12 Most Destructive Relationship Myths
If you have ever read a fairy tale or watched the latest romantic comedy from Hollywood, then you know how relationships are portrayed: attractive boy meets attractive girl, they overcome their relationship obstacles, then boy and girl ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, building healthy relationships in the real world is a bit more complicated. Unlike the movies, life’s challenges often take much longer than two hours to overcome. Still, many of us subconsciously hold onto many romantic notions that can actually hinder our relationships.
Let’s examine the following 12 most destructive relationship myths which remain prevalent today:
1. You are not happy and fulfilled unless you are in a relationship
The danger of this myth is it leads us to neglect the most important relationship we ever have — the one with ourselves. When we are pursuing our own self-development, we become more comfortable in our own skins. This is when we realize that we alone are ultimately responsible for our own happiness. Besides, the healthiest romantic relationships are when two people who are already happy and well-adjusted come together.
2. Love at first sight
In most cases, love at first sight is actually intense physical attraction at first sight. While it is physical attraction that first draws us to someone, mature love only comes with time.
3. Everyone has a soul mate
Considering the fact there are billions of souls on the planet, the belief in a soul mate is extremely limiting. If you narrow your focus to just look for “the one,” you may miss opportunities for love and companionship which are all around you.
4. All you need is love
This one would be wonderful if it were true. Yes, love is vital. But for a relationship to thrive, you must add mutual respect, support, trust, and commitment to the mix.
5. An attractive exterior means an attractive interior
We must remember just because a person is physically attractive does not mean their personality is as well. Only by spending time with someone can we discern if their true beauty is more than skin deep.
6. Getting married will solve your relationship problems
Walking down the aisle will not make someone a more attentive, affectionate partner. It will not change a person’s position on having children. Yet many fool themselves into thinking the act of matrimony will mystically change their partner into the person they want them to be. It won’t.
7. Never go to bed angry
While the intent behind this old chestnut is commendable, it is not remotely realistic. Disagreements are part of the natural ebb and flow of any relationship. While you will be able to resolve some conflicts quickly, others may take time. The important thing to remember is to learn to settle your differences constructively. Being angry with your partner does not mean you do not love them, so go to bed! Often a good night’s rest will bring fresh perspective.
8. Having a baby will improve your marriage
Bringing a new life into the world is a serious, life-long commitment. Having a child will not automatically solve the problems in your marriage. In fact, expanding your family stands a good chance of making matters worse. Strained relationships may break due to the additional emotional, physical, and financial responsibilities inherent with raising a child. The only reason you should consider having a baby is that you feel ready to become a loving parent.
9. Faking sexual satisfaction is sometimes necessary
Regardless if you are a man or woman, faking being satisfied with your sex life is never good for your relationship. You need to be able to discuss with your partner what does or does not work for you in the bedroom. It is the only way your sex life will ever improve. If you remain silent, you will grow more resentful and frustrated. These hard feelings will eventually spill over into other areas of your life together.
10. Couples who have been together for a long time are happy
The length of time a couple has been together does not always mean the relationship is a happy one. The reasons couples chose to remain in unhappy unions are varied, including concerns about the welfare of any children, to the adherence to religious dogma.
11. You must go along to get along
Constantly keeping silent in order to end disagreements causes much more harm than good. You need to be heard, but by muting your voice, you run the risk of becoming emotionally alienated from your partner. This distance often claims intimacy and trust as its victims. Instead, learn constructive and healthy ways to fight fair.
12. Marriage means the end of romance
Marriage does not automatically signal the end of romance, but it must be made a top priority. Many couples keep the fires of passion burning by understanding romance entails more than just expensive or elaborate gestures. Romance is also nurtured by daily expressions of affection and gratitude.
Our relationships are precious, and far too complex to be relegated to any fairy tale. But with the magic ingredients of love, trust, respect, commitment, communication and hard work, you can create your very own happily ever after.
What other relationship myths would you like to debunk? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Featured image courtesy of Robert Couse-Baker via Creative Commons.