I’m so happy to introduce you lovebugs to relationship author Sylvia Smith! She writes:
There are few things more pleasurable than viewing a good old-fashioned love story on the screen. A couple locks eyes from across the room and just knows, they’re made for each other. They meet, fall in love instantly, and spend the rest of their lives happily ever after.
We enjoy watching these beautiful stories unfold in the movie theater but remember: this type of love story is based on myths about what love should look like.
These myths sell lots of books and magazines, but inevitable challenges arise, to people who believe them to be true.
Wanting love to be as it is portrayed in the entertainment industry makes it difficult to maintain a real-life relationship, with all its real-life weak spots. Real love rarely looks like “Love, Actually.” Let’s examine ten common myths about sex and romance that deserve to be debunked.
1. Love is all you need to be happy.
Popular culture tells us relentlessly, and the Beatles sang it: All You Need is Love.
If only this were true! Ask anyone who has been around the block a bit and they will tell you that you need a variety of elements to be happy in life. Here’s what real life people list as essential to happiness:
- Community and connection to others
- Finding meaning in one’s work
- Feeling valued
- Enough money to have shelter and food
- Love, yes, but this can be non-romantic love too, such as love for a pet, love of being in nature, love for and from your children or extended family.
2. Love shouldn’t feel like work.
When we first fall in love, the feel-good chemicals are released and everything seems smooth and easy. But as the relationship matures and the inevitable challenges arise, the work involved to understand and move through those challenges can, to certain people, feel like this is no longer love.
To the contrary, building real, lasting love means meeting life’s bumps and twists head on with your partner, and figuring out how to navigate through them. This takes effort. But it is well-rewarded with a stronger, more solid relationship.
3. Good sex comes naturally when you love each other.
Loving your partner does not translate automatically to having mind-blowing sex. Good sex is not innate to either gender.
What contributes to good sex? Knowing your partner well, communicating what feels good to you, asking your partner to communicate what feels good to them, and being able to laugh together in bed and out.
4. True love means you finish each others sentences (and can read each others minds).
This is a myth that popular media loves to promote. Sadly, if you believe this, it will only lead to resentment. Your partner cannot possibly know why you are in a bad mood or what is behind your angry face, even if you think he should because you’ve been together a long time.
Take responsibility for your emotions and feelings and express them to your partner so they can support you.
5. Love at first sight is the best way to fall in love.
There are couples who have fallen in love instantly, but they are few, and this “love” is based on a physical attraction which isn’t always the most durable kind of love. So don’t worry if you did not feel that special spark for your partner the moment you met them.
There are millions of happy couples out there who fell in love gradually, first as friends and then when both realized that they wanted something more, as romantic partners.
6. The goal in lovemaking should be mutual orgasm.
This is another myth spread by movies, where all couples seem to experience the height of pleasure at precisely the same time (and so very quickly!).
Couples who believe this myth are putting an unnecessary amount of pressure on themselves when in the bedroom.
A better attitude towards orgasm is to learn what your partner likes, take your time with each other, and tune into your mutual pleasure. If you both reach climax at the same time, great. But it should not be the goal when you slip between the sheets.
7. You should live together before getting married. That way you can test compatibility before you make the big jump.
False! Statistics show the couples who live together often fall into inertia as far as officially tying the knot is concerned. Living together offers no more assurance of compatibility than steady dating does.
If you both view marriage as a priority, you do not need to test-drive your compatibility before the ceremony. Date each other steadily, communicate honestly, and set a date of the wedding.
8. Married couples should do everything together to keep their marriage strong.
The opposite is actually true. Happily married couples report that having some separate hobbies and leisure time activities makes them more interesting to each other. They also find the time away from their spouse to be energizing.
It is attractive to see one’s spouse return home excited about winning a tennis match or learning a new skill.
9. It’s 100% your fault if your partner has an affair.
The breaking of the marital bond is never one-sided. If your spouse is blaming you for their affair, you both need to get yourselves to a marriage counselor quickly.
There is never one devil and one angel in a relationship. An affair is a wake-up call to deeply examine your couple’s dynamics, after which you can decide to continue with the relationship. Or not.
10. We all have only a single soul mate.
Ask anyone who has been divorced or widowed and fallen in love again: this line of thinking is erroneous. We are capable of loving all types of people, and loving differently depending on where we are in life. Twenty-year-olds and forty-year-olds have their own sets of criteria for what constitutes a soul mate.
So don’t worry if your “one and only soul mate” breaks up with you. It will hurt for a while, but trust that another soul mate is out there for you! If you enjoyed this article you’ll want to opt-in to Shannon’s newsletter here.
Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage.
She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages.