Dysfunctional relationships are everywhere. It really shouldn’t be surprising with all the distorted depictions of love and relationships we see daily. Whether it’s reality TV or one of our dear but misguided friends, there's no shortage of unhealthy interactions to witness.
Perhaps one of the problems is with our personal constructs of what love entails. There are many beliefs we adopt as truth, but haven’t taken the time to examine more closely.
Here are a few of the widespread myths that may be holding you back from having more healthy relationships.
1. Love hurts.
This is a dangerous one to believe. As a result, some will endure and defend the worst behavior possible. Be it physical or emotional, blindly believing this untruth can lead to unnecessary and unfortunate drama. Love is supportive, not destructive. Sure, the loss of love hurts, but love itself does not. Real love heals.
2. Jealousy shows passion.
Obviously, no one wants a partner who is completely disinterested in the integrity of the relationship. However, there’s a whole spectrum between jealous rage and a partner who couldn’t care less. A significant other who stays in the danger zone of jealousy is probably more interested in ownership, not passion.
3. Love is sacrifice.
To some extent, this may be true. However, the question is: What are you sacrificing? In a relationship, you may sacrifice some preferences for the sake of compromise and peace. The line is crossed when you start sacrificing your values. Make the distinction between preferences and values. You never have to compromise the truth of who you are — even for love.
4. You’ll know.
There are a few people who will have the “love at first sight” experience. However, just because that initial insight isn’t there doesn’t mean it never will be. There is something to be said for chemistry, but many relationships grow at a slower pace.
Keep in mind that your vision may be temporarily clouded by other circumstances. Misinformation, ridiculous expectations, or past heartbreak taint your perspective. Until those issues are dealt with, your judgment will be off. Sometimes, you just don’t know until you do.
5. Love will complete you.
This has to be the biggest myth of all. A relationship should never be your missing piece, and if you believe it is, there’s something else you need to cultivate as an individual. If your loved one is no longer in your life, where does that leave you?
An ideal, mature relationship involves two whole people coming together. Your partner may complement you, but it isn't their responsibility to complete you. That’s your job. Remember, if they bring it to you, they can take it away.
The way we navigate life and love is dependent on the narratives we tell ourselves. We often refine our definitions on the experiences we have, but sometimes we get stuck. Make sure that your perspective has been chosen consciously. Otherwise, the myths will continue to direct the quality of relationships you have. Love wisely.