We all have an idea in our head about what the “perfect” relationship looks like; how we want to be treated, how we want to feel, and what expectations we have of our partners. Falling in and maintaining love in a romantic relationship can be a tricky thing while you are taking the natural and gradual steps in your own life growing as an individual. Often times, we create our own beliefs in our head about what a healthy relationship is “supposed” to feel like.
Here are a few examples of Relationship Myths and commonly held beliefs about relationships that may not necessarily be signs of a healthy and lasting love:
Relationship Myth #1 might sound similar to…
“He is my everything.” – “I am all she needs.” – “We don’t need anything but each other.”
This is a common, yet problematic myth when it comes to relationships – both romantic and platonic. Believing that you are everything to someone or that someone is everything to you leaves you in quite the predicament if the relationship fails. Putting all of your hopes of happiness into one person will leave you very depressed if it does not work out. Many times people believe that a person who is their soul mate can fill them up enough emotionally that they decide they no longer need anything else. This might include participation in other things that make them happy such as other relationships, setting aside time for family, or personal interests and hobbies. It is important for everyone to have multiple sources of happiness so that if one thing isn’t working out, there are still other sources of happiness in a person’s life that do not depend on anyone but themselves. Alternately, believing that you are everything to someone else, will place a lot of unnecessary pressure and burden on your life to maintain the happiness for someone else. Truly loving someone means you are willing to help them find what makes them happy outside of you as well. You can’t be someone else’s everything and no one should be your everything either.
Relationship Myth #2 might sound something like…
“I have never felt like this before.” – “I have butterflies all of the time.” – “I know he is the one!”
Many young people are not convinced that they have found “the one” romantic partner for them until they are overcome with emotions that are sometimes referred to as “butterflies.” While having butterflies for someone in the beginning can be exciting, healthy relationships don’t typically continue to give you a feeling of anxiety. If your butterflies are keeping you up at night, causing you look at your phone every other minute, and are generally taking over your mind, then you might be experiencing anxiety in your relationship. In healthy romantic relationships, your partner will go out of his/her way to make sure you feel secure and stable in the relationship. If you are feeling nervous or worried that this relationship is fleeting then chances are, it probably is. Stay tuned into your feelings to make sure that what you are feeling is in fact that puppy love and positive feeling of “butterflies” and be sure that it is not inching over toward the side of anxiety related to an unhealthy relationship.
Relationship Myth #3 could be similar to…
“My boy/girlfriend needs help with their life and it is my job to give them advice on how to fix it.”
Advice giving can be dangerous territory for romantic relationships and relationships in general. Many times, your boy/girlfriends may turn to you for advice and ask direct questions about what they should or shouldn’t do related to any given situation and it is best to just be the listener in these instances. Telling your romantic partner how to live his/her life is setting you up for trouble down the road. If the advice you have given your partner has led to a negative circumstance, then it is likely that your partner will build resentment towards you and blame you for their life turning out the way it did. When it comes to relationships, being a good partner means being there to listen and help your loved one figure out what is best for them and not necessarily giving them step by step directions on how they should live their life.
Everyone has their own set of ideas and beliefs about relationships. While some may be perfectly healthy and rational, others may be misguided and could possibly be setting you up for failure in future relationships. It is important to set aside time to think about and evaluate your personal beliefs and expectations in a relationship in order to pave the way for healthy love to enter your life.