Nowadays, TV shows, magazines and certain websites are filled with erroneous information about the premises of a romantic involvement. However, if we were to believe that everyone is bound to follow the paths as the ones of popular artists, we would be exposing ourselves to the risk of ruining the relationship sooner or later. Let’s review the false principles presented as rules of thumb regarding relationships.
1. My marriage will surely end up in divorce
The available data on divorce and marriage ratio seems alarming at first. However, analyzing the figures more thoroughly, you will soon realize that the vast majority of people getting divorced are not the same ones that get married. To put it simply, the statement according to which all marrying people are prone to get a divorce is bogus. As a side note, if you are the kind of person who enjoys keeping track of celebrities’ marriages, then take note that those relationships are commonly confronted with specific problems (spending too much time apart during video/movie shooting, the millions of fans worldwide, etc.).
2. Couple counseling is ineffective
The couple counseling therapy’s bad name comes from the abundance of parodies presenting a completely deformed picture of the trade. It is easy to understand why married couple have this misconception considering that a large percentage of them have learned about it from movies. Essentially, couple counseling is a therapy technique based on solid clinical evidence that has shown consistently positive results over the years.
3. Opposites attract
While there are many relationships between people with opposite points of view out there, it is necessary to mention that in general they never make it too far. In fact, research clearly indicates that long-lasting satisfactory marriages rely on similarities between the partners. Simply put, when the initial strong sexual attraction returns to normal levels, couples who share the same views and outlooks are left with a comforting feeling of mature love and the pleasure of spending time with their spouse.
4. Children decrease the marital satisfaction
Granted, the birth of a child will affect both the parents and their romantic involvement. For many years now, researchers showed that the marital satisfaction level follows an U-shaped curve, the lowest point of couple contentment being associated with the first child. On the other hand, new studies pointed out the logic flaw of this theory, namely that the research focused on various families at totally different stages and did not examine on the entire transition to parenthood cycle. At the same time, the new studies suggest that couples feel their relationship has improved along with the birth of a child.
5. The empty nest effect
In the 1960s and 1970s, psychologists believe that women’s mental health will start decreasing when their grown-up children decide to move out. While it is true that all parents experience the empty nest effect, their mental health and romantic involvement is not affected in any way. As a matter of fact, there is sufficient evidence suggesting that couples living with their children have less sexual encounters compared to couples living alone.
6. Sexual activity diminishes with age
Truth be told, no one likes thinking about parents or grandparents as being sexually active. However, all surveys indicate that they frequently engage in intercourse. Perhaps the roots of this myth come from the fact that older age is associated with specific illness and respectively, the death of the partner, two factors that reduce the opportunities for sexual encounters. Nonetheless, fewer possibilities should not be confused with the lack of interest.
7. You need to hide the negative feelings from your partner
Many people out there are convinced that if they do their best to hide feelings of distress from their partners, they will manage to prevent it from affecting the relationship. On the other hand, by not discussing what is bothering you with your partner, you will only obtain the opposite result. Essentially, while you are not verbally expressing the fact that you are unhappy or that you are feeling stressed, these negative emotions will build up inside you and will start becoming increasingly obvious in your behavior.
Hiding it for too long will result in an outburst with serious consequences on the quality of the relationship. In other words, when you cannot take it anymore, you will finally communicate your feeling, but in maladaptive ways. Yelling or even hitting your partner will add further stress and will eventually take the marriage on a “no turning back” path.
8. Gay relationships enjoy more faithfulness
For some reason, both men and women are convinced that gay relationships are built on other premises compared to their straight counterparts. Moreover, lesbians and homosexuals alike are perceived as very faithful and loving partners who will never cheat on their better half. However, both pictures are misinterpreted, as there are numerous similarities between straight and gay relationships. In addition, it is necessary to mention that many lesbians and homosexuals essentially believe in the idea of an open relationship.
9. The “Soul Mate” myth
The idea that there can only be a Mr. or Mrs. Right out there for us is strongly embedded in Hollywood productions. While this view applies a very desirable romantic aura onto a relationship, psychologists claim that a person can have more than one soul mate. The origins of this false premise reside in the fact that certain values in the 21st century – love and respect – are hard to find. In addition, let’s not forget that relationships follow predefined stages until they eventually get to mature love.
10. Men are programmed to cheat
Simply because statistics indicate that men cheat more often than women, it does not automatically imply that your partner has, is or will do the same. Essentially, if you intend to start nagging your spouse about this, chances are that you will determine him to cheat on you. Rather than focusing on data which is not very reliable (considering that women tend to lie about their fidelity), you should analyze the reasons why men seek comfort in another woman’s arms in the first place.