The 5 biggest relationship myths
Sometimes the myths about relationships can hold people back and stop them from believing their relationship is working. We want to help you to develop lasting relationships, built on solid foundations, rather than on a romantic fantasy of what a relationship ‘should’ be like. Here dispel some of the most prevalent myths.
1. You need to have loads of common interests to have a good relationship
The whole principle of eHarmony is based on compatibility, but don’t mistake this for similarity. You can be compatible with someone who likes very different things from you – you can learn from, and complement each other, and both grow as a result as long as your interests and attitudes are not conflicting. Do you really want to be with someone who is just like you or would you like to be able to do things independently and then share your experiences with each other?
There are also fundamental differences between men and women – the opposite sex enjoy different things and have different ways of expressing their love and affection. Problems arise when people expect their partner to be like their best friend – a partner will not necessarily be able to satisfy all your emotional needs so it is important that you have a social network so you don’t put too much pressure on the relationship.
2. A happy couple will never fight
All couples argue – it is a natural and healthy expression of needs and wants in a relationship and not necessarily a sign that there is something wrong. While it is important that you are able to resolve conflict between you in a healthy, non-abusive way, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will come to share the same beliefs and values – simply that you come to respect each others opinion.
3. Someone else can make you happy
While your life can be enriched by sharing it with someone else no-one can actually make you happy – if you are a melancholy, pessimistic single person the chances are that you will still be that way in a relationship. It is all too easy to believe the Hollywood romance of living happily ever after but it is actually a fantasy. That is not to say that people don’t have long and happy relationships – they do – but it happens when each of them are prepared to take full responsibility for their own happiness and encourage their partner to do the same.
4. Romance should last
Lasting love is not the same as that heady, intoxicating feeling of falling in love but many people become disillusioned when that wears off and think they have fallen out of love. A mature relationship will shift from dizzying infatuation to a deeper, more secure love. The willingness to go through this transition together is where real intimacy is developed.
The romance of the falling in love stage doesn’t necessarily disappear altogether. Instead it changes and often becomes more implicit – a deep knowing rather that outward declarations. You both begin to show your love in the everyday things you do for each other rather than big romantic gestures. Everyone shows love in different ways and if you find yourself needing more romance it’s ok to ask for it – be specific about what you want and need and don’t assume you partner doesn’t love you if their way of expressing it is very different from yours.
5. A good relationship doesn’t require you to work at it
This is one of the most dangerous myths – ‘real’ love will flow effortlessly, like water. Anyone who is in a long term relationship will testify that they have had to work together to stay together – it might flow smoothly most of the time but every couple, without exception, will have difficult areas to overcome and to do this takes effort.
It is like a garden – it may be beautiful and full of healthy flowers and shrubs but if you neglect to weed and water it will fail to thrive – relationships are the same. There are some relationships that seem to take enormous amounts of work yet yield little reward for the couple involved – in this case it may be over. Percentage wise you should be happy in a relationship more than you are unhappy and be prepared to work at it when times get tough – this is how true intimacy develops. There also needs to be equal effort from both parties – not one person doing all the work.
Love isn’t a myth and neither is lasting happiness but how it manifests itself in your life will not necessarily look like it does in the movies – we wouldn’t appreciate the light if we didn’t know the dark. All relationships will have both if they are balanced.
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