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The Truth about the 12 Most Common Relationship Myths

From a young age, we are always taught that there’s almost always a happy ending, be it in literature, movies, or in television shows. Western culture teaches us to expect a “happily ever after” straight out of a fairy tale, and this belief often leads us to feel that our relationships should be calm and pleasant all the time. However, life is not a fun ride all the time, and is far from perfect. Relationships require work and effort, as well as copious amounts of patience, forcing us to review the myths we thought were true. For some, these 12 truths may be hard to accept, but they are the only way to open yourself up to a truly fulfilling relationship that will stand the trials of life.

 

Relationship Myths

1. A “Soulmate” is a partner that loves you and is willing to put in the hard work a relationship requires

Most people think that soulmates will find each other from across the room after a single look, but in the real world things happen a little differently. Some of us may reject potential mates over minor issues, while others think that their relationships are failing purely because they haven’t found that “soulmate”. This does not imply that you should work on a relationship with a person who treats you poorly, or that you cannot find common ground with, but waiting for that soulmate may cause us to develop unrealistic expectations from a future mate, which will lead you to many disappointments. The thing that turns a good partner into a soulmate is care and commitment, and that is what you should look for in a relationship.

2. A stable relationship is built on dealing with difficulties, not avoiding them

Every relationship is strewn with hardships, big and small. We can imagine our relationship as a long rope, and hardships are knots along that rope. Some of these knots seem so big that we may feel disappointment or anger at needing to tackle them. Some people prefer to throw that knotty rope altogether, while others may choose to try and ignore them. Relationships are built on honest attempts from both sides to untangle these knots, because ignoring them will not make them go away.

Relationship Myths

3. Arguments are a good thing

Arguments and disagreements are part of every relationship since the beginning of time. We all have certain behaviors and beliefs that can lead to friction with our partners, and some things that seem minor to some couples can prove a major issue for others. Even if we cannot always find the appropriate words to express our feelings, avoiding a conversation over significant issues often leads to an even worse disagreement in the end. Being able to have a discussion over serious problems without offending each other is what makes a relationship a solid one, and enables people to stay together through thick and thin.

4. Some scars from past relationships may never heal

Most people come into relationships after experiencing happiness with other partners, but also more than a little heartache. Some of the scars we bear are the result of being hurt in the past, while others are from bad decisions, or ones we did not make in time. Some of these hurts may heal, but others can take years to, or even may never heal, even if you’re in a stable, loving relationship. Some people claim that a good partner can heal such injuries, but sometimes these wounds are simply too deep. No partner will ever be able to know everything that happened to us in the past, and our best course would be not to fault our new partner for past wounds. A supportive partner is not necessarily someone that wants to make us “better”, but someone who knows our scars and accepts us as we are.

Relationship Myths

5. Jealousy is not the same thing as care

Fear that a partner will not show us care can lead some people to believe that a good partner is also a jealous one. The truth is that while care is essential to a good relationship, jealousy is the result of personal insecurities. Most studies show that the only way to resolve jealousy is by the jealous individual changing their own perception; many people still think that they are the reason for their partner’s jealousy. If you are uncomfortable with your partner’s behavior, talk to mutual friends about it, or even confront your partner directly.

6. Actions always speak louder than words

Even though many of us enjoy texting or calling each other throughout the day, this is not the type of communication that will help a relationship last. Technology does allow us to be more in contact with each other, but it doesn’t form true closeness and doesn’t prevent disagreements. Romance novels put great emphasis on love declarations, but in real life, most arguments revolve around who puts away the dishes, whose turn it is to do the laundry, or who’s to blame for being late for an appointment. In other words, if you do at least one small thing extra for your partner every day, you’ll foster a positive and loving atmosphere that even 20 texts wouldn’t have been able to do. With that in mind, remember to thank your partner when they do something for you, so that they don’t feel like they are being taken for granted.

Relationship Myths

7. Your partner is not a mind reader

Amongst our shared tasks and chores, we can feel that when our partners make mistakes that it is caused by carelessness or neglect, even though most mistakes are the result of honest misunderstandings. A huge part of being in a relationship is showing patience and understanding, as well as asking and showing forgiveness. Before you accuse your partner, check yourself and make sure you did everything you can to explain yourself, and do your best to help them understand how you feel. Can you text them the grocery list instead of leaving a note on the table (which they may miss)? How about sharing an online calendar with all of your planned activities?

8. Only you can change yourself

We usually know our partner’s good and bad sides pretty well, but may still feel frustrated that we cannot change a certain behavior of theirs that bothers us. Popular culture has us believing that if you love someone, you’ll want to change for him or her, but this is rarely the case. The best way to show your love for someone is not to try and change him or her but to help them become a better version of themselves. Share your feelings with your partner and offer to do what is needed to help them. If your partner refuses to cooperate, decide whether it is something you can forgo, or if it is a “deal breaker”.

Relationship Myths

9. The best relationships are built on love, not need

“I can’t live without you” may sound great, but a truly good relationship is one where both partners love each other more than they need each other. If you feel like the only reason you’re in a relationship is to compensate for other areas in your life where you feel uncertainty, you’ll never feel truly satisfied. Remember to invest in your personal and professional needs, rather than hope that your partner will solve your problems for you.

10. Love and attraction change over time

Daily routine takes a toll on our time and energy levels, leading to changes in how we feel about our partners, and even though it is a known issue, many people end up hurt or disappointed with these changes. The myth that dwindling passion means that your relationship is in trouble may make you think your relationship’s over and there is no point in trying to address the situation. Many couples realize that they only go out with other couples instead of spending quality time with each other. Set some time aside for a date, or even a quiet dinner alone after the kids have gone to bed.

Relationship Myths

11. Love doesn’t conquer all

Even the most loving relationship cannot change a person who’s not happy with themselves. If you haven’t dated in a while and decide to get back out there, don’t expect immediate success or happiness. The problems you’ve had at work or with your family won’t disappear, and even though a relationship is a joyous thing, it won’t necessarily fix your dissatisfaction with other aspects of your life. Instead of listening to people that tell you that relationships are the miracle cure, you should address your problems yourself before you can truly enjoy your new relationship.

12. Nothing lasts forever

We are not immortal, but at times life causes us to treat our partners as a low priority. Keep reminding yourself about all the reasons why you should appreciate this connection that you’re so lucky to have: Why you fell in love with your partner, those special private moments you shared, etc. Even though life is short, we can remember people that meant a lot to us but are no longer there, so the best thing you can do for your relationship is to live without regrets. Tell your partners how you feel. Do that thing you always wanted to do with them. You may not have a chance later on.

Relationship Myths

The bottom line is, that while you shouldn’t settle for someone that is incompatible with you, you still need to put in more than a little effort and offer a lot of patience to make your relationship work. Time and routine will take a toll on every couple, but those who are willing to face these challenges head on and still stay together will be rewarded with a long and happy relationship, even if it isn’t “perfect”.

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