts and declarations of love and our time and attention (this person we have conjured an illusion about and not really taken the time to get to know) … if we took our time instead and really got to know them. And THEN, when we did … if we find ourselves SO captivated by who this person ACTUALLY IS, that THEN we shower then with love and attention and gifts and romance b/c we are celebrating this amazing person that we’ve found (who is REAL) … that seems far more romantic to me.

  • I will say this is true for any relationship – relationships are hard and both sites have to like each other enough to put up with bad and good times. I am talking about friendships and partners, families are completely different – no choice there you have to make it work.

    Is it legal to put that video file on your website? I was just wondering….

    1. I wonder if the woman in the ‘triangle’ understood a word of that and would like to watch the entire movie. That sence didn’t give a clue as to what the woman wanted!

  • LOVE!
    Love is paradoxical.
    Love is FREEDOM in its purest way!
    Love is not only acceptance and respect, but an everlasting FASCINATION by a person that through TIME got more and more unique in your eyes.
    Finally,”what one carries deep in their heart, cannot be lost after death”(Goethe).

    I for my part, never felt that mutual love. I always felt like I loved him more than he could imagine…

    Well, good luck for you ladies out there!I wish you all the best!
    Most of all, I wish you true and pure Love.


    Red Apple ;)

  • love is the feeling of being safe and cared for,knowing that at the end of the day when you pick up the phone of come home there is going to be someone at the end of either the phone of the door, love is knowing for sure that someone still weant you and know you maybe more that you know yourself and that they love you for all the mistakes and the good in you

  • Bob Marley: ‘The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.’

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