The topic of love and relationships is widely covered in popular culture. Books, magazines, movies and theatre plays take an intricate look at these concepts from more than one angle. Quite often, however, these views are distorted or unrealistic.
We all have certain preconceived notions of love and romance that have been established culturally. Have you ever wondered about these notions and if you’ve been fed a lie?
If you’ve ever been in love or in a relationship, you’ve naturally come to challenge some of the cultural myths surrounding these topics. Here are the most prominent ones and the main reasons why such notions are a lie.
How often have you heard the claim? How often has it been portrayed in rom-coms? Boy meets girl? Boy has nothing in common with girl, in fact they’re so opposite that they hate each other? Eventually, they discover that they’re in love… Yikes!
Psychologists have long disproven the concept of opposites attract. In fact, it can almost never contribute to a good relationship.
We may look for someone who has qualities that we’re missing and that we strive for (being more confident, more assertive, more outgoing). This doesn’t mean, however, a person will be automatically drawn to their exact opposite.
Some psychologists even disagree with the concept of free will when it comes to selecting a partner. In fact, most of us are drawn to people who are similar to us in many ways. Sub-consciously, an opposite can be perceived as unattractive, annoying and lacking redeeming qualities.
So, if you feel that you have very little in common with someone, don’t push yourself to make chemistry happen. Chances are that it’s not going to, no matter how hard you try.
The Importance of “Following Your Heart”
This is another key cliché that’s hammered into our heads time and time again.
Follow your heart refers to chasing something that feels good and that you want, no matter what. By looking at this concept rationally, it’s easy to see just how destructive it is.
To follow your heart, you have to ignore the red flags that your brain registers. More often than not, such an approach towards pursuing love will end in disaster.
Trusting your feelings is obviously important but you also have to pay attention to key indicators of potential relationship health. If you have some romantic experience already, you know what the common warning signs will be. if not, trusting common sense is a lot more important than just going with what the heart desires.
Getting to Change Someone Through Love and Commitment
This lie is often being told in the form of the bad boy stereotype. So many women fantasise about finding a real bad boy and being the one who’ll tame him and make him change his ways. In reality, such a turn of events is very unlikely.
Getting in a relationship with someone that you view as a project and plan to change in the future is a recipe for disaster.
Because you cannot change another human being. It’s possible for those in a long-term relationship to grow and evolve as humans together. Individual characteristics, however, are likely to remain the same. If you cannot accept a person for who they are, you should probably refrain from getting in a relationship with them.
When the Sex Is Good, It Doesn’t Require Effort
Passion and chemistry are also misrepresented in popular culture.
There are so many movie and series scenes depicting mad passion happening out of nowhere. These scenes are so intense that they get viewers feeling inadequate about their own sex lives.
The truth of the matter is that real life sex is very rarely reminiscent of what the films show.
Yes, in the early stages of a relationship there will be a lot of passion. Still, this passion may feel a bit awkward as two people get to know each other and learn about sexual preferences. Later on, the passion will subside and sex will become less frequent.
Good sex requires conscious effort on behalf of both parties involved. Waiting for it to happen naturally doesn’t work. You have to communicate. You have to open up to new possibilities. Using sex toys like dildos, which you can buy online from websites like HotCherry, can help keep things fresh and exciting.
If sex isn’t mind-blowing right off the bat, don’t count the relationship off. When two people are willing to work on it and adopt a partner-centric approach towards intimacy, chances are that things will get better.
Passion = Conflict
Passionate couples fight and make up with passionate sex after an argument, right?
How many such couples do you know in real life? The truth of the matter is that people who often get in meaningless and aggressive arguments with each other are not happy. Even the most passionate of moments cannot compensate for such clashes. This is not to say that many men won’t give up sleep to get more sex.
Being in a passionate relationship doesn’t have to involve heated debates, yelling and throwing things.
Mature people know how to fight and how to resolve problems. Make up sex is obviously a fun thing but it’s not an essential. Good communication, on the other hand, is.
If you are in a harmonious, balanced relationship, chances are that you don’t get into yelling matches. And that’s ok. Passion can express itself in many other forms. It doesn’t have to be loud, outspoken or violent.
The final and probably the most profound cultural lie to discuss is probably the misconception of having to find “the one.”
“The one” is a mystical creature – a special, 100 percent compatible human being everyone is meant to find. This is a perfect match, an ideal partner and a true soul mate like no other.
Attempting to find “the one” puts immense pressure on the shoulders of a single person and their potential matches. The expectations are so heightened that no actual human being can live up to the notion.
It’s very important to understand the fact that “the one” doesn’t exist. People have flaws and imperfections. Even individuals who are very compatible will disagree on many aspects of a relationship. What matters in such situations is working out a compromise.
Cultural notions of love and romance are broad and very stereotypical. You should never fall for such beliefs and generalisation. Relationships are multi-faceted, colourful and different. Just because yours doesn’t fall under typical societal criteria of perfection doesn’t mean it’s not the right one for you.