Building a stable and lasting relationship is not a simple task. In fact you don’t just get one – you create one. It might start from a physical attraction but that stage usually doesn’t last very long. Soon after, it becomes all about effective communication, mutual respect and crucial down time. Love is in us and all around us, yet there are so many misconceptions about it.
Most people’s idea of love is based on what films they have watched as a kid.
I think the biggest myths about love are as follows:
1. Once you find ”THE ONE” your job is done
When you are young and easy to influence, you absorb information first (from books, films and interactions with others) and form our opinions as second – exactly in this order. And so, it’s only natural that you form the basis of your relationships based on the experience acquired over the years. When you are single you are likely to feel lonely at times. You might think that your life is so miserable, it can’t get any worse. You think that finding the right person is the solution/a magic formula to all your life problems. It will change everything and give you eternal happiness. Sadly it doesn’t work like that. Finding your partner is the beginning, not the end. This is where the work starts. And it will take work to make it last. Many of us learn that later in life when experiencing relationship problems.
2. Your partner’s role is to make you happy
Another huge myth. It’s nobody’s role to make you happy. It’s your job. You can’t rely on external people for your happiness as you can’t control them. As soon as they are gone, your happiness is gone too!
So, (and this is a very important bit) be happy before you get in a relationship. If you are unhappy you will attract unhappy people. We all need to learn to love and respect ourselves so we can love and respect others. By understanding our dreams, fears and needs, we are able to build a healthy set of expectations. Only when you become happy and accepting of yourself you can contribute positive things to your relationship. Knowing, accepting and loving yourself is the first step. Getting to know your partner is the second one. Once you do, meeting each other’s expectations will be easier.
3. Good relationships don’t take work
Healthy and good relationship will naturally and most of the time make you feel good. However, all relationships take work. Check the quality of your relationship by asking yourself the question: does this relation make me more joyful and healthy mentally and physically? If that is not the case, improve your situation by getting to know yourself first. Find your own happiness by doing things you love. Once you are happier you are more likely to understand your partner and their perspective. Once you are clear on what they need from you – you can evaluate and decide on next steps. You will get there through effective communication.
4. Once in a relationship you should be inseparable
Another huge lie and a mistake I’ve made a number of times. I became too many things to my partner and as a result I lost myself in the process. So the resentment has creeped in and we started arguing.
Most people don’t realise that having your own circle of friends, own career path and hobbies is what will keep your relationship healthy and balanced. In fact it is as important as having love, respect and strong physical attraction. Distance is required for love to thrive so allow the space between you to make your connection stronger.
5. Things often get better on their own
Many of us have suffered from a heartache. Relationships problems are a common thing. That’s primarily because you are getting together with someone who is completely different to you and you can’t (and shouldn’t) control them. Trying to control your partner will only lead to frustration or anger.
The only way to resolve conflict is through calm, loving, open communication. Don’t criticise or patronise each other. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they are trying to tell you. If you are upset, let go of your anger first. Go for a walk, a run or take a few deep breaths. Continue talking when you are calmer. Productive communication is the only way to understand your partner. Without that contempt and resentment settles in and it becomes very difficult to respect, love and appreciate each other.
Stay positive and love yourself x