There are a lot of misconceptions about what a long-term relationship “should be” like. When people enter into a relationship believing things should be one particular way, they often feel disappointed when their expectations are not met. It’s important to examine truth versus fiction when it comes to the reality of long-term relationships.
Myth #1- Having Things in Common Will Keep the Relationship Going Strong
It takes more than just having some things in common to keep the relationship going strong. Perhaps you and your partner are avid outdoors people, but you don’t communicate well. Your love of the outdoors won’t solve everything. You’ll need lots of other skills to maintain a healthy relationship in addition to having common interests.
Myth #2- You have to Solve All Your Problems in Order to Have a Good Relationship
There are many happy, healthy couples who still have problems. Sometimes there are problems that just aren’t able to be resolved. Accepting that you may have some ongoing problems or disagreements can be healthier than spending all your time focusing on trying to fix them.
Myth #3- You May Have to Fix Your Partner Before You Can be Happy
Sometimes people invest a lot of energy into trying to change their partner. The truth is, your energy will be much better spent focusing on yourself and the things you can change. You can take steps to make yourself happy, even if you don’t like everything about your spouse.
Myth #4- Solving Problems Should Be Easy, If You Have a Healthy Relationship
Not all problems are easily solvable, even when you have a healthy relationship. Perhaps you and your partner disagree on how many children to have? That problem isn’t going to be an easy fix. Or maybe one of you has been laid off, there’s not likely an easy fix to that problem either if you are in financial trouble. Some problems are difficult to solve despite the health of your relationship.
Myth #5- Your Partner Should Know What You Think and Feel
Sometimes people think, “I shouldn’t have to tell him how I feel,” or “She should know what I think about that.” However, unless you married a psychic, your partner is going to read your mind. Even people who know each other really well are not always going to know how their partner interpreted something. So don’t be offended if your spouse doesn’t understand what you think and how you feel without you stating it.
Myth #6- Being in a Long-Term Relationship Should Mean Less Stress
Sometimes people think that when they’ve found a long-term partner, it means they won’t have the stress of being single or won’t have to worry about dating anymore, so therefore, life will be less stressful. However, there are new problems and different sources of stress that come with being in a long-term relationship.
Myth #7- Long-Term Relationships Mean Boring Sex
Being intimate with the same partner for years doesn’t mean sex has to be boring. And it also doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to have sex more often. Instead, it is important to pay attention to your intimate life and work on ensuring that you have a healthy, satisfying sex life.
Myth #8- You Can’t Have a Good Relationship if You Don’t Agree on Major Things
Lots of happy couples don’t agree on everything. You certainly don’t have to agree on everything about money, raising kids, or dealing with household responsibilities. Instead, it is more important that you can work together, despite your differences.
Myth #9- You Should Feel In-Love With Your Partner All the Time
Those romantic feelings will wax and wane over time with your partner and that’s a normal part of being in a long-term relationship. You won’t experience butterflies in your stomach every time your partner walks in a room forever. Instead, it is important that you remain committed, even when you are feeling all those mushy romantic feelings all the time. And there are things you can do to stay connected during those normal ups and downs in a relationship.
Myth #10- When You Have a Partner, You Only Have to Do Half the Work
Sometimes people expect that being in a long-term relationship means only having to do the dishes half as often or only having to pay half the bills. However, if you are a true partnership, it’s likely that you’ll be doing a lot of work twice as much. Entering into a partnership means that you’re willing to pick up the slack, do things for your partner, and help out when you’re needed, in addition to caring for yourself.