Do you dream of being rescued by a (figurative) knight in shining armour? Someone who swoops into your life and makes everything better? Don’t like your house? – here’s a new castle. Don’t like your wicked step-mother? – she’s dead now, killed by the dragon. Don’t want to sweep any more floors with woodland creatures? – here’s a butler service.
While the fantasy of being treated like a princess may be fun, in the long term it can result in serious relationship issues.
The relationship stories and fables we hear and are exposed to as children can often inadvertently change our way of thinking; making us believe a partner will ride in and give us our ‘happily ever after’ ending. Psychologist and eharmony’s dating and relationship expert, Sharon Draper, explains the commonplace, toxic myths that are negatively impacting our relationships with our partner and ourselves.
MYTH #1: Opposites always attract
We’ve all seen this in the movies: opposites meet and fall madly in love. While it may be natural to be initially attracted to people who are dramatically different than us because they may have abilities or qualities we don’t have ourselves, these qualities can also be what drive you apart. If you and your partner fundamentally misalign on things like energy levels, personal habits, extroversion, or your approach to finances, think deeply about how much you are willing to compromise to suit their lifestyle.
MYTH #2: Physical attraction = compatibility
Physical attraction is a key dimension of compatibility, but it is relatively low on the list in terms of the glue that keeps a couple together long-term. Despite this, in today’s world of superficial swipe-apps, physical attraction is often the initial or only gauge of whether to pursue a relationship. Don’t be afraid to consider physical attraction when making a love connection – it is important. But don’t make it the only thing you base a relationship on, or you could be setting yourself up for a shallow, dysfunctional partnership in the long-term.
MYTH #3: Conflict is just passion
No matter how compatible you are with your partner, no two honest people can agree all the time. How you handle these moments of conflict is of utmost importance. There’s a big difference between the occasional rough patch and having constant conflict and struggles. You shouldn’t have to convince your partner daily that being with you is the right decision, nor should you always feel like you’re in a never-ending battle to move forward. Disagreements may be minor or major, but if both partners are committed to resolving an issue together instead of battling one another, they will grow stronger.
MYTH #4: Having shared interests means you’re compatible
Have you ever looked at someone’s dating profile and said ‘no thanks’ because of the list of their hobbies that you have little interest in? This is one of the biggest dating mistakes you can make; having little affinity for the same interests has nothing to do with how compatible you are. eharmony’s research predicts long-term relationship success doesn’t rely on whether he likes golf or you like classical music. Instead, it’s focused on things like sociability, autonomy, curiosity, sexual passion and sense of humour.