1. Two people should think the same way to be in a relationship. FALSE.
No two people are the same. We are all genetically, physiologically, psychologically and historically different from our partners. We have been conditioned differently, value things differently and have different priorities. We all view things in different ways. Sure, compatibility in many areas is good for a relationship, but being different is okay. We need to accept the differences. They can enrich the relationship and make us grow as people.
2. A good relationship is about a great romance. FALSE.
Good relationships should have plenty of romance, but there is a difference between how being in love feels, to how falling in love feels. Some people get to a point where they don’t feel they are in love anymore. What they are really missing is the dizzying and exciting emotions of infatuation and passion they felt when they were falling in love. These feelings have a limited lifespan and do not last. They give way to a more companionate love which is less intense, but can still be exciting and rewarding, but more comfortable. Emotions change, but if given the chance, a deeper, richer experience of love can be felt.
3. A great relationship involves agreement on all issues. FALSE.
Couples fight over certain issues, and sometimes they never get resolved despite how much they are talked about. There are things that you and your partner will disagree about, have always disagreed about, and will always disagree about. This might be about sex, how to raise children, how to allocate money, or how to show affection. They may not get resolved because it involves getting one or the other person to sacrifice their true beliefs and values. Sometimes, it is best just to agree to disagree. This gives permission to disagree without having to declare that one person is wrong and the other right.
4. A great relationship requires you have all interests in common. FALSE.
While it is great to have some interests in common that you can share, it is healthy to have different interests that you do separately too. You will have in common living together, sleeping together, eating together, maybe having children together, and spending some holidays together. So don’t feel you both need to play golf or tennis together, or do that ceramics or yoga class together to have a good relationship
5. A great relationship is a peaceful one. FALSE.
Arguing in a relationship is normal from time to time. If done with respect and without character assassination or name calling, it can be helpful in relieving tension and bring about further trust and closeness if each person knows they can express their thoughts and feelings without being abandoned or rejected. Arguments are not something you should strive for, but neither is suppression or denial of conflict. It is how you argue that is important – listen to the other person’s point of view, respect that point of view, and again, don’t attack the other person’s character. Keep it on the issue at hand.
6. A great relationship lets you vent all your feelings. FALSE.
While it is good to express your feelings in a healthy way, total uncensored venting of your feelings often just does not work. Blurting out something in the heat of the moment can be very damaging to the other person, and you can’t take it back. This can make it difficult for your partner to forgive and forget. Before you say something that could be disastrous, give yourself breathing room, count to ten, and think before you speak. Deeds can also speak louder than words and can even be more damaging, such as slamming the door in your partner’s face, shutting your partner out, walking out at a critical time, throwing a drink in your partner’s face, or failing to be there when he or she needs you the most. Take control of yourself, and vent feelings in a respectful and gentle way.
7. A great relationship has nothing to do with sex. FALSE.
While sex is not the be all and end all of a relationship, it adds a quality of closeness and trust that is extremely important to most relationships. It is a time of intimacy, emotional connectedness and bonding that goes further than just friendship. Some couples are happy as companions and are content that sex is not a huge part of their relationship. But in general, a life devoid of sex in an intimate relationship can become a huge problem. Also note that good sex does not necessarily come naturally – it has to be worked at, and we need time to learn what our partners like and how to please them.
8. My partner has to be perfect in order for the relationship to be perfect. FALSE.
There is no such thing as the perfect person. We all have our good points, and our not so good points. Trying to make our partner perfect will just not work. Accepting them as they are, flaws and all, is the key to a good relationship. As long as your partner is not abusive to you or blatantly destructive, you can learn to live with them.
9. There is a right and wrong way to make your relationship great. FALSE.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no etched-in-stone right way to be in a relationship. There is not a right way to show support and affection, to raise children, or handle disputes or any other challenges. The litmus test for you should be whether what you and your partner are doing is working for you, and generating the results you want. You get to write your own rules, ones that are comfortable for you. You don’t have to conform to some formula, as long as you are both happy.
10. If your partner feels attracted to someone else, she/he must feel less attracted to you. FALSE.
Most of us are attracted to other people at different times, but choose not to act on the feelings. It does not mean your partner is less attracted to you at all.