Maroon 5 sang it best “it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along.” Say what you will about the song of the early oughts, but the lyrics continue to ring true today. We all have these insane expectations of what a healthy and loving relationship is supposed to be like. Whether we watched one too many Disney princess movies or fell hopelessly in love with Leo DiCaprio’s character Jack in Titanic, we can’t help but be bombarded with romance that is simply nothing like the real thing.
The truth is, being in a relationship is not always great. In fact, it’s the fights and the less than perfect moments that create a true relationship worthy of withstanding the test of time. Here are just a few myths that we all have had at one point or another about relationships and what we should really expect instead.
Always Look For That Epic Love Story
Whether you dreamed of living the life of Allie with Noah or being the Rose to someone’s Jack, we all watched the love stories on film and thought that real-life was just the same. However, in reality, building something together is more common in healthy relationships. Love really isn’t something that is just found, it has to be built. In fact, cultivating love may be uncomfortable at times and be may require compromise. Real love requires two people to come together and make an effort to show up in the relationship for it to actually work. As a result, it never will be as easy as in the movies, but boy it sure is worth all of it.
Relationships Will Always Make You Happy
Boy oh boy, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being in a relationship is not some guarantee of happiness forever. In fact, relying on a partner to be the one source of happiness for you can be extremely harmful and dangerous to your well-being. In truth, relationships are meant to be shared by two individuals who already have love for themselves. The only lasting happiness that comes from anywhere is the love we have for ourselves. As a result, being able to cultivate self-love is what makes a healthy relationship survive the test of time.
You And I Become “We”
While we all want to spend as much time as we can with our partners, especially when the relationship is so new, we need to give our partners space to grow and evolve. In fact, the reality is that healthy relationships are based on a team mentality as opposed to a we-do-everything-together-no-matter-what mentality. In any relationship, it is important to maintain your own identities and not lose the essence that makes you who you are. The risk of losing yourself in a relationship is the result of quickly becoming a “we” without thinking about the consequences. As a result, enjoy your girls nights and let him bask in the glow of his boys’ nights out, there is nothing wrong with some space for a relationship to thrive.
Things Will Never Go Wrong
Relationships are a roller coaster with highs and lows, and ups and downs. The truth is that any healthy relationships will overcome whatever obstacles come its way. There is nothing wrong with having a bumpy patch in a relationship. Working together to overcome the obstacle actually brings the two of you closer together and creates a unique and strong bond that is capable of immense growth. In fact, look at your own life. Has it been perfect? Most likely it isn’t and never was. People are exactly the same. We all have flaws and can make mistakes. A big part of being in a healthy and loving relationship is working together to make right whatever wrong may have occurred.
You Must Change Who You Are For The Person You Love
This is something many people struggle with when it comes to dating. There is a massive misconception that in order to be loved we must make ourselves attractive to the person we deem desirable. However, the truth is that a partner needs to be able to love you for exactly who you are for the relationship to last. In fact, a healthy relationship involves people who love one another because of their perceived flaws. It’s those flaws and quirks that make people individuals. It’s when he says you look adorable without any makeup on after waking up or when you comment on how cute he is after he gets home from the gym. It’s the little things that actually make a relationship something to enjoy being in.
Your Relationship Is Everything
Basing your value and worth on a relationship is a surefire way to get hurt. In fact, being in a relationship does not make you any better or worse than someone who is single. There are plenty of happy single girls walking around while unfortunately, there are some ladies who are in miserable relationships. Therefore, you can’t assume that just because you found your way out of singledom and into the arms of a guy makes you any better than the single girls. In reality, relationships are simply a supplement for the rest of your life. Being surrounded by a variety of different people is the only way to stay well-rounded as a human being. Being with the same person for the rest of your life can be a daunting and terrifying thought when that person doesn’t satisfy you in certain areas. And the truth is, you probably won’t be able to find someone that does. Instead, having different people around you to satisfy every aspect of your life from romance to laughter to gossip, is what makes relationships work for years and years.
Love Is All You Need
How many songs have you heard that praise how love is the end-all, be-all. In the real world, love cannot maintain a relationship all by itself. Relationships are cultivated and maintained by people who are willing to find a compromise in their lives and open themselves up to become vulnerable. Healthy relationships require both partners to time and time again, show up, put in an effort, and overcome whatever obstacles may have come their way.
Relationships are wonderful teaching tools. They teach us the obvious things like what we want in a significant other and how we can be better partners. But they also teach us less obvious things like how to compromise and the importance of self-love. In fact, being in a relationship can dispel a ton of myths you may have had about them and teach you what a real relationship is based on.
Featured image via André Luis Rocha on Unsplash