This ain’t a Disney film…
Relationships nowadays seem endlessly convoluted. With game-playing, fear of commitment, and the insidious role of social media in dating, it seems a miracle when we find that special someone. But even when you catch that fabulous fish hook, line, and sinker, it’s easy to be fooled by all of the ill-begotten relationship advice out there.
Whether you’re in the initial stages of giddy infatuation or have been married for years, there are always questions to be answered. According to leading human behavior expert Dr. John Demartini, the mythology surrounding the institution of relationships can be very misleading. So, to help us navigate the sea of misinformation, he’s debunked six relationship myths that just need to die.
1. My partner will complete me
Many people assume the right mate is the missing piece of the puzzle, but Demartini asserts this is not the case.
“There are seven areas of life we try to master: our spiritual quest, our minds, career, finances, family, social, and health. Human beings are looking for someone who has at least a few of those—cash, adores you, social influence, somebody with career motivation or spiritually inspired, and so on,” he says.
However, much as people would like to believe it, simply finding someone with those factors won’t help us master our own life areas. Demartini says this fulfilment needs to come from within.
“You need to be personally empowered in your own areas. Saying you’re only whole with this one person is denying the extraordinary powers you have. The more personal strength you find, the more you’ll share with your significant other.”
2. We’ll be happier if we have kids
According to Demartini, this is one of the biggest myths—and too many couples buy into it.
“Children are going to bring pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, support and challenge, kindness and cruelty, and every other binary opposition. Kids on their own won’t make you happy as a couple. However, they will teach you how to love, and to love both the positive and negative sides.”
3. Marriage will change our sex life
Contrary to popular belief, marriage isn’t the great libido killer it’s made out to be. Demartini asserts sex, or lack thereof, all comes down to communication.
“Sex is about communicating in each other’s values; what we want to achieve in the world as human beings. Marriage itself doesn’t equate to more or less sex, although many people believe it does. If you communicate via the values of your partner, and are dedicated to helping them live by them, the amount of sex you’re having will increase. If this communication slips, you’ll have less sex, regardless of the initial passion you had.”
4. This relationship will ensure my happiness
Yes, every feminist show you’ve ever binge-watched is correct: relationships don’t always make you happy.
“Individuals will have moments of calm and turmoil, happy and sad, and every other emotion in opposition. A relationship or marriage won’t change this,” explains Demartini.
“Relationships also bring emotions in their opposites; an equal balance of support and challenge you can choose to live with or not. Because of this, believing a partnership itself will ensure your happiness is delusional. Happiness stems from the individual.”
5. Our bond is sacred
Regardless of what you’ve seen in The Notebook, no bond in any relationship is beyond examination.
“Humans live by a set of values and are committed to the fulfilment of them. If your partner believes they’re fulfilling their own values while they’re with you, they’ll stay. If not, they’ll look for other options,” says Demartini.
“You have a responsibility to keep communicating those values if you want to be with them the rest of your life. Your significant other is committed to your values, not to you. As such, you have to master the art of communicating your common values to keep that bond alive and aflame.”
6. Finances aren’t important
We all know money makes the world go ’round, and it’s tempting to assume (for the sake of romance) finances won’t affect your relationship beyond a superficial level. However, Demartini asserts while your cashflow sitch definitely does impact your relationship, it’s the management of money—not the amount available—that can affect it most.
“Men are wired on a primal level to protect and provide. Some men love to take care of women financially, some don’t, and others are in between. Some women love being taken care of, others are career-oriented, and may resent this attitude. Whatever the case, this must be discussed thoroughly before you commit to each other for life. Money is one of the most sensitive topics; you can’t assume it won’t affect you simply because your passion is inflammatory.”
The best solution? Keeping things segmented.
“One way of avoiding any awkwardness is by having three bank accounts: yours, his, and a joint one. This way, you can share your finances but have monetary independence as well.”
Images via tumblr.com and giphy.com.
Daisy Cousens is a writer, actress, and outspoken feminist. She has a peculiar fixation with tennis and often shouts, “Vamos Rafa!” at inappropriate moments. Harry Potter is her spirit animal.