Most of us have grown up on a steady diet of romantic stories and media. And even though we say that we understand it’s all fiction, and that we get that real life isn’t a fairy tale, these things still have a way of creeping into our consciousness and making us expect things we likely shouldn’t expect.

Love, like all of life’s worthwhile pursuits, is complicated. It’s messy.

And it has some harsh truths. Like the ones uncovered on this r/AskReddit thread:

What are some harsh truths about love and attraction? from AskReddit

We don’t have time to go through all 3,000+ bits of advice and opinion, but here are some of the top ranked insights.

1. Closure isn’t closed.

Closure doesn’t make feelings disappear.

– 01kaj10

2. Breaking up is ♫ hard tooo do ♫.

From my experience, breaking up is always harder than I thought it would be

– wfrb17

3. Agree to disagree.

Love doesn’t mean that you will always agree with each other and will never have an argument.

– FloSH_02

4. Perfection is an abstraction.

There is no perfect person for you.

There is only someone who you can handle the flaws they have.

– captrobert57

5. You can be dumb, too.

No matter how intelligent or rational you are usually, it all goes out the window once you are attracted enough to someone.

You will behave in irrational and downright STUPID ways. Do things you can’t explain.

And afterwards wonder what the hell you were thinking.

– [user deleted]

6. Attraction isn’t everything.

Your partner is going to be attracted to other people but as long as he/she respects you, you don’t have to feel intimidated by this

– babyishAuri

7. “Meh” means “no.”

Hard pill for me to swallow tonight: If it’s not an enthusiastic hell yes, then it’s a no.

And I don’t mean that just in a sexual way. Obviously if someone isn’t excited about sexy times, then you absolutely need to stop.

If someone says they want to hang out and blow you off for several hours then it’s a no.

– pancake-pretty

8. Break the routine.

1) you are usually attracted by someone different from you, that feels new and exotic, but it’s usually easier to respect (and thus love) someone who is more akin to you.

2) attraction comes and goes, but routine is the enemy #1. In long term relationships and in marriage you need to actively swim against the current of routine.

You will only bring yourself to do it if you love your partner and yourself, because it‘s a constant struggle.

– Glum-Tie

9. Don’t chase ghosts.

You’ll probably not find that 10/10 significant other.

I could make a whole list for a perfect girl but realistically, she’s maybe not out there.

You don’t know if she wants to be with you for the rest of your life.

That’s the scariest thing to me about love.

– Juicemuse

10. Life isn’t scripted.

Two people falling in love like in the movies is possible but completely accidental and a lot of people will die never experiencing it.

– iamnowhere92

11. Is it equal?

There is always one partner that loves more

– rocker49107

12. You can fall out of love.

You can still love someone, but no longer be “in love” with that someone.

A backwards slide from lover to friend.

– likesturtles

13. Trust doesn’t mean certainty.

You will never be 100% sure that your partner won’t cheat on you, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening.

– hyunn1e

14. Put in the work.

“Love is all you need,” is a crock of shit.

Love is important in a relationship, but people can love each other very much and make each other absolutely miserable.

There’s more to relationships than a feeling.

– EasternShade

15. Don’t think too hard about this one…

Your parents have influenced who you find attractive.

– shaka_sulu

Not exactly fun and roses, but facing sobering truths like this once in a while helps us keep a good perspective, and a good perspective will lead to a better life. 🙂

What would you add to this list?

Tell us in the comments.