We all hold onto a lot of myths about what the perfect relationship is meant to be like and I, like pretty much everyone else, blames the media. I rarely see a realistic portrayal of a relationship on TV or on film. So what are the top five myths that keep you from enjoying a happy, healthy relationship?
1. Relationships are easy – well…no. They aren’t. That’s not to say they’re difficult either but lots of people seem to think that once you’ve found a partner then the hard part’s over. If you want your relationship to flourish you are going to have to tend to it. I feel an icky metaphor coming on here, but let’s just go with it relationships are like a garden. You wouldn’t dream of planting seeds and saplings in a garden and then leaving it, going on nothing but faith and hope that it would blossom into something stunning. Gardens need to be watered, weeded and pruned regularly. It’s the same with relationships.
2. My partner and I should see eye-to-eye on everything – why? The two of you are different, discreet entities with your own thoughts and feelings. You aren’t two halves of the same whole. Believing that you should both have the same views on things means you both become diminished. There’s nothing more sad than seeing someone who was vibrant and alive with opinions vanish when they enter a relationship, morphing into the person they’re dating. It’s OK to disagree on things with your partner, the key is learning how to manage those disagreements through effective, empathic communication.
3. We shouldn’t argue or row – actually, I sort of agree with this one…I don’t believe that full on shouting and slagging matches are particularly healthy but if your partner has upset you and you simply bottle it up and allow resentment to fester instead of having a constructive conversation about what’s caused you to be upset, you’re allowing a fear of confrontation to get in the way of pursuing a health relationship. Disagreements happen, your partner will upset you and you will upset your partner, of this you can be assured. But not talking about it will cause the resentment to erode your relationship.
4. Our relationship should be like…my parent’s/my bestfriend’s/how it is in the movies – comparing yourself to others is fastest route to unhappiness. You’ll never see what goes on behind closed doors in other people’s relationships, so don’t make assumptions based on your limited observations. Looking outside of yourself to find happiness is always destined to cause you heartache, you are the only person who’s responsible for your emotions, I would encourage you to pay attention to what makes you happy, give up second guessing yourself by looking at what others have and focus instead on learning about you and what makes you thrive.
5. I shouldn’t have to tell my partner what’s wrong, s/he should just know by now – whoa! Hold up a minute! If your partner does just know what you want/why you’re upset/that you’d like him (or her) to try some different moves in bed then you happen to be going out with the world’s only psychic! Your partner is not telepathic nor is he/she psychic. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been going out for months or years, you are as much of an enigma to them as they are to you. And if you reverse this statement, you’ll realise how ridiculous it sounds do you just know what’s wrong with your partner by now. I doubt it. Try and remember to be respectful towards your partner by teaching them “you”. You are always changing and growing and evolving…perhaps you need to update your partner with the most up to date information!