Relationships, intimacy, love - all these are almost as old as humankind itself. We all know God created Eve so that Adam would have some company. I, too, had many relationships until I found the love of my life and along the way, I managed to delve into the topic and really investigate it. What I know today is that I would be really happy if all the insights and truths about relationships that I learned over the course of time were known to me from the beginning – which would save me from a lot of disappointments and arguments.
So, in order to spare you, and your loved ones, from pain and anguish, I present to you the 12 myths I’ve debunked about relationships over the years, and I hope that they’ll help you adopt an honest, different and correct perspective on your relationship.
There is a certain belief among many that couples who are interested in a good relationship must share the same perceptions of sexuality and sexual preferences, but let me tell you that there’s no truth in this perception and it is fundamentally wrong.
Each person has the set of needs and desires that they have formulated for themselves, which is different and distinct from that of other people - with terms such as "sex" and "intimacy" having a different meaning for each and every one of us. Of course, it is highly recommended that the couple respect each other's sexual preferences, but it’s best to understand that there is no obligation to see eye to eye on this issue.
I hear people who say that over time and years the pleasant physical gestures that were common at the beginning of the relationship gradually go away, and people in a long-term relationship begin to avoid touching each other. Why does this happen? Are they no longer attracted to each other? Have the butterflies gone away completely? It is true that sometimes at the beginning of the relationship there is an expectation to be as physical as possible in public, and over the years this expectation wanes slightly, but a complete lack of affection in public is not a good sign. Don’t let your relationship slowly die - make time for one another, instead of turning off the love, increase it every day and do not be afraid to show your love to each other alone as well as in front of others.
The level of sexuality and the desire for intimacy are things that change from person to person and it is impossible to say in a general way, as many mistakenly claim, that men are much more interested in sex than women. Believe me, I knew some women who were no less passionate than many men and they were admirably happy and full of self-confidence. Edward Lowman, a well-known American sociologist, once said: "The sexual drive of women is particularly sensitive to the environment and the context" and I can only agree with him. Therefore - for the men among us - know that even if your wives take the lead in bed you have nothing to be ashamed of, it does not hurt your male ego. On the contrary, you should enjoy it!
"Opposites attract" is a well-known expression of love and relationship, meaning that those among us with different preferences and perceptions have a better chance of falling in love with each other. But know that this isn’t a necessity at all - if you share the same eating habits, will you not have the pleasure of going out together to discover new tastes? And if shared experiences, love and intimacy are perceived by you in a similar way, won’t it help increase the love to prevent awkward situations? The answer is, of course, yes and yes. You may have different musical tastes, different sleeping positions, varied sexual preferences (as we have already mentioned) - but either way, even if you think exactly the same way, it doesn’t mean your relationship is destined to fail.
Is frequent and long sex a guarantee of a good relationship? Allow me to disagree with this common perception - it is something that is very dependent on condition and will. In my opinion, it is worthwhile to treat intimacy not as a task that must be met, but as an experience of self and relationship discovery, and therefore it must be experienced not because of necessity or because of expectations. Terri Orbuch, a clinical psychologist and author of several books on relationships, said: "Frustration is the number one thing that eats away at a relationship, and it’s directly tied to these myths about the frequency of sex."
At this point, don’t get me wrong - trust, openness, and loyalty are supposed to be engraved in your relationship, and it’s good if your partner knows you inside out. However, there are situations in life that you don’t need to share with your partner: You went out somewhere with friends, and someone - quite innocently - bumped into you by mistake, asked forgiveness and walked away? There’s no need to bother your partner with this story. You don’t really like her favorite dress? Never mind, you can spare your partner the comment and keep your dislike to yourself. These are small things that you can certainly keep to yourself and no one will be hurt by it.
How much fun is it to sleep spooning? - the position in which one partner (usually the man) wraps and embraces the other (usually the woman) from the back and they fall asleep, body to body. Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of books on the subject, says: "it’s a very vulnerable position that is sexual but says, ‘I trust you.'" So no wonder there are quite a few couples who believe this is the only sleeping position for couples that love each other. This is true for only 18% of couples! Believe it or not, the vast majority of couples never sleep this way, and there's nothing wrong with that. Sleep the way you like!
Conflicts, even if they are unpleasant, are a fairly expected and common part of any relationship. You don’t have to try to solve all your fights at once, and there is no need to stay up all night-as some couples do-just to solve a small, occasional argument that might end up being a big fight after insisting on addressing it at the moment. Instead, let things settle down a bit and let time to do its thing, choose which disagreements are important for you to settle at that moment, and which are best left for another time. If you get into an argument with your partner, weigh your arguments carefully and then examine the extent of their anger - only then decide whether you should continue discussing the issue until you resolve it or perhaps wait for a calmer time that will allow you to restore peace to your relationship.
Continuing on from the previous section, know that avoiding conflicts doesn’t make your relationship happy, but rather the opposite - it may indicate that you are avoiding talking about things and being open with each other, which may be far worse than conflict situations. I learned these lessons more than once from experience: it is necessary to talk about and dissect things with your partner; A loaded discussion or an unpleasant conversation is a thousand times better than repressed emotions. In order to develop a happy relationship, it is important that you keep as many things as transparent and open as possible even if this means running into conflict.
It doesn’t matter whether you are in a relationship or not - physical and mental attraction to people is logical, human and natural. Being in a relationship should not block or suppress these feeling, you just need to deal with them correctly. It makes no sense to be tormented or feel that you are betraying your spouse when you’re attracted to someone other than them if all you did was think it. Feelings of attraction are naturally created, and you must let them pass and go away with time, and not feel bad about them.
As you must have already understood from all that has been said so far, a good relationship is not necessarily an obstacle-free experience. Even the happiest couples, which I say from experience, go through different feelings and moods, in which each person in the relationship experiences ups and downs, on a personal or professional level, just like everyone else. You can talk about it with your partner - but there is no guarantee that they can fix the situation. They can make things easier for you or encourage you, but even if they can’t do so in every situation, it doesn’t mean that the relationship is over.
Bringing a child into the world is a wonderful experience and the happiness of starting a family is huge and never-ending, but don’t use it as a means of restoring your relationship. Raising a child can be very stressful for you and your partner, and with all your free time devoted to this goal, it can only widen the gap between the both of you. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have children, but you should be ready for it, discuss the matter seriously with each other, and above all plan the building of the family unit only if both of you feel ready for it, purely from love and not from looking for a fix for your relationship.