There’s a lot of bad relationship advice going around, so our best advice is…don’t believe everything you hear!
Although an unbiased, third-person perspective can help clear some things up when it comes to your dating life, it can just as often steer us in the wrong direction.
The problem with outside advice is they don’t know your relationship, or yourself, better than you do. We’re not suggesting you shun any advice that comes your way – we’re just saying the next time you hear these common relationship tips, consider how much it actually applies to you.
1. “Lower your standards”: Nicole Martinez Psy.D. told Bustle, “There is nothing wrong with knowing what qualities are important to you and why. It is important to be with someone who embodies that.”
2. “You need to change him/her”: It’s important to recognize you can’t change your partner’s entire character to fit your expectations, either. If you’re trying to change everything about your partner, psychotherapist Patrick Wanis tells Glamour: it’s the relationship that isn’t working, not them.
3. “Never Go To Bed Angry”: Common advice suggests you shouldn’t go to sleep until all issues have been resolved with your partner. However, Nicole Martinez says there’s actually nothing wrong with it; sleeping on it can help you both discuss the argument with a clear head in the morning.
4. “The fun doesn’t last”: The person you choose to share your life with should make your life better. Although the excitement from the beginning of the relationship will fade, Psych Central states that fun is part of a healthy, happy relationship.
5. “Talking about problems in the bedroom makes it worse”: Communication is key: “Don’t focus so much on hurting your partner’s feelings – just be honest and authentic,” relationship expert Jane Greer told Brides.com.
6. “Opposites attract”: Researchers from the University of California disproved this myth and suggested we do, in fact, find ourselves drawn to someone similar to ourselves. It doesn’t mean one way is better than the other, but don’t waste your time on someone you have nothing in common with.
7. “Arguing is unhealthy”: Arguing is actually good for your relationship if the two of you are doing it right. Clinical psychologist Rachel Needle says in her website that arguing is normal, and disagreements should encourage conversation where both partners feel safe.
8. “Love is enough”: The idea that when you’ve met the right person it’s all smooth sailing is far from the truth. Like any success in life, it requires effort and hard work.
9. “Give him/her the silent treatment”: Whether you are purposely leaving the person hanging through text or you’re upset and not talking to your partner, the silent treatment is never a good idea. Communication is the key to a successful relationship. Relationship expert Michelle Crosby says in her book, Before You Say ‘I Don’t’: A Beginner’s Guide To Divorce, “Think about it: Prisons use solitary confinement as punishment […] Is that really how you want to treat anyone, let alone your S.O.?” If you need to cool off before you feel ready to have a calm and respectful conversation, then you certainly should. But it’s important that you express your vulnerable side and not just your angry one.
10. “Learn to be irresistible”: People, and especially women, have been given this advice for most of their lives. You’ll see it on the cover of most beauty magazines: “How to become a magnet for the opposite sex”. Turning up the heat in a relationship is never a bad idea, but trying to become someone you’re not will almost always fail. Ken Page, relationship psychotherapist and author of “Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy”, says that irresistibility is a terrible goal to strive for because it’s impossible to attain and you won’t have fun trying. He says, “It will only make you more insecure. Your goal is to be you and to only look for someone who loves who you are.”
11. “Be strong but not too strong”: This next point is also typically directed at women. Women are told that strong female figures are people to look up to, yet in the same breath are also required to be sexy, feminine, soft, and vulnerable. The way this translates, and especially in heterosexual relationships, is that you’re meant to embody one trait or the other so as to not threaten traditional gender roles. The healthy way, however, is to inhabit how you feel at any given moment or scenario in a genuine way: whether that’s anger or fear. According to Page, “By not expressing excitement about your latest work success to someone you’re dating because it overshadows or upstages him or her, you’re only suppressing your authentic self and playing more games.”
12. “Get married because ‘it’s time'”: It’s 2018, but people still feel a rush of anxiety when they hit a certain age and they haven’t found “the one” yet. It’s understandable, couples are tying the knot left, right, and center. You’ve got the post-grad wave, the late 20s wave, the mid-thirties wave, but none of that means that you should rush to marry if you’re not ready. Follow your own intuition and life path and if that means staying single until you’re 45 or forever, it’s better than getting married to the wrong person because you were taking cues from everyone else around you. Michelle Crosby says in her book, “Don’t merely follow the script of life and marriage and what seems like the logical next step […] Forget the ‘happily ever after’ script and write your own to suit your needs and goals in life.”
13. “Relationships should be easy”: This is one of the biggest lies you’ll ever be told and it’s a pretty bad one, too. Think about it, when did you ever have or accomplish anything great without hard work? It’s up to you to determine how much effort a relationship deserves. Dr. Jude Black of E-TherapyCafe.com says, “A good rule of thumb is: The strength of a relationship is measurable by the time, effort, and energy invested.”
14. “Jealousy means they love you”: Is jealousy a sign of love? According to Susie and Otto Collin from RelationshipGold.com, that’s not true. Instead, “it just may mean that there’s a pretty big self-esteem issue going on or whatever triggers their jealous behavior.” They also deliver this warning: “A seductive possessiveness that you interpret to be proof that he or she cares at the beginning of a relationship can quickly turn into an abusive situation if both of you don’t get some help.”
15. “No one will love you like they do”: This is absolutely not true! If anyone ever tells you this, you really need to think hard about the role they play in your life. Jenise Harmon of PsychCentral.com says, “This is a phrase that is often used to keep an individual in an abusive relationship […] Don’t allow this bad advice to keep you stuck in a harmful relationship.”
16. Be the boss: An article in HumanExplore.com explains that this is the kind of attitude you should pass on, and instead states that, “In a healthy relationship, each partner has a field where he/she shines and logically they take the lead in those situations. If you want a strong and loving relationship, there must be mutual support and understanding.”
17. “Love comes when you least expect it”: This is just a sappy rom-com one-liner you should ignore. Relationship expert Adam LaDolce wrote an article for CheatSheet.com in which he argues that this is bad advice because “it takes the ownership off of you to go out there and find it.” He adds, “A lot of relationship advice I give is all about being proactive and pushing yourself to get out there, meet new people, and make it happen for yourself.”
18. “Don’t make a small problem bigger”: According to an article on TruthInsideYou.org, bottling up your emotions is just about the worst thing you can do because the little things add up to a big thing and it’ll be much more difficult to solve a problem of that scale. They explain that by not communicating, you are not sacrificing yourself for the sake of the relationship, you’re just building a ticking time bomb that will go off in the future.
19. “We are supposed to meet each other’s needs”: According to Hal Runkel, marriage therapist, family therapist, and author of “Choose Your Own Adulthood”, this is the most horrible piece of advice imaginable. That’s because, “what that means is that you are a needy person, and you need the other person to express their neediness to you. In this situation, your relationship is going to be built on each other’s willingness and ability to meet the neediness of the other. That is not a recipe for a good relationship.”
20) “Cyber-snooping can save you from the wrong partner”: Dating coach Emyli Lovz advises that if someone gives you this advice, first examine that person’s relationship before following in their footsteps. She told Business Insider, “If you cannot trust your partner, then you’ve already chosen the wrong one. The bigger question is why you are attracted to a person whom you do not trust. Put simply, snooping destroys trust, which is the foundation of a healthy relationship.”
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