Many people have preconceptions about what a relationship should be like before it’s even begun. In a sense, this can be positive, as it’s good for an individual to decide what they want out of a relationship, adapting and compromising to a level they feel is acceptable while staying true to themselves. However, some of these can spoil the chances of a happy partnership before given the opportunity to grow. This article looks at three common counter-productive relationship expectations and how to think more positive around them.
“Relationships Should Be Effortless and Come Naturally”
Hopeless romantics and pragmatists alike often think that if a relationship isn’t natural, then it’s a sign of trouble to come, but it’s important here to think intelligently and still maintain a level of realism. It’s important to realize that dealing with another person is inherently going to cause conflict at some point. After all, it would be pretty dull to date an exact copy of yourself, and while avoiding repetitive arguments and understanding that a partner has the same priorities in life are important, it’s necessary to be flexible at times. By being realistic about the possibility of difference from the beginning, each potential conflict can be discussed in a calm, lucid way and each priority analyzed against the other’s needs and overall life goals.
“A Couple Should Strive to be a Single Unit”
Of course, a relationship is in many aspects a kind of team, where each knows they have someone that can help them when he or she is sick, anxious or just a little stressed. Having some common interests is important because it means that there are likely to be shared values, such as living an active life or just having someone with which to talk about a love of sci-fi movies. That said, only because a partner has completely different tastes in music, say, does not mean it’s doomed to failure. Someone entering a new relationship and discovering that his or her partner doesn’t share their love of jazz can open a potential opportunity to allow for some independence. Perhaps the jazz lover can spend a couple of evenings a month catching up with friends in a club while the other spends time with their friends watching that new romantic comedy their partner isn’t into seeing.
“Old Habits Are Going to Haunt New Relationships”
Again, there’s a potential here for disaster if a person begins a new relationship by consigning themselves to failure. Thoughts such as, “I always ruin relationships by showing a lack of interest,” or, “I’ve never been with someone for more than four months, this will be the same,” may become self-fulfilling prophecies if a person allows themselves to obsess over them. Instead, if someone treats a new relationship as a fresh opportunity to learn from old mistakes and habits and instead put into practice healthy, positive routines and thoughts, the chances of a successful and happy bond with another person are improved. The key is to treat the past as a learning opportunity. If the phrase ‘hindsight is 20:20’ is true, then take that as a chance to analyze negative behaviors and instead be an optimistic and caring partner who does not allow themselves to slip into old traps.
Many people go through strings of relationships and despair at their constant failure. However, by identifying certain unrealistic expectations and turning negative behavior patterns into positive ones, the chances of building a successful relationship are far higher. Realism, honest reflection and a little independence are good foundations for a healthy and happy relationship that can last.
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