“When you meet ‘the one’ you’ll just know.” “Love will come into your life when you least expect it.” “Opposites attract.” Relationship myths can leave us feeling dejected, powerless and inferior to those around us who appear to seamlessly form long-term blissfully happy relationships. Today I’m going to address 5 common dating myths to give you back the power to control your dating life.
Myth 1: There’s a certain amount of time that you have to be single for after a relationship.
WRONG! We’re often told things like “It’s too soon to move on, you need to sleep with a few people and have a rebound before you settle down with someone else.” Or “You need to wait at least 6 months if you’ve just come out of a long-term relationship before you begin to date again.” There is no research out there that indicates how long a person should be single for after a relationship ends. None. Nada. It’s entirely dependent on several factors, such as whether you wanted the relationship to end, if you initiated the break-up, or even your attachment style. Studies indicate that women are more likely to begin to detach from a relationship before it’s ended thus increasing the pace at which they are able to move on-yikes! That said, this is not always the case.
If you’re struggling to move on from someone don’t give yourself a hard time, as every situation is unique. If you think your love interest is “on the rebound” my advice is to take things slowly and bare in mind that whilst this could be a rebound relationship, it ain’t necessarily so!
Myth 2: Women fall in love quicker than men do.
Sorry men but no, not true. The reality is that men report falling in love slightly more quickly than their female counterparts. Gone are the days where only men wore the trousers!
Myth 3: Passionate love increases over time.
Passionate love actually decreases over time with the passion levels dipping at the 12-18 month mark. At this point companionate love continues to increase and this is vital because companionate love is an essential component to keeping a couple together. Sometimes we panic when passionate love starts to decline but this is entirely normal and is true to a certain degree in all long-term relationships. The good news is that passionate love can be reignited but this does take a little bit (and sometimes a lot) of work! Passionate love and companionate love co-exist only when a couple is able to keep trying out new things together, new hobbies, new restaurants, new travel destinations and new things in the bedroom of course!
Did you know that according to studies people are more likely to find you attractive if you participate in an activity that alters your physiology-like going on a rollercoaster. There’s also some truth in the saying “Couples that train together stay together”!
Myth 4: When you meet “The One” you’ll know.
We’ve all met that smug married person who comes out with the classic: “When I met Maggie I knew she was going to be the woman that I’d marry. When you know, you just know”. I’m going to put it out there that many many divorced people didn’t bank on getting divorced, believed that they would stay together and thought that they “knew”. I also know many single people who thought they knew and then realised that their knight in shining armour was in fact just a tosser in tin foil. Sometimes you don’t know and that’s okay, that’s normal. It’s okay not to instantly KNOW. You cannot instantly know if someone is a good person, not for sure. It’s better to pace your relationships and take your time to learn about a person. Be open-minded to the notion that sometimes you don’t “know”. It’s wise to refrain from making snap decisions based on romantic anecdotes from happily married people.
Myth 5: Any phrase that starts with “All women…” or “All men…”
I went through a phase where I regularly declared “All men are evil. Except for my dad and brother.” This doesn’t make any sense. ALL men and ALL women cannot be grouped into one box. We usually do this because we’ve experienced something negative with a select number of members of the opposite sex. I usually ask my clients to banish statements that are so finalised and rigid. Instead of saying “all men cheat” perhaps a more honest statement might be: “All the men I have chosen to date in the past have cheated on me.” From there you’re in a position to meet a man who won’t cheat on you in the future. You’re in a position to choose better.
So next time someone gives you dating advice and you’re not sure if it’s true, I recommend you take a moment to reflect about whether this is a fact or an opinion. Remember all situations are different and might not be applicable to you.