Why we shouldn’t believe these myths about love
In films, books and love songs we are fed myths about love – how we will feel complete and as though this one, special person is meant for us. Some of the myths that are perpetuated can stop us from viewing our ordinary, normal relationships as ‘real’ love because they are not as romantic as the ones in the Hollywood films. Here are some of the myths it would be better not to believe.
How you feel when you fall in love won’t change
One myth people often believe is that the falling in love stage of a relationship – the heady, intoxicating bit where you just can’t get enough of each other – should last. It doesn’t; it wears off and what comes after is the building of a mature, lasting intimacy which is much more secure and. But for some people this may feel as though they have fallen out of love.
You will both be happy ever after
Another myth is that if you are with the right person you will both be happy, all the time. Real life isn’t like that as problems come even to people who are blissfully in love. It is also important to remember that it isn’t anybody else’s job to make you happy. Each person in a couple is responsible for their own happiness and then they come together and share their happiness with each other – offering love and support when times are tough rather than interpreting it as a sign that the relationship isn’t working.
If you are a melancholy single person the chances are you will still be melancholy when you are in a couple – being in love isn’t an antidote to personality traits or underlying issues. The being in love stage may mask them for a while but they are likely to raise their head again at some point in the relationship.
People in love don’t argue
This is one of the most dangerous myths because it is so untrue. Some couples may never argue but they are the exception rather than the rule and it is not necessarily a sign that their relationship is ‘healthier’ than that of a couple who fight a lot.
As your relationship develops there are bound to be areas where you do not agree simply because you are two individuals who each have your own values, tastes, habits and preferences. While you may sometimes agree to disagree there will be some areas where it feels too important for you to back down – often issues to do with money or child rearing.
The measure of a good relationship isn’t ‘whether’ a couple fights but rather ‘how’ they fight – a healthy relationship will allow each person to air their feelings in a respectful, non-abusive way, sticking to the case in point and working towards a common resolution.
There must be a meeting of minds for there to be a meeting of hearts
We all know the scenario where a couple meet and find that they have loads in common from their taste in music to the type of toothpaste they prefer – the myth is that we must have lots of areas of common ground in order for a relationship to develop – this isn’t necessarily true, or helpful, when you are reviewing matches.
You may be very compatible with someone who has different hobbies or interests from you because you are well matched when it comes to values. Or you may have differing values but many complementing personality traits. When you are with someone who is very different from you there is more opportunity for you to learn from each other and grow together. As long as your interests and attitudes are not conflicting, differences between you can help keep the relationship vibrant and exciting.
Your partner should also be your best friend
It is important that your expectations of a partner are different from those you have of a same sex friend. Men and women are fundamentally different in how they express their love and affection. A partner is unlikely to be able to satisfy all your emotional needs. Having a good social network helps to ensure that there isn’t too much pressure on your partner to be ‘everything’ to you – they are sure to fall short on some level.
Love isn’t a myth, and neither is lasting happiness, but how it manifests itself in your life will not necessarily look like it does in love stories – real life is much messier but also a lot more fun because you are in it.
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