That we are taught are totally normal
Relationships are a weird thing and getting weirder by the day. We are taught things about them, about the ideal of them. But those ideals are looking more and more toxic every day and the older we grow.
As gender norms and other aspects of relationships, parenting and everything that goes along with it change with the times, its important for us to acknowledge that the dynamics of our relationships and those ideals that were set out (probably in the 1930’s to 50’s) just don’t work the same way anymore.
The things that we expected as we looking on in wonder at our parents and grandparents relationships might seem like a love story, but they just don’t work in our current state of dating affairs. Things that we consider perfect and the Cinderella story can actually be extremely toxic. We glorify these toxic habits as the great love stories. But in reality, these habits might be hurting you and your partner in the long run…and now.
Expecting Your Partner to “Fix” Things
When you are in a relationship, your emotions are still yours. While, yes, your partner should care how you are feeling (Obviously) it is not their job to fix your emotional pain and expecting them to do such things is unfair and can promote a lot of resentment in a relationship. You can feel like maybe they don’t understand you or even don’t want to help you and they can often feel like a failure for not being able to make you happy in every aspect of your life.
Your partner is not your therapist and obviously communication is important (Will go into that later) it doesn’t mean that they are responsible for your mental health or your happiness. You are the one that is in control of that and in your own head.
Alternative: Self soothing is something that I think should be taught in schools. Learn how to work yourself through your own emotional problems with things like self care, changes in routine, meditation, sports and other things that help you move past emotional struggles as opposed to expecting your partners love to “Magically” fix it all. If you do need a therapist then that is what you should be seeking out; not expecting it from your significant other.
So In Love
People have this weird idea that individuals in relationships should be in love and head over heals for each other all the time. This is far from the truth on an emotional level and on a biochemical level. You will not always “Feel it” all the time and there will be parts of your long term relationships that aren’t burning with passions. This is not a failure and it does not mean that you do not love the person all the time. It just means that life happens and you are thinking about different things or not totally on the same page.
Likewise, know that you and your partner will not always feel the same way at the same time. You might be on a so in love high while your partner is dealing with work drama or visa versa. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t right for eachother.
Alternative: If you find yourself out of sink with your partner or “Not feeling it” or if you are afraid they are feeling that way, talk about it and about spending some quality time together. Know that boats of this happen and look at the other things in your life that might be going on that can make you feel this way that you might be projecting onto your relationship.
Okay not so much double dates but comparing yourself to other couples is a giant no no. Yes we know this in theory and intellectually, but its hard not to look from the outside in and think about how nice it would be if your partner acted like that. Lets start out by saying that just because it looks perfect, doesn’t mean that it is perfect. You will never know whats going on in a relationship unless you are really in it.
Some things work for different couples. When I tell people I only see the guy I’m dating on the weekends some people get really suspicious, but it works for us and since we are so busy during the week with work and with training, it ensures that the time we have together, we aren’t stressed out and aren’t just falling asleep (Most of the time). Some people can’t do that which is totally understandable. Some people show their affection in public, some aren’t comfortable with that. Some people date for 10 years and never get married. Okay.
Alternative: Dont compare yourselves with other couples. Understand your partner and make sure you tell them what you want.
So you left your ring on the table so he could see the size or you mention something about maybe seeing something or doing something you haven’t done in a while. That can be fine but when it comes to hint dropping, we are expecting our partners to read our minds and that’s just plain not fair. Just because your partner doesn’t pick up on hints that you might think are obvious does not mean that they don’t love you or dont know/understand you.
The Soul Mate Myth / Co-Dependent
NO ONE NO ON NO ONE completes another person. I will say that until I am blue in the darn face but it still comes up so often it makes me sick. I don’t say that cynically either. I say it with optimism. When you are with someone, you should chose to be with them, not have to be with them.
Needing to be in constant communication
Contrary to what we think now with social media stories and twitter feeds, not every thought that you have needs to be said out loud. Life was somehow so much easier to manage when you only had a land line. There wasn’t any of this “Why isn’t he texting me back” bull shit. Constant communication can be annoying and leave you with nothing to really say to each other at the end of the day. Try limiting just how much communication you need to be having and rewire the way that you need to think about communication. Is your partner busy at work and maybe shouldn’t be on the phone? Did they not have anything to say to your movie about panda babies when they are at a family function?
Alternative: try for meaningful conversation. One of the things that I thought was so weird when my friend started dating was that they only talked once a day. There wasn’t a need to bombard the other.; Doing this now I can really see the benefits of it.