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”

  • Love is about acting loving toward another even when you do not feel loving – Emotions are fleeting. It’s respecting each other deeply and committing to love, respect, and taking care of each other no matter what. Unconditional love, Unconditional forgiveness.

  • Love is a choice.

    To love means to be willing to make sacrifices for someone else. The opposite of love means you expect someone else to make sacrifices for you.

    Which is why it is so important who we choose. No one is perfect, but if you are going to truly love someone, then you must judge if they are worth it, if they are right for you, if you can build and maintain a mutually respectful relationship.

    When you have found that person, then give your WHOLE HEART. And stick with them.

    That is love.

  • Love is learning to live with faults, and even appreciating the other person’s foibles. I have heard that you like a person for their positive attributes, but love them despite or because of their faults. My late husband was so supportive in many respects, and in hindsight, I think it is what was the most important thing, as few people outside a partnership will be there for you 24/7. That is why choosing correctly is so important. If you dont feel supported, you dont feel loved.

  • Matt, that was really beautiful and poetic. I have gone my entire life being a hopeless romantic – you meet the perfect person, fall in love and its all roses and sunshine after.
    My definition of love changed tremendously in the last year. I now understand that love is hard-work, its practical, its the day-to-day stuff through the big and small.
    Love is delicate, love is fragile. Love is respect, care, trust and the commitment to choose that person day-after-day. Its the little things that someone does for you that matter more than the grand gestures. And, above all love means peace and freedom.

    Even after everything I went through last year, I believe in love more than ever.

    Thanks for all your advice. You’re awesome doing what you do!

  • Quite true. When you quit working at love and loving one another things fall apart. Its a partnership when it works. When its one sided its an uphill battle.

  • Love is life. It’s alive, it changes, it grows, and it can die if you let it. Love is when you can look at the person in front of you even when all the fuzzy feelings aren’t there all the time, you wouldn’t have it any other way. Love is when you put your partners needs in front of your own and you’re not even conscious of it. Love doesn’t keep score. It’s honest, pure, genuine, and kind. Love isn’t only just a feeling, it’s a choice.

    1. Love can also die dispite your best efforts – life is many times uncertain easily shortened – it’s always a two way partnership package deal.

  • i agree with red apple’s comment and what bob marley said zabout love.
    but i also think love is the closest thing to magic that we have.

  • Love is irrational, unexplainable, painful and yet we keep trying/hoping though it doesn’t make sense and isn’t logical……xx

    1. True and lust can strike in an instant – but real love always takes time and effort. And sex drive can too easily be mistaken for love – convinced it’s in our chemistry as humans. Can be good, can be bad – it just is. And then there are the issues of life, liberty, and pursuit of happyness-even where I live there are families/communities manipulate/force one to marry with no concern for the individual’s personal preferences i.e. a very young woman marrying a much older man because he wants her and he has wealth/power because her parents want her secure or are afraid of the old man. The old man only wants (love?) what he wants – his possession.

      1. Sage – I think you have no idea about the word love and what it means by what you have left as a comment/reply here….the world will lead you and clearly has – sorry.

  • Hey Matt! I’ve treid watching the video but only grasped about 20% of the content spoken. I am in Colombia and its hard to understand fast oral American English,and much less the more trained accent depicted… Is this video shown somewhere with captions by any chance??? Thank You!

  • love is something everyone wants. sometimes you need to be patient and it’s difficult because love isn’t a quick fix, it can’t be substituted by other things. it makes you fight stronger than you thought that you could. it can hurt more than you knew it would but you can’t give up, you can’t stop trying and fighting. because love is the most beautiful thing in the world that you can share with someone. it’s the drive to keep giving 110%. even if it means waiting, or breaking out of your compfort zone or facing rejection. love is universal it’s harmony when everything else is wrong.

  • Love is about accepting that no one’s perfect and being able to forgive your partner if they hurt you, no matter how painful it was. I’m not saying it’ll be an easy task to do that, but I think letting go and moving forward are part of love too.

    Thank you, Matthew, for all of your videos and advice. You have helped me in realizing what I needed to do to be able to open myself up for love again. You’re an inspiration, a light at the end of the tunnel if I may say so.

  • Love is like learning to dance. You know you’re gonna get your toes stepped on, or that you’ll step on some toes yourself but it’s part of the process. That your partner can forgive and move along with you is what it’s all about.

    1. Agreed – that’s why I’ve been taking dancing lessions with steel enforced shoes and padding on my legs ;) (smile)

  • As Sartre put it, love is “un mensonge a deux”‘a two-sided lie.’

    However, what a wonderful one…

  • Love Is …

    Love is the greatest feeling,
    Love is like a play,
    Love is what I feel for you,
    Each and every day,
    Love is like a smile,
    Love is like a song,
    Love is a great emotion,
    That keeps us going strong,
    I love you with my heart,
    My body and my soul,
    I love the way I keep loving,
    Like a love I can’t control,
    So remember when your eyes meet mine,
    I love you with all my heart,
    And I have poured my entire soul into you,
    Right from the very start.

    Love is about the small things, the small gestures that you do because you know the other person likes it. What love means to me is that no matter what issues you face or what arguments you have, you respect the other person. If it is really love then you do not give up at the first sign of trouble. If it is really love then you pick up the hawian donut with sprinkles just because it is his or hers favourite. You do the laundry because you know the other person needs or deserves a break (and plus it is your turn). You give him a foot rub after his hockey game because you know he likes it. Love is knowing that even when a person does something you don’t like you can forgive them. The clip puts it in perspective… love is when you are standing there watching a hockey game or a ballet performance even though you hate it, because you know the other person enjoys it, you know it makes them smile.

  • That video clip is amazing. And true. I agree that people want it to be easy. What I’ve never understood is the resistance to the effort. People push back against that and I never have. I left an 18 year unhappy marriage that I put so much effort into trying to get it somewhere it was just never going to go, but I don’t regret the effort. … And in my new relationships, I feel like that effort is an honor. Being able to be there for someone when they need you … when they struggle, feel insecure, fumble a bit, and your patience, love, listening, compassion helps restore them to version of themselves that THEY most want to be (not who we think they SHOULD be) is a gift we get to give. The trick is finding someone who finds it as much of an honor to show up for you (on your great days and your stumbling days) and you find it to show up for them.

    Love is worth the effort.

  • Love to me, means that person I am most happy with, who I smile the most with, who I want to share the best things in life with, who inspires me and evokes me to I want to inspired back too. I think love is forgiving someone’s mistakes or flaws and loving them regardless. Love is knowing that person will be there for you through everything because there’s nowhere else they’d rather be.

  • Love and sex are two different things to me and I surely adore having the two combined(more orgazims please;)! I know I have the ability to love and to be love yet am to first to say I’ve much to learn in being better with the above stated abilities–working on the work in progress :) May we all find the agape type of love in our lives.

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