• Ela Senghera

5 Lies About Love & Relationships

Building a stable and lasting relationship is not a simple task. In fact you don’t just get one – you create one. It might start from a physical attraction but that stage doesn’t last very long. Soon after, it becomes all about effective communication, respect and crucial down time. Love is in us and all around us, yet there are so many misconceptions about it.

Most people’s idea of love is based on what films they have watched as a kid. Very often it's romanticised by many of us. We struggle to perceive love through the practical aspects of our lives. Based on my experience the biggest lies about love are:

1. Once you find ”THE ONE” your job is done

When you are young and easy to influence, you absorb information first (from books, films and interactions with others) and form our opinions as second – exactly in this order. And so, it’s only natural that you form the basis of your relationships based on the experience acquired over the years. When you are single you are likely to feel lonely at times. You might think that your life is so miserable, it can’t get any worse. You think that finding the right person is the solution or a magic formula to all your life problems. It will change everything and give you eternal happiness. Sadly it doesn’t work like that. Finding your partner is the beginning, not the end. This is where the work starts. And it will take work to make it survive. Many of us learn that later in life when experiencing relationship problems.

2. Your partner’s role is to make you happy

Another common myth. You are responsible to make yourself happy as nobody else is able to do it. You can’t rely on external people for your happiness as you can’t control them. As soon as they are gone, your happiness is too! So, (and this is a very important bit) be happy before you get in a new relationship. If you are unhappy you will attract unhappy people. We all need to learn to love and respect ourselves so we can love and respect others. By understanding our dreams, fears and needs, we are able to build a healthy set of expectations. Only when you become happy and accepting of yourself can you contribute positive things to your relationship. Knowing, accepting and loving yourself is the first step. Getting to know your partner is the second one. Once you do, meeting each other's expectations will be easier.

3. Good relationships don’t take work

Healthy relationships will naturally make you feel good. However, all relationships take work. Check the quality of your relationship by asking yourself the question: does this relationship make me more joyful and healthy mentally and physically? If that is not the case, improve your situation by getting to know yourself first. Learn more about yourself and your values. Find your own happiness by doing things you love. Once you do you are more likely to understand your partner's perspective. Once you are clear on what they need from you – you can evaluate and decide on next steps. You will get there through effective communication. Whether or not you decide to stay with your partner or leave them, you will become much wiser and stronger in the process.

4. Once in a relationship you should be inseparable

Another huge lie. A mistake I’ve made a number of times, and despite the fact I knew deep inside we were spending far too much time together and grown very reliant on each other, I didn’t know how to un-do it. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Now, I wish I set my boundries much sooner. I did too many things to my partner and as a result had less time for myself. As a result I felt like I was loosing my identity. Resentment has creeped in and arguments followed. Most people don’t realise that having your own circle of friends, own career path and hobbies is what will keep your relationship healthy and balanced. In fact it is as important as having love, respect and strong physical attraction. Distance is required for love to thrive so allow the space between you to make your connection stronger.

5. Things will get better on their own

Many of us have suffered from a heartache. Relationship problems are a very common thing. That’s primarily because we get together with someone who is completely different to us and we can’t change them or control them. People don't change unless they want to change. Trying to change someone is a recipe for frustration The only way to resolve relationship problems is through calm and open communication. Don’t criticise or patronise each other. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they are trying to tell you. If you are upset, let go of your anger first. Go for a walk, a run or take a few deep breaths. Continue talking when you are calmer. If you feel you have grown apart, reserve some time for the two of you to go away and reconnect. This should remind you how things used to be at the start. If that doesn’t help try something else – like couple therapy or a finding reliable childcare to allow time for fun and relax. Productive communication is the only way to understand your partner. Without that contempt and resentment settles in and it becomes very difficult to respect, love and appreciate each other.

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