When I first started studying psychology, I became quite interested in the concept of things that were – as they often say in the field of psychology – "real or imagined" (or "real or perceived"). The essence is that in many ways, it doesn’t matter if the basis for one’s fears/comforts are real or imagined/perceived, because if that’s what you perceive, then it has the ability to affect you. If you perceive a snake is on the path and jump from fright, it has the same effect on you whether it is indeed a snake ("real") or whether it is actually a piece of rope that you only thought was a snake ("perceived/imagined").
And so it is with love and romance. Read this interesting (and brief) New York Times piece about the delusions of romance.