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 a unique feelings its so nice and beatiful but its so painfull and hurting as well…its a very gud feelings when things goes well…and a very awful one when things goes wrong
    we need love in life though

  • Hi Matthew,

    That is beautiful spoken: ”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. ”

    I believe this, but I still did not find him.
    Maybe it has to do with a decision in he first place.

    Love your letters ;-)

  • an excellent topic, very timely for me. very true and hard to find this much honest comment from a person like you since most love life coaches out there want to sugar-coat what love looks like. i really appreciate what you said here, matt :)

  • like Scroobius pip said it: “Love at first sight always seemed unconsidered. I’d rather love at first fight, and then onto double figures. An unconditional love? Well, that just means nothing. In love with the mere idea of loving something.” – broken promise.

  • el amor es el mejor y el peor sentimiento, es lo mejor y lo peor que nos pasa en la vida, es la felicidad y la tristesa, el amor es lo mas complejo que conoci en mi vida, es algo que muhcas veces no llegamos a entender, pero sin embargo, es algo que todos constantemente buscamos, inclusive sabiendo que podemos sufrir muchisimo, e incluso habiendo sufrido muchisimo, el amor es algo que esta en todas partes pero aveces no lo podemos ver, es la union de dos almas que, sin importar las condiciones externas, quieran estar juntas y compartir todo una con la otra, en el amor hay dos cosas aseguradas el dolor y la felicidad y jamas se puede amar sin sentir ambas, pero el verdadero amor es cuando sabiendo que vas a sufrir no te importe porque por esa persona sos capas de todo incluso sufrir, porque la amas, el amor es lo mas parecido que extiste a la magia.

  • Love is considerate, at times patient, loud, soft, gentle, and even hard-headed. Some days its easy, other days it’s complicated. But it should relish in the quiet moment, cheer for you when your down. And when it doesn’t understand or does it wrong, be strong enough to try again. Everyone loves in their own way, make it clear to those you love that you love them.

  • “Love is like a sea” – Alicia Keys.
    Well, for me love is more spiritual thing, when the bond between you and your partner is very strong, you feel, like he/she is your real home, there’s a some kind of trust, like you would trust yourself, and feeling, that there is no empty space between you, and when you both are separated by distance and time, you still feel he/she in your heart, staying whit you all the time, you never feel lonely on this earth anymore, you just have your heart, because when you are uhmm… how to say..”single” or alone, you just feel that in your heart there’s no love, but then you find IT, you feel your heart doing the best thing it can – to love.
    Excuse me for bad english : )

  • Okay. At first it wouldn’t play on my phone. Now I have to see the whole movie. I also want to change my previous answer somewhat.
    I agree with everything his says. Love is not the beautiful moments, which are only part of it. It’s the down and dirty, want to punch a hole in the wall moments that make it matter. Because that person hasn’t left yet, they are sticking with too.
    For me I have not found what he is talking about. But I know what he means. To love a person that hard and deeply, is giving yourself to them. Not just in body or spirit but your heart. That is powerful. And that power can build you up and break you down. Even if you are sure of who you are and want you want. To lose it…is like losing your heart. Honestly, some will do anything to keep it. Wouldn’t you?
    Like in the movie, he is trying to make him (guy tie to a chair) understand, this is my heart you are messing with. Not just hers, mine as well. And that is a dangerous thing, for I’m not as nice as her.
    No one should give everything, and get back nothing. For all those who are, weigh it, everything. Be honest with yourself, is this (whatever it is) what you want out of a relationship with that person. If it is, make it plain to that person. Go for a walk or talk in your house. But tell them, they will let you know if they think you are worth it too. If not, do the same. I think it’s easier to hurt now, than to wait and it hurt more later.

  • Love is what was said ‘hard graft’ but it is also the best feeling in the world. Love is about two people feeling so strong emotions for one another through not only the good times but also the bad. It’s about loving them even though they make you so angry sometimes and loving them for their imperfections as well as everything good about them. You may want to just shout at one another or you may want to spend the day together with no interuptions but either way they still have that hold over you where you just want to be with them. Even if you love someone that you aren’t with it is still amazing, the feeling of butterflies ever time you see them, your heart skipping a beat, wanting to talk to them and be with them just so you can know what’s going on with them, what makes them happy etc. But this isn’t always hunky dory, pain comes along with these feelings, the pain of having to move on and knowing that no matter how much you want it, nothing will ever happen xx

  • Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

  • I believe love is accepting someone for who they are and not who they “could be” or “should be”.

  • I feel very blessed that my parents did teach me this. One of my favorite quotes is from my dad, “I’d swim through shark infested water to give your mother a lemonaid, just to make her happy.”

  • What is Love to me? When you have not expectations and not obligations , when you are realistic and living in the reality not when you are a dreamer. when you are able to accept that person as exactly he or she is, letting them acting natural,genuine, without asking anything. Being able to enjoy the nicest moments but also being stronger to cope the difficult moments giving your support to your partner. Do not idealize that special person, because that is in your mind, and when you see the reality you tend to think that she or he deceived you. But the truth is that you are the one who deceived yourself.

  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

  • Love is something invisible. it can’t be bought. Only earned.

    The picky heart might reject others.. Because their unwillingness to look deeper.

    Love is that feeling that u get in your heart… as if it’s being lifted and it doesn’t belong to you at all.. Completely gone out of control. All because of that special someone… Even after years of being with each other.

    You keep getting to know them more and more… but there is still much more to be told. And you still have the interest in hearing it.
    Even in the bad times. You don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable..
    feeling of venerability is there
    definitely delicacy and.. basically…

    Love + War = Harmony

    Even in ancient times.. There was a god of love and a god of war. They had a child and named her harmony.
    Therefore you have to be prepared to suffer as well as be easy and swift to show your affections, not afraid of feeling weak and opening up.

    Because harmony can only be achieved when you are PREPARED FOR BOTH.

    It has the ability to make it seem like heaven on earth..

    It is so much more than science.

    Magic of transformation..

    Its like an ocean-there’s more than meets the eye…

  • I loved the clip and how I wish it could be like that for me.

    I know that the love I receive is something that he thinks is love but I do not. I don’t feel loved but I know I am because he thinks so. I am lonely and I feel alone but he doesn’t understand and unfortunately, he never will.

  • to me love is waking up in the morning and the very thought of that someone special makes you smile and have that feeling of todays going to be a great day. Its the drive that make you sit up look at yourself and want to be more that your ever thought you could be, it inspires you to do/try things you never would or thought you could. It’s wanting to share your life with someone, making them apart of every moment and being apart of every moment good, bad, sad, lonely, scared, excited. Its a bond/ friendship that you choose to have in your life simply because you cant image life without them, growning and discovering new things together knowing that no matter what life throwns at you, your going to stand strong for one another,and when all is wrong in the world, your thankful that there is such a thing call loved and your blessed because you have someone to share it with. xxxxx

  • May I ask which movie the clip was from? I think I need to store it in my reference folders for life.

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