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As a psychotherapist and relationship coach, I notice many of my clients (individuals and couples) are operating on distorted beliefs about love and relationships.
The thing is they can’t help it – these myths are everywhere and are reinforced throughout society.
You can’t help but absorb the messages presented to you on social media and in movies, television and songs.
This starts during childhood when you learn about love and romance through your parents, family, community, Disney movies and other information sources.
Eventually these beliefs feed into your dating life and greatly affect how you interact with the opposite sex, your definition of love, your relationship expectations and more.
The truth is there are false messages everywhere that unfortunately trickle into your brain and can even cause you to believe the love you have isn’t real or you need a significant other to be happy.
These beliefs can easily block your ability to be happy with your partner, as well as be happy with yourself when you are single.
Being aware that there are many myths about love and relationships throughout the external world, and not buying into them, is essential to a healthy love life.
Below are five common myths that might be sabotaging your love life.
TRUTH: You are a whole individual regardless of your relationship status.
The healthiest relationships are about two whole individuals coming together for love and not for need.
THE PROBLEM WITH BELIEVING IT: Believing this myth sets you up for feeling miserable, devalued and inadequate if you do not have a partner by your side.
In general, you are likely to search the external world for the love, strength and encouragement you long for instead of cultivating this within.
When dating, it causes you to be more desperate, which can interfere with your ability to determine if you truly connect with your date. It sets you up to believe you need a partner to be happy and whole.
Once in a relationship, this myth causes you to put pressure on your partner and relationship to fill any voids of emptiness.
TRUTH: Love does not hurt.
Someone’s actions, words and behavior might cause you pain, but love itself does not hurt.
THE PROBLEM WITH BELIEVING IT: The problem with believing this myth is it can be used to justify emotional and physical abuse, lack of respect and destructive behavior in relationships.
It might cause you to believe your partner is controlling you because he loves you so much and does not want to lose you.
Believing love hurts sets you up for tolerating hurtful behavior and causes you to believe people show love in negative, harmful ways.
This is by far one of the most dangerous myths to believe because you will allow your partner to treat you poorly if you think it is true.
TRUTH: Research on relationships illustrate that happy couples enjoy time with and without their partner.
THE PROBLEM WITH BELIEVING IT: Believing you should want to spend every waking minute with your partner causes you to doubt your relationship when you naturally want some alone time or space.
It leads you to feel guilt when you want space, as you interpret your need for space as an indicator you are with the wrong person.
As humans, we all need time to rejuvenate ourselves and quiet our minds away from others (especially if we are introverts), and there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is healthy.
TRUTH: Research shows purely sexual relationships or relationships with sex before emotional connection typically do not lead to long-term, committed relationships.
THE PROBLEM WITH BELIEVING IT: Believing this myth sets you up to be sexual at a quicker rate with the intention of connecting emotionally.
You might act more sexually, move quicker than you are truly comfortable, give into sex with someone who is not worthy or have sex to make someone love and want to partner up with you. It can cause you to make poor decisions and take more risks sexually.
You might also falsely believe someone who makes statements such as “Sex comes before love,” All of my relationships started with sex, so ours will, too” or “We can talk about commitment after sex.”
You should never feel you have to be sexual to feel love or connection. You should want to be intimate because you are mutually interested.
TRUTH: Love grows and changes as it goes through stages and transitions.
Research by Dr. Dorothy Tennov, a psychologist who studied the “in love experience,” shows romantic obsession or feeling in love lasts an average of two years.
Therefore, the in love feelings you will eventually wear off and you can still be content with your partner after.
THE PROBLEM WITH BELIEVING IT: When the initial infatuation, lust or in love feelings wear off, as they naturally will, you will believe the love you have is not real or true.
You might question what you feel toward your partner and not feel as satisfied as you did in the beginning.
You might end relationship after relationship when the infatuation stage is over, or you might feel bored instead of giving the relationship time to grow, develop and become stable.