If you believe these 10 myths about long-term relationships, you’re doing it wrong

You’re in a long-term relationship, or maybe you’re thinking about starting one. That’s great. But let me ask you this: Have you ever found yourself buying into some of those old myths about long-term relationships?

I know I have, and let me tell you, it can send you down a tricky path.

In this article, I’m going to tackle 10 common myths about long-term relationships. These are the ones that can make your love journey way more complicated than it needs to be.

Because love isn’t just about those picture-perfect moments. It’s also about understanding the nitty-gritty of real life, accepting your partner and yourself as you are, warts and all.

Myth 1: Arguments are a bad sign

Let’s start with a big one. I used to believe this too. Every time my partner and I would have a disagreement, I’d start to panic, thinking, “This is it. We’re doomed.” But over time, I’ve come to realize that this is one of the biggest myths out there.

Here’s a personal example. A few years into my relationship, my partner and I had a huge fight about our holiday plans. I wanted to visit my family, and they wanted to go on a backpacking trip. It turned into a battle of wills. I remember thinking that our relationship was on the brink of collapse.

But guess what? It wasn’t. We cooled off, sat down, and talked it through. We realized that our argument wasn’t about the holiday at all – it was about feeling heard and respected.

That’s when it hit me: Arguments aren’t necessarily a bad sign. They’re opportunities for growth and understanding. They help you learn more about each other and what you both need from the relationship.

Myth 2: Your partner is your other half

Now, this one might seem a little counterintuitive. We’re often told that our partners complete us, that they’re our ‘other half.’ It’s a romantic notion, isn’t it? But from my personal experience, I’ve learned that this is a damaging myth to buy into.

Here’s why. A few years back, I was in a relationship where I completely lost myself. I started doing everything my partner loved – from watching their favorite shows to eating at their preferred restaurants – even if those weren’t things I particularly enjoyed. I believed that to make my partner happy, I needed to align myself completely with them. In essence, I was trying to fit into the mold of their ‘perfect other half.’

But you know what? It didn’t work out well. I ended up feeling lost and unhappy because I had forgotten about my own needs and preferences.

That’s when the realization hit me: Your partner shouldn’t complete you; they should complement you. A healthy relationship consists of two whole individuals who retain their own identities while also loving and supporting each other.

Myth 3: Love should always feel easy

This one is a bit of a doozy. I mean, we all want those smooth-sailing, rom-com style relationships where everything just falls into place, right? But let me tell you from my own experience, this myth can set you up for disappointment.

Here’s a little story. In my previous relationship, we started off on a high note – everything felt easy and effortless. I thought to myself, “This is exactly how love should be.” But as time went on and the honeymoon phase faded, things started to feel less easy. We had to navigate through disagreements, make compromises, and work through our individual issues. It wasn’t as effortless as it seemed initially, and that scared me.

I started doubting our relationship. I thought, “If it’s this hard, maybe it’s not right.” But over time, I realized that love isn’t always easy – and that’s okay.

Love requires work, commitment, and sometimes, it can be downright hard. But it’s in these challenging moments that your love truly grows and strengthens.

Myth 4: Jealousy is a sign of love

Who hasn’t heard this one? It’s almost a universal belief that a little jealousy in a relationship means your partner really cares about you. But let me tell you, this myth can lead to unhealthy patterns in your relationship.

Here’s an interesting fact: Did you know that jealousy is more about personal insecurity than love? That’s right. It’s not about how much your partner loves you, but how secure or insecure they feel in the relationship or in themselves.

So, instead of seeing jealousy as a sign of love, view it as an opportunity to work on building trust and security in your relationship. 

Myth 5: You should always feel attracted to your partner

There’s this idea floating around that in a perfect relationship, you should always feel butterflies in your stomach for your partner. But let’s get real here. No matter how much you love your partner, there are going to be days when you don’t feel that intense attraction.

It happened to me. I’ve been head over heels in love with my partner, but there were days when I was so stressed or exhausted that I just didn’t feel that spark. And guess what? It’s completely normal.

Attraction can ebb and flow in a relationship. Some days it’s a roaring fire, other days it might be a steady flame. And that doesn’t mean you’re falling out of love or that something is wrong with your relationship. It just means you’re human and life is happening.

Myth 6: Your partner should be your best friend

You’ve probably heard this one a lot: “Marry your best friend.” It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But in my experience, this myth can blur the lines in your relationship.

Let me share something with you. In my past relationship, I took this advice to heart. We did everything together – from grocery shopping to marathon movie nights. We shared every tiny detail of our lives with each other. But over time, I started to feel a bit suffocated. I realized I was missing that balance between my romantic relationship and my friendships.

That’s when it dawned on me: You don’t need your partner to be your best friend. Sure, friendship is an important base for any relationship, but your partner can’t fulfill every role in your life.

Don’t worry if you have a best friend who isn’t your partner! It’s healthy and essential to have different connections outside of your romantic relationship. It gives you a well-rounded support system and allows for some much-needed breathing space.

Myth 7: If it’s meant to be, it will work out

This one hits close to home. I used to firmly believe in the idea of fate and destiny when it came to love. I thought that if a relationship was ‘meant to be,’ it would just naturally work out with minimal effort.

But here’s the brutally honest truth: Relationships require work. A lot of it. Even the best ones.

You can’t just sit back and expect things to fall into place because you’re ‘meant to be.’ It doesn’t work that way. Love is about making the choice every day to commit to your partner, even when times are tough.

If you’re facing challenges in your relationship, don’t just chalk them up to fate and throw in the towel. Instead, roll up your sleeves and get to work on solving them together. Because love isn’t just about destiny, it’s about dedication too.

Myth 8: Good relationships don’t require maintenance

You know that saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, that doesn’t really apply to relationships. Many of us believe that if things are going well, we don’t need to invest any effort into maintaining our relationship. But here’s the thing – even the healthiest relationships benefit from regular check-ins and tune-ups.

Did you know that in long-term relationships, the little things often matter more than grand gestures? Regularly showing appreciation, actively listening to your partner, and spending quality time together can contribute more to a healthy relationship than a surprise vacation or an expensive gift.

Nurturing your relationship is a continuous process. Just like you need regular exercise to keep your body healthy, your relationship needs regular emotional and communication workouts to keep it strong. 

Myth 9: Love can conquer all

I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so I used to live by this mantra. But as I’ve grown and experienced more in my relationships, I’ve realized it’s not quite that simple.

I was in a relationship where we faced a lot of challenges – from distance to differing life goals. We loved each other deeply and thought our love could overcome any obstacle. But no matter how hard we tried, some issues just couldn’t be resolved.

That’s when I learned a tough lesson: Love is crucial, but it’s not the only ingredient for a successful relationship. Shared values, mutual respect, compatible goals – these are equally important.

Don’t get me wrong, love is powerful and beautiful. But it’s important to remember that a strong relationship requires more than just love. 

Myth 10: Your partner should know what you’re thinking

This one seems almost laughable when you say it out loud, right? But it’s surprising how many of us fall into the trap of expecting our partners to be mind readers.

I’ve been guilty of this. I would get upset with my partner for not understanding what I was feeling or thinking, even when I hadn’t clearly expressed it. I’d think, “If they really loved me, they’d know.”

But here’s the raw truth: No matter how close you are with your partner, they can’t know everything that goes on in your head unless you communicate it. Expecting them to just know sets them up for failure and creates unnecessary conflict.

Open and honest communication is the backbone of a strong relationship. So, instead of expecting your partner to read your mind, make a habit of expressing your feelings and thoughts clearly.

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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