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5 Romantic Myths
Posted: 9/30/2014 | Relationships Comments
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Romantic comedies are filled with them. It’s constantly in our western culture. You see it on television shows, movies, hear it in songs. So many of us believe those love myths propagated by our culture.

Let’s face it, we all enjoy watching a good romance story every now and then. They give us a warm good feeling, but do they also perpetuate something that may not be so helpful?

We have heard so many sayings about love through the years and many of us believe these sayings. Concepts like, “Love conquers all,” or “When you meet the right one, you will always know,” or “Time heals everything.” These myths can keep people stuck in thinking patterns that might actually work against them having healthier relationships.

Here are 5 myths for us to think about:

1) If you love someone enough, they will change.

Thinking that your love can change someone is a real trap for many people.  Our feelings don’t have much control over others.

Even though ideally, everyone has free will to choose what they want for themselves, many of us make our choices unconsciously and from our habitual childhood programming. So even if we are ultimately choosing, our choices may not be from an inner wise adult self.

If you think your “love” overrides another person’s choices or their long-standing historical programming, you are in for much disappointment.  This wish is based on some inner need that wasn’t fulfilled for us at an early age, which makes it our childhood programming. We can’t love someone into anything. If we try, it might feel to them as desperation or manipulation or both.

2) The heights of romantic love last forever.

The falling in love feeling or Eros is fantastic. But in truth, Eros is part of a bigger picture that gives us the desire and energy to jump over our inner fears, smell the roses, and aids in opening us to the vastness of all kinds of love. When we’re caught in it, it can also cause us to delay our bills, not sleep enough, stop eating, and try to live on love. In the midst of Eros, we feel that we can leap tall buildings at a single bound.

However, Eros isn’t meant to last forever.
You do need to sleep, eat, and take care of life’s other tasks. It’s a bridge to a deeper kind of mature love that is actually more profound.  This deeper/wider mature love can be a relaxing into a relationship that surpasses the beginning phrases of Eros. Maybe a movie like the Notebook touches on it.

3) Relationships are 50/50.
Actually it’s closer to 100/100.

If I reach toward you 50% and expect you to reach back exactly 50% with regularity, this relationship probably won’t go very smoothly. “I’m not going to do it if they don’t do it.” We are both waiting for the other to move first and are now in a power struggle. Both parties are caught in fear and defense, neither getting what they want. This echo’s back to some historical fear of being hurt, not seen, or taken advantage of. The coping strategy is to withhold or maybe attack to get my needs met which is never very successful in the long run. 

Even if someone is not doing their best at any given moment, you do your best anyway.  It doesn’t mean we don’t have agreements that we both meet, but I give 100% of my effort toward those and I show up 100% in the relationship. You can divide the chores and errands up between you, and both parties are giving their all, as best they can. 

It you find yourself saying, “It’s not fair,” you might need to discuss your agreements and check to see if you are caught in some childhood concept of fairness. What are your needs and what are theirs?

Most would say that on the surface life doesn’t appear to be “fair.”  We will be happiest if we learn how to do our best and make the most with what we are given.
4) Relationships should be easy.

Good luck with that one. Close relationships, especially intimate relationships, always bring up people’s most primitive feelings and reactions. Learning how to navigate your inner thoughts and feelings, and then respond instead of reacting, is a deep practice in emotional maturing. This all takes time, energy, and effort.

5) If they really loved me, I wouldn’t have to ask them for ____. (fill in the blank)..

Translation: If they really loved me they could read my mind. This is a wish from many of us in our early childhood. It was our caretaker’s job to figure out our needs and try to meet them. If they did a “good enough” job we might know our own needs enough that we are able to ask for what we need as adults. If not, we might go around hoping that someone will know what we want and need without us telling them.

As adult partners, we want to learn how to verbalize our needs to our significant others.  We work on becoming clear and directly ask for what we need. After learning how to share our needs, then we can begin to compromise with one another.

How have you confronted romantic myths? Your comments make a difference for us all.

For further information on accessing the wisdom, happiness, fulfillment, and peace you desire, click here to learn about Dr. Howard's Multiple Award Winning Book "Your Ultimate Life Plan: How to Deeply Transform Your Everyday Experience and Create Changes That Last.

photo credit Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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