Relationship Myths: Part I
The wonderful thing about the internet is that there is a wealth of information, advice and wisdom made easily accessible for us regarding anything, including relationships! But the downside of the internet is that it’s hard to sift through all of that information to find the good, helpful and wise advice! There is a lot of information posted by anyone and for anyone. But it might not be true. This is no different with relationships. There can be a lot of myths about relationships; our hope is to dispel a couple of them in this post.
“My partner should know what I’m thinking or feeling”
By definition a relationship is two separate people coming together. You may feel a connection with someone but no matter how similar you are in your beliefs and ideas, you are two unique individuals with your own unique DNAs. You will have differences in some areas of your lives. These differences may be in interests, beliefs, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior, how you listen or communicate and your experiences. There is this idea that when you’re in love with someone or when you’re with the right person they ‘will just get you’. But they are not in your head and they are not you. Communication and boundaries are important. Both of you are unique individuals who are responsible for your own thoughts and feelings. Communicating your feelings and thoughts when it’s appropriate and safe to do so is better than assuming that your partner knows what you are thinking and feeling. If you need help learning how to communicate in healthy ways, you can ask a trusted counselor, mentor or friend to help you learn these skills.
“Our relationship has to be a certain way”
Healthy relationships involve: mutual respect, trust, individuality, good communication, compromise and understanding. There are many different opinions online about when you should become official, when you should say ‘I love you’, how to know if you’ve found “the One”, where you should meet someone, etc. There are important things that you should do to make sure your relationships are healthy, respectful and aligned with your own values. However, determining where and how you meet someone, how long you should date till you meet the parents, get engaged, etc. can look different for every couple because, every couple includes two unique individuals with different opinions, beliefs, values, thoughts and feelings. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to relationships. Your relationship might look different than someone else’s. Don’t feel pressured to speed up your relationship to different stages just because another couple is at a different stage or does things in a slightly different timeline or fashion. Focus on your relationship and hold it to your values and standards. Make sure both you and your partner are comfortable with how things are going and progressing – this requires good communication so try to practice this early on if you can.
As always, our centre provides support to clients who wish to talk about relationships and how to create and build healthy relationships. Feel free to contact us if you want to talk with one of our Client Advocates or our Community Education team.