No one goes into a relationship thinking that it will end. If people started each new relationship believing that the trauma and heartbreak they felt with their last breakup was bound to be repeated, they would never enter a new relationship again. To avoid this, we blinker ourselves. With each new relationship, we try even harder to make sure that this one lasts. That this is the last time we must go around the track. That this person we are with is the one.
This notion of ‘the one’ is not an internal creation. It is one which has been handed to us on a silver platter by books and movies. Along with our soulmate, comes a dialog. A dialog which maps out and perpetuates the idea of a perfect relationship. But no relationship is perfect. Just as no human is perfect.
We make mistakes, we get hurt and we inflict hurt. We are not given a rule book or map to life. It is a process of trial and error and consultation. Unfortunately, there are times when we consult the wrong people and accept the wrong advice. The following are a few relationship myths which are bold-faced lies.
- If a relationship is meant to be, it will work itself out
No. Relationships take work, input, and effort. Things will not simply fall in to place. This isn’t to say that some relationships aren’t meant to be and won’t work. The point here is, that it is not always going to be easy.
- Do not voice your concerns at the beginning of the relationship
A critical person is an unlovable person. This is what goes through one’s mind when they first start dating someone. It is what keeps them from voicing concerns or grievances. And it is false. We date someone, to get to know them. This includes their expectations and limitations. These should be clarified in the beginning, not 10 years later in therapy.
- Opposites attract
It is a good thing when partners have differences and can challenge each other. But the idea of opposites being the best matches? Not exactly. Some similarities are necessary. There does need to be some element of common ground.
- You must have sex a certain number of times each week
Sex is important. It is an intimate and bonding experience. It is also not dictated by anyone else, but the 2 people involved. The regularity of a couple’s sexual exploits is completely determined by them and their desires.
- Marriage and children will fix a relationship
Divorce is messy and can leave behind scars on parents and children alike. Marriage is not the answer to a relationships problem. Neither is children. These are both enormous responsibilities which should not be taken lightly or without due consideration.
- All men cheat all the time
The sexes are different, yes. But women are not always the victims and men the villains. Not all men cheat. Not all woman cheat. Holding onto to these preconceived notions could drive an insurmountable wedge between a couple.
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- People can’t change
Yes, they can, but only if they want to. And they must want to change for themselves.
- And they all lived happily ever after
This cliché could not be more misleading. There is no happily ever after because there is no end. The work continues, always.
- Your partner should be the only relationship you need
This does not advocate cheating. It is simply arguing against co-dependency.
- Good couples do not fight
They do. It re-establishes boundaries and it helps air grievances. It is healthy.