As we begin the magical holiday season, it seems that love is in the air and anything is possible.
While I won't deny a miracle on 34th street, tell a child that there is no Santa Claus, or stop believing that even the most seemingly undate-able person could be kissing someone under the mistletoe, I will expose some relationship myths. Here are seven widely-accepted beliefs that studies and my professional experience show simply aren't true.
1. There's only one person in The Universe for you. While it is romantic to believe in "The One", the truth is that there is more than one person in the entire world that you could have a happy and successful romantic relationship with.
2. Opposites attract. My twelve years as a matchmaker and dating & relationship coach have reinforced a notion that I learned way back when in my days as a psychology student at Rutgers University: Birds of a feather flock together! In the long run, the couples who make it are those with similar values, beliefs, and worldviews.
3. Passionate love gets stronger the longer that you are together. Nope. Sorry. Love changes its form in time. The butterflies that are there in the beginning will (hopefully!) be there as the relationship progresses, but the passion does not generally get more intense with time. It is associated with the mystery and novelty of a relationship in its early stages.
4. You should never go to bed mad. This popular strategy for handling relationship conflict is actually counterproductive, because people need time to "cool off" to truly resolve things in a satisfactory way. The brain can not find adequate and creative solutions when triggered. Anger, sadness, and frustration cloud judgment. There's nothing like a fresh perspective in the AM.
5. Men and women are equally impacted by relationship conflict. While both sexes are bothered by conflict in romantic relationships, women hold on to the issue, their desire to analyze it, and emotions around it much longer. Men have an easier time letting go, as they were socialized to just move on. Women, on the other hand, were taught to talk about with relationship drama with their mom, best friend, stranger sitting next to them at the nail salon, etc.....
6. Women are more romantic than men. Studies show it is actually men who believe in things like love at first sight or love healing all.
7. Time heals all. While it may seem like you can mend anything from a fractured relationship to a broken heart in time, it is important to realize that time is not on your side unless you are being proactive about solving your relationship problems. Otherwise, you too, can be one of those people still stuck on an ex--ten years later.
If you always do what you always done, you'll always have what you've got. And in order to do something different, you've got to give up these myths.