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Relationship myths

Everyone’s relationship and expectations are different but there are common things that people expect from relationships which aren’t necessarily the case. Here we debunk some common myths about what relationships should look like.

Myth 1: Love is shown through grand gestures and expensive gifts

People in long-term relationships tend to say that small acts of kindness and appreciation are much more important than big declarations of love. Laughing together, being friends and showing love by bringing a cup of tea or sending a thoughtful text, is often more important than saying it.

Myth 2: Sex is the most important thing in a relationship

Communication is essential to a healthy relationship. When we asked people what was the most important thing in their relationship people said laughing together, sharing values and interests, being best friends, feeling supported, safe and secure, being happy, talking and listening. Sex didn’t even make the top ten!

Myth 3: Having arguments is a bad sign

Lots of people value arguments, especially small disagreements, because they help to vent tensions rather than let them build up. They also let you learn what’s important to the other person and so can bring you closer. The key is to just be aware that you may have different communication styles, and to respect this. Read more about arguments.

Myth 4: You need to spend as much time together as possible

A good relationship sometimes involves getting closer together and, at other times, moving further apart. For example, people can find it helps to have separate interests or space and time to do their own thing alone or with friends. More and more people in long-term relationships are opting to ‘live apart together’. Read more about spending time together and apart.

Myth 5: Your partner should complete you

While partners are definitely important in each other’s lives, your life was not incomplete before you met them. Just as it won’t be incomplete if you were to break-up. It’s always good to have boundaries and have hobbies and time that you spend apart.

Myth 6: Monogamy is essential for a successful relationship

For some people, being monogamous (being committed to just one person) is not necessary for a healthy and happy relationship and they opt for non-monogamous relationships. Casual relationships, where there is less commitment, are more popular and can be great for some people.

Myth 7: A great relationship is easy

Relationships require time, effort and commitment for them to be healthy and happy. We often expect relationships to be effortless like we see on TV and in books but relationships require hard work, particularly if it’s going to be a long-term relationship, and you will always encounter challenges along the way.

Myth 8: A relationship is about putting their needs above your own

Even in a relationship you still need to prioritise your needs. If you’re always trying to look out for someone and put their needs before yours, that’s great – if they’re doing the same for you. If they are, logic says you’ll probably meet somewhere in the middle. There might be times where you’re giving a lot more, but there’ll also be times where they’re giving a lot more, instead.

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