We live in a busy world where people are in a rush to find ‘the one,’ or a ‘soulmate,’ but these attempts are often in vain.
If you are among the many who are swayed by fairy tales when it comes to relationships, you’ve probably encountered disappointment in your past.
Bewitched by the illusion of romantic liaisons, people often dive head first into relationships with a specific expectation in mind, only to be dismayed by the reality.
It is not entirely your fault for believing in the myths that eventually lead you to misery. After all, the idea of a perfect relationship is often a theme in movies or books.
The idea of a perfect relationship is so rosy that popular media try to bank on it by skillfully sculpting the image of a joyful and flawless relationship on screen.
Thanks to them, we tend to acquire specific ideas about how love is supposed to be.
In this contemporary era, capitalism dominates our culture, and the notion of love is greatly romanticized. The appeal of a perfect romance sells, and we buy it without question.
So, it is unsurprising that most of us have fallen prey and have developed unrealistic standards for relationships.
If your reality does not meet your expectations, it will surely leave you frustrated.
If you want to break away from the false reality created by movies and books – if you want a happy relationship – you have to stop believing in myths that leave you and your partner unfulfilled.
What are those myths?
Myth #1: Great relationships are effortless because true love is enough.
Reality: A great relationship does not just happen on its own; couples have to work on it together with love and understanding.
Seeing how couples are depicted on TV and in movies makes us think that relationships are all about fun or excitement. The reality is far from such a fairy tale. A relationship needs a lot of work to keep it healthy and happy.
Much like building a house, a relationship requires the contribution of the people involved. Both partners have to put in the effort beyond the initial stages of romance.
Love is what stays after the passion fades. As time passes, things change and you will not remain at the stage where your emotions are dominated by infatuation or attraction.
Nor will your experiences always be as thrilling as when you first meet your other half. Life gets in the way whether we like it or not.
As you grow, you will look beyond romance and learn to balance differences and priorities to make your relationship work.
Myth #2: Jealousy is a sure sign of love.
Reality: Jealousy may feel like an expression of care initially, but it often springs up because of insecurity in a relationship.
Jealousy is not a healthy sign in any given situation and is often a response to perceived threats. Instead of maintaining a healthy connection, jealousy tends to make a partner passive-aggressive, controlling, and overprotective.
A lack of mutual understanding and one’s own conduct can pave the way to jealousy, which can tear the relationship apart.
Myth #3: Couples in a great relationship do not fight; fights ruin relationships.
Reality: Fights or disagreements are inevitable in any relationship. Even the happiest couples fight. Healthy arguments are a platform for understanding your partner better.
In fact, fights can actually strengthen your relationship if you take the right approach. Disagreements and disputes can give you a chance to discuss what is bothering you.
So, it is wrong to think that there is no more love in the relationship because you’ve had a few fights.
Arguments can also open up doors that help you see your partner in a new light and accept their qualities.
When you argue, you can agree to disagree. Your approach to the fight and knowing when to push the brakes before the argument gets out of control can actually pave the way for a mutual agreement that solves the problems.
So fights, at times, could actually be beneficial for you.
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Myth #4: Getting married or having a baby will strengthen the relationship and resolve some issues.
Reality: Making this big leap will not miraculously solve your problems. Marriage is a major commitment and having a baby is an even bigger and longer commitment.
These significant decisions should not be taken lightly or be used to mask the real problems you have in the relationship.
It is a common misconception that marriage or a child will make the relationship better. In fact, many people take these steps in the hope that their partner will become more committed. They believe that jumping to the next big step will fix their ailing relationship.
On the contrary, making such major life changes can cause more damage to a relationship that is already in troubled waters. It entails new and important responsibilities that can only add stress for the couple involved.
Getting married or having a baby without fixing the existing problems will not strengthen any relationship. The bottom line is that distractions or concealment are never a miraculous cure for any problem.
Myth #5: Couples in a happy relationship resolve all their fights and disagreements.
Reality: This is not true at all. In most relationships, some problems remain unresolved, which means couples don’t always agree.
Two people are bound to hold some opposing values and beliefs, so there will always be disagreements. It is unrealistic to believe that all differences can be settled in a relationship.
At most, couples can work to manage their disagreements instead of reaching a conclusion that does not give closure to either of them or ends in a solution that is entirely unsatisfactory.
Sometimes, an issue or conflict can put less strain on a relationship if both parties agree to disagree. In respecting each other’s right to hold certain beliefs, couples form a bond which is more progressive and mature.
Myth #6: There are right and wrong ways of fixing relationship problems.
Reality: There are no guidelines that tell you how to navigate a relationship in times of trouble.
Because every relationship is different, with its own set of complications, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to relationship problems.
If friendly advice and instructions from self-help books work for you, that’s great. However, this is not always the case in real life.
To see positive changes, you and your partner should make an effort to work on your problems as you see fit. It is not simple, of course, but there is no ready-made solution for it either.
Myth #7: Couples who are really in love know each other’s needs and feelings.
Reality: As great as that would be, it is pure fantasy.
Your partner cannot read minds, assuming he/she is a mere human. So it is somewhat immature to believe that couples who are in love can understand each other’s thoughts and feelings.
Your partner may know many of your likes and dislikes, but they cannot know exactly how you feel, why you feel that way, or even what you expect him/her to do about it.
As a rational person, you are responsible for communicating your issues to your partner. The real challenge lies in whether he/she listens to you and makes an effort to resolve it.
Myth #8: Couples should have sex ‘x’ number of times for a great relationship.
Reality: If couples have unreasonable expectations regarding the amount of sex they should have, they will end up dissatisfied.
It is important to understand that not every couple has the same level of desire or drive for sex, and that this determines how often they get between the sheets.
Couples would be more content if they kept in mind that they have to experience things at their own pace, and in their own way, to be physically and emotionally satisfied.
It is true that a healthy relationship and a satisfactory sex life do go hand in hand. However, the frequency of sexual intimacy between couples is not the only crucial metric by which happiness should be measured.
Myth #9: Both partners should be willing to change for a successful relationship.
Reality: After the initial stage of infatuation has passed, many people resort to fantasy, wishing that they could improve or change their partner’s particular qualities so as to enjoy a flawless relationship.
Believing that there can be a perfect relationship is ridiculous in itself. Humans are flawed creatures, so we are bound to have many qualities that can be somewhat frustrating to others.
Unless it is a serious issue such as infidelity or physical and emotional abuse, it is crucial to reflect upon one’s actions and role in the relationship as well. Blaming the other person alone will not solve anything. Instead, it can adversely affect the relationship.
So, if you have issues that put your relationship in jeopardy, or if you are planning to get into a serious relationship, learn to differentiate between what is realistic and what is not.
Relationships are complicated things and they will not run smoothly all of the time. They are hard work sometimes and you ought to be willing to put this effort in to keep them healthy.
If you can stop believing these 9 relationship myths, you will be better prepared mentally and emotionally to take the good times with the bad.