”You can end half your troubles immediately by no longer permitting people to tell you what you want”– Vernon Howard
Most of the problems that appear during the development of your couple are generated by the myths and preconceived ideas that you grow with in your life. You learn that you should not do that, you should not feel that, and, in time, these lead to the creation of barriers in your happiness.
In order for you to fully enjoy your relationship, and make it flourish as it should, you must first pinpoint what exactly is holding you back. I created a list of the myths and preconceptions that create problems in your love life, together with explanations on how to make things better for you and your partner. Let’s start fixing!
1. In order for a relationship to truly work, you have to find the one
We all know this one, the widespread narrative that states that there is a person on this planet with whom you are 100% compatible. Once you’ll find this person, the chemistry between you two will be incredible, you’ll fall deeply in love and you’ll live a happy life together, never having any doubts concerning the validity of your relationship. The problem with this pretty picture is that, unfortunately it doesn’t hold true to reality. The fact is, finding The One is a matter of chance, such a perfect relationship, while it may occur, is not to be considered a general rule, because, let’s be honest, it’s a rare bird to catch. Accept your relationship, as flawed is it may appear at first sight, and try to work with what you have. Make decisions based on your own emotions, beliefs, experiences and perception, not on an ideal image that you’ll never reach.
2. Love & Sex should be like one sees in the movies: intense and passionate.
Sex involving two partners shouldn’t have anything to do with the Angels from Victoria’s Secret catalogs, Megan Fox, or any TV/movie love/romance/sex scene that once impressed you so deeply that it’s actually become a part of your sexual repertoire. Sex doesn’t have to be loud, it doesn’t have to be graceful, and you don’t have to roll your eyes to the back of your head to show your pleasure. Sex is much more comfortable and exciting when you don’t impose the rest of the world and its judgments on the act. If you interrupt the sex act to make sure the two of you look like Angelina and Banderas in Original Sin, you can kiss your orgasm goodbye. Sex is such an intimate and personal experience, and it is so good that things are like this, that it’s no use for you to burden it with old fashioned and untrue cinematic myths.
3. Every emotional issue within a relationship has an answer
Emotional issues can’t be solved as easily as logical problems and the mere will of not having them anymore is not enough. Treating emotional problems as strictly logical entities has been the downfall of many relationships because it creates a very wide gap in empathy and support, often leading to sharp feelings of alienation, loneliness, and low self-esteem. If you’re hungry, it’s easy, you eat something, but if your heart and soul are hungry for more intimacy and connection, how can you feed them? Accept that some emotional problems take longer to solve and don’t demand immediate solutions, you’ll only build up frustrations for the both of you.
4. Thinking about someone outside the relationship in a sexual way is a grave betrayal.
Humans have sexual organs and an evolutionary history of some 500,000 years, both of which “program” us to seek out sexual contact with other humans if these humans “unlock” certain chemicals in our heads. In simpler words, it’s only human to get attracted sexually by another person, and to deny the existence of this fact or to think of it as a grave betrayal to the sanctity of a relationship will quickly lead to misunderstandings within the couple. A more realistic and healthy strategy is to recognize that this doesn’t count as cheating in no way, unless an actual skin on skin contact takes place.
5. You should live “happily ever after”
It’s not that I don’t wish you for this to come true, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is more realistic to assume that problems and difficulties will occur in your relationship and in your life and work on developing suitable means of solving or alleviating those difficulties, otherwise they will catch you off guard. You know that saying, “better to be safe than sorry”? It is somewhat applicable here. If you start off your relationship thinking that milk and honey will come your way, every relationship problem you run into will be one more step toward disillusionment, bitterness, jadedness, getting “broken,” and “giving up.”
6. If your partner would change this one thing about her, your problems would be solved.
Have you noticed how, in a couple, whatever happens, whatever conflict arises, it always have to be somebody’s fault, the result of said person’s way of being and behavior? And how, instead of both members of the relationship considering themselves active participants to the problem and working together to fix it, the one that is thought to be “guilty” is practically forced to give up that side of his/her personality that is supposed to have caused the problem? “If only he weren’t so clumsy/indifferent to my needs/distant”, “If only she weren’t so high maintenance/bickering/cleaning freak”, etc. The thing is that those traits of character that cause problems also nurture positive attitudes, therefore, eliminating said traits you may end up causing more problems. On the other hand, the person being constantly blamed will end up feeling persecuted, which will only lead to more “errors” and fights. The definition of one hell of a vicious cycle.
7. What you did before the relationship is off limits now.
Treating someone’s past as if it didn’t exist or as if it hasn’t had an effect on one’s life is stifling, shaming, and can lead to lying and covering up. Not recommended.
8. Being in a relationship “shouldn’t be this hard”.
Being in a long term monogamous relationship, after some period of time, can produce difficulties that any two people on the earth, regardless of their IQ or emotional capacity or love and respect for each other will find hard to get through. That is completely normal and shouldn’t be questioned.
9. Being victorious in an argument is important.
I’ve had a lot of disagreements with boyfriends where I completely destroyed them on a logical basis but I was left with the same negative feeling I had at the beginning of the fight. Taking someone’s statement about how they feel and then proving it illogical or reminding them that they said the opposite last week, that it’s not consistent with what they said that one time, really does nothing in the way of problem solving. I think that when you get to the point of simply trying to logically defeat someone in an argument, you aren’t even concerned with reconciling, you’re just concerned with winning, which won’t do anything for the relationship.
10. Concepts such as betrayal, sex, happiness, are of black/white nature.
If things were like that, we wouldn’t be here, trying to make sense of the tangled world of couple problems. When it comes to matters of the heart, nothing is black and white, but rather of rainbow of colors and nuances. As soon as you understand that, and the fact that communication is crucial for making sense of what different things and behaviors really mean, you’ll be fine.
Have a gorgeous week,
P.S. Start changing your beliefs today! Your girlfriend will follow your lead and you’ll soon find yourselves free of these fake myths.