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We grow up learning about love by seeing examples from people around us, watching stories developed in Hollywood, and hearing about this amazing concept that makes people feel elated. It can be elusive for some, while others are fortunate enough to experience it throughout their lives.

Sometimes it is about searching for a single soulmate to live out the remainder of your years. Others desire experiences where feelings of love can grow between people without limiting the number of connections that can be developed. We may even define the notion of love in different ways.

Some may consider love an extremely strong bond between people where compassion, understanding, and a true desire to develop a caring relationship are the cornerstones. Others feel that love is a rare experience that is only shared with a few, extremely special people. Regardless how you perceive or experience love, it is something in our lives that can give us hope, happiness, and increase our desire to reach out an embrace someone special.

With as many definable characteristics that exist for the concept of love, we may also have some preconceived notions about it that rarely happen or are mostly illogical. One of the main problems with creating a set of rigid rules about the way that we want love to look and feel in our lives is that we risk feeling disappointed when life doesn’t meet our expectations.

We may think we are being cheated, or that our experience is less than fulfilling, because it doesn’t check off all of the qualifications that we think it should. Rarely does anything in our lives go completely according to plan or happen the way we may imagine. It is extremely important to look at each relationship independently using objective ways to determine if it is a good one. It is so much more important to know if the other person makes our heart or groin bounce with excitement. Every relationship is unique, beautiful, and fulfilling in its own ways.

Consider the following set of ideas we may be holding on to regarding love and how they may be more detrimental to our enjoyment of this beautiful feeling than to actually enjoying it. Be careful to not fall into these unrealistic expectations, or you might not recognize when an amazing love is staring you in the face.

Loving someone should be easy Although developing strong, emotional feelings about someone can sometimes come on quickly and with little effort, building and maintaining a long-lasting connection can come with its own set of challenges. Love is often complicated and inconvenient, especially when it comes unexpectedly. Life happens, and situations occur that cause frustration, instability, and freak-outs. Having love in a relationship can be a huge benefit in getting through these rough spots. The positive thing is that when love is right, it can be a beautiful experience and totally worth the effort that needs to be put into it to face difficulties.

Love means never having to say ‘I’m sorry’ Being a human with faults is enough of a reason to apologize for a variety of things we can mess up. There are times when we may act thoughtlessly, irrationally, emotionally, or impulsively. Developing love between people should allow us to feel more comfortable with apologizing for a variety of missteps without as much fear of rejection, judgment, or the demise of the relationship. Love actually means you can be saying that you are sorry even more frequently than in other relationships.

Love conquers all This is rarely the case. You can have the best of intentions; enjoy similar things; and have an amazing emotional, sexual, physical, social, and spiritual connection, but there are times when all of these things combined may not be enough to continue a relationship. There are difficult realities between people that can signal the demise of a relationship regardless of how much other compatibility exists.

Love should be like a fairytale  It may look like a fairytale, but it’s not the Disney one that many people hope for. Honestly, many of us experience our fairytale version of love through the eyes of a John Waters comedy of errors paired with a Dr. Seuss-esque style of ridiculous situations. Many times, high-impact relationships aren’t formed by a straightforward and simple chain of events. They are often combinations of being in the right place at the right time with the right mindset and being aware enough to notice someone intriguing.

Love is unconditional This is a fantastic theoretical belief that rarely works in practice. It sounds great to say, but we all have conditions in our relationships. There are hopes, expectations, promises, and at times, actions, that cause anger, frustration, and disapproval. A more accurate idea may be to say that you will continue to love someone in spite of their mistakes and character flaws.