It’s true what they say: love hurts. Romantic relationships can be a lot of work, but ideally, a successful relationship is worth the pain. So, when things go awry and we feel unhappy in love, are we justified in our feelings, or are we reacting to unrealistic expectations from the past?

In The School of Life’s new video, “Why Love Is Never As Nice As It Should Be,” the narrator explains the way our minds process loving relationships and ideal feelings of being cherished.

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According to the video, we develop ideas of ideal relationships as children — when we learn feelings of security and dependency from our parents. These expectations are frequently carried through to adult relationships.

Relationships that seem cold and unloving could feel that way because we’re comparing them with a relationship in the past — like with our mother and father. We may expect the constant devotion of a mother who cares for a three-year-old child, but that's not appropriate or fair. Or, perhaps we never got that constant devotion and we now expect our adult lover to provide it.

“The source of our present sorrow is not, therefore, a special failing on the part of our adult lovers. They are not tragically inept, nor uniquely selfish,” the narrator explains in the video. ”It’s rather that we’re judging out adult experiences in the light of a very different kind of childhood love.”

Want to know more about how our brains process being loved and past relationships? Watch the animated video above.

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