Commercial Love Is Nothing Like Real Love


“This commercial love, it’s not like the other stuff, that I’ve seen in films”

Only recently how I realized how true this lyric is. We live in a world where love, soulmates and romance is portrayed in a way that just doesn’t usually fit reality. The entertainment industry needs to sell this kind of stuff to keep itself turning, but when it comes to real life, the idea of ‘sparks’, ‘romance’, ‘chemistry’, ‘the one’ – it’s all lovely and I’m not going to go as far to say it’s a fantasy. It can happen in that way for some people. But we don’t do ourselves any favors in relying on all of that when on the quest for love, ‘the one’ or our soulmate.

We have so much more power than we realize when it comes to finding love.

In complete contrast to the idea of romance, in the age of online dating, we get used to filling out a checklist. Ticking boxes and ‘filtering’ out those who aren’t a good fit for us based on whether they’re 10km out of our area or how tall they are. And yet, we still expect ‘sparks’ and ‘chemistry’?! I wonder how many of those people we discard down the online rabbit hole could have actually being soulmates for us in its truest sense. Or had we run into them in the supermarket, what one ‘hi’ could have led to. That’s my idea of fairytale romance.

I don’t believe that we have to have just one soulmate or even one true love. Some people might have one. But love can be different and unique for everyone. They can find it with many people or just one. For me, it’s about connection, support, fun experiences, laughing, loving that we’re perfectly imperfect but challenging each other to be better too. Knowing it’s ok to not talk for an hour in each other’s company then having conversations about something intellectual or complete nonsense until 3am. Love is where our values are aligned and we’re going in the same direction but we still have our own paths. I don’t want to feel without the person I love. I don’t want them to feel incomplete without me. I don’t even want to be with them 24/7.

But I want someone who strives to keep the relationship (however long that might last) feeling like every day, they have chosen me. Not for what I do, look like or where I live. But for who I am and my values. And I make them feel the same. That something in me ignites something in them. Someone who calls me out when I’m being selfish or an idiot about something. Who pushes me but is happy with me right where I am. Someone who knows that being vulnerable isn’t weak but that it builds connection. (And if you want someone without ‘baggage’, that’s going to be near on impossible. Let’s face it, most of us have got more baggage than Heathrow. What’s important is how you deal with it and communicate it to your partner.)

I don’t care what this person does for a living, how tall they are or how I find them. And the thing is, you can perhaps find that person when you step outside your door today if you look around you and let go of the idea of only settling for the perfect romance. Or ticked boxes. Love is more accessible than we give it credit for.

I used to care so much about the future and measure love on how much we’d plan for that. Why not just enjoy now? I spent most of my last relationship obsessing over the future and trying to create the perfect content for the years ahead. But if the frame isn’t there (which it wasn’t) what use is any of that anyway?

My idea of love isn’t the same for everyone. So maybe we should start basing our quest for love and soulmates not on checklists or how we think it should look, but more on who shares our values. This thing about chemistry; don’t let it fool you into thinking that’s what creates long lasting love. It usually doesn’t. Chemistry is fine. Connection is something very different. Maybe less intense at first but connection ultimately creates chemistry. And it’s something that carries so much more longevity and weight when it comes to love.

I’m definitely not saying have no boundaries or settle for less than you want or deserve. Quite the opposite as basing love on aligned values will get you what you deserve.

Maybe just don’t write potential love or soulmates off because they don’t tick all the boxes.