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5 Misconceptions about Relationships

Relationship problems, divorce and separation are through the roof, and it could be because of these “5 Misconceptions about Relationships.”

It’s no wonder we prefer to go solo when we seem to have some very unrealistic thoughts about what to expect from our beloved. Hopefully, you will find by shining a light on these misunderstandings you will be able to approach your relationships in a more realistic, flexible and positive light.

Relationship Misconception #1
A healthy relationship should be sizzling. If it’s not lighting up like a spark plug, then its time find a new bed buddy. And an even more damaging misconception is the expectation that your relationship will naturally descend into the doldrums. And you should somehow be ok with this dreary state of affairs? Both of these approaches to relationships spell trouble. In the former, we are failing to see that relationships change with time. Novelty does not last, although indeed you can do much to keep your relationship and your partner engaged, challenged and connected. You will never experience that first kiss again, but it doesn’t mean you will have to settle for being unhappy.

Keeping a long term relationship healthy means that both parties do not take the other person for granted. Instead, they remain curious about their partner’s interests, and their connection strengthens over time. As your trust and knowledge of one another grow, your early sizzle turns into a smouldering fire; a fire with golden hot ashes that will keep you both warm.

Relationship Misconception #2
Relationships shouldn’t be hard work. Wrong! Being close to another human being is both challenging and rewarding, in equal measure. You rely on them to make decisions impacting your welfare. Most often, you are sharing a home, finances and bodily fluids… Well enough said right. It’s going to get messy. Emotionally messy, and this means facing some difficult conversations, really listening to one another and finding a compromise when you inevitably disagree on things. Good things are worth the effort.

Relationship Misconception #3
Your partner should be your everything. Your running buddy, motivational speaker, counsellor, cleaner, protector financial advisor and your PT. Unfortunately no. You are a complex creature with many different shades and faces that reveal themselves in different circumstances. Your partner is the same, with their unique personality, interests and style. Don’t expect one person to meet your every need. It is far more realistic to have a good group of friends, some shared, some individual so that you can be your full self.

Relationship Misconception #4
You are one half of a whole that together makes one. No, as morbid as this sounds, you are born alone, and you die alone. Expecting someone else to make up for your inadequacies makes your relationship and your wellbeing very shaky. Learn to love yourself, as you are, and you will enjoy your relationship much more. Don’t expect that a partners love will somehow complete you or fill a hole. Better to do some work on filling this hole yourself and then enjoy your relationship without this unnecessary pressure.

Relationship Misconception #5
He/ She will change. Thinking that your partner will change once you have had a chance to ‘work’ on them is a recipe for disaster. And yet so often this is what happens. Just as you are perfectly ok the way you are, right now, your partner is also perfectly ok. And when he or she feels the need for personal development, growth or reflection, they will do this, of their own accord, and in their own time. Expecting that your partner will change to be more acceptable to you is a lose/ a lose situation. If they do change, they will have done it for your benefit and not their own. And if they do not submit to your influence, then you will both continue to be unhappy. They may interpret you trying to change them as evidence they are “not good enough”. And you will feel unsatisfied that your relationship (or your partner) is not as you want it.

If you were to think back over the best moments in your life, do it now…. can you name them? I am pretty sure that most, if not all, involved someone else. We are wired to value relationships. Romantic relationships can be the source of the greatest happiness and the deepest despair. Like two sides of a coin, you can’t have the happy moments without the painful ones. Choose your partner carefully and invest in your relationship, and you will have every chance of a long and happy union.

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