For All The Commitment Phobes Out There: 7 Myths About Long Term Relationships
I’m about to rock the worlds of the commitment-phobes out there, of the people that spurt out statistics about divorce any time you ask them why they’re single, of the people that use their unhealthy couple friends as evidence why they shouldn’t date. They hold onto these myths about long-term relationships for dear life, because these myths are the only thing letting them pretend that they’re not just deeply afraid of finding love, and pursuing it. Sorry to blow the cover off your plan, you forever-single’s.
Myth: That routine is bad
You see the couple that stays home on a Friday night, watches the 5th season of whatever show they’re currently obsessed with, order fattening food and pass out early and you say, “Poor them. Clearly the spark is lost.” You think they do this because they have nothing left to talk about, and they don’t find each other interesting anymore
Truth: Routine feels good
Often couples that have a routine like the one stated above do so because they feel so confident in their choice with one another, that they don’t feel the frantic need to chit chat all night. They’ve figured each other out! Now they can just enjoy life in each other’s company. And if that means watching TV and ordering takeout, so be it. The couple that constantly has to plan some activity, or go over every detail of their day, is often the couple that feels something is inherently wrong in their relationship, and are trying to distract themselves from that fact.
Myth: That sex should be just as frequent
Your friend that’s in a long-term relationship tells you her and her man have sex about once a week, and you think, “BO-RING.” You take this as evidence that clearly, their attraction for each other is waning.
Fact: Intimacy can be had without sex
Often our drive to have sex comes from all the feel good chemicals we get from orgasm. But, after being with somebody for a long time, new kinds of feel good chemicals kick in, and you get a rush of them simply by being near your partner. Simple cuddling can create a feeling as intimate as sex would. And come on: people get busy and tired. Daily sex can become a struggle. But the couple that still feels those happy chemicals around each other do usually have regular sex. It’s just not as frequent.
Myth: That you become complacent
That passion dies. That you no longer feel a rush when your partner texts you. That you don’t look forward all day to going home. Essentially, you stay because things are convenient and at least not turbulent. But, it’s also not exciting.
Fact: Euphoria isn’t sustainable
Do you really want to live in that state of euphoria forever? The one where you feel sick to your stomach if he takes ten extra minutes to answer a text? And can’t concentrate on work for hours if he sent one cute text? The one where you can’t enjoy time with your friends because you’re just thinking of going home to your guy? That’s not sustainable. But don’t think your feelings towards your partner become bland or neutral after time. They’re still positive; they’re just more stable. You still look forward to being around your partner, you just don’t feel that your life depends on it. And that’s a good place to be.
Myth: You’re supposed to live together before marriage
So you feel that a long-term relationship means the instant end to all freedom and space, because all of your couple friends live together. You probably believe, based on what your friends say, that it’s weird to be with someone for a couple of years and not live together. And so you believe that co-habitation is inevitable in a long-term relationship.
Fact: Living together can lead to divorce
Living together before marriage is a great idea. But before engagement, not necessarily. Studies have found a high divorce rate in couples that lived together before being engaged, showing that often, these couples decided to get engaged based off of simple inertia. It felt like things were supposed to go that way, since they were already living together. Couples that lived separately before engaging tended to engage out of a genuine desire to be together forever, unaffected by the stress of joint leases or co-signing on houses.
Myth: It’s natural to want to cheat
After kissing, having sex with, sleeping with and talking to the same person for multiple years, it’s only natural to have strong desires to be with somebody else, right? You probably believe that being in a long-term relationship turns somebody into a cheater, and makes him have thoughts and urges he never wanted to have in the first place.
Fact: An urge to cheat is a sign of something worse
Sure, when you have a boyfriend, at any time—even in the first couple of months—you’ll encounter people that you acknowledge you find attractive in both looks and personality, and that, if you were single, may have made a good match for you. This will happen your entire life, even if you’re married. But if you have a deep, dying-to-be-scratched itch to cheat, that’s not because you’re in a long-term relationship. That’s just because you’re in the wrong relationship, or at least you’ve got major issues in it. When your relationship is good, you don’t feel the need to screw around.
Myth: You lose who you are
There are those annoying couples that dress the same, sync up their calendars, start every sentence with, “we” and are attached at the hip. Those couples give many singles the fear that you lose your identity when in a relationship, and that is a very scary thing.
Fact: A happy relationship exists between two individuals
The best relationships are made up of two people that consciously and constantly tend to their lives as individuals. That means keeping up with your weekly girls nights, or your sculpture class, that yearly trip you take with your old sorority sisters, the one hour you need for yourself each night after work to unwind—whatever it is that makes you you with or without a partner. Becoming one person isn’t only non-mandatory for a relationship. It’s bad for it!
Myth: You start to disgust each other
After handing your guy the hundredth roll of toilet paper through the bathroom door, cleaning up his nail clippings, hearing him fart in his sleep, and popping another pimple on his back, you start to see your partner as this gross, strictly biological being with no romantic or sexual meaning to you whatsoever.
Fact: Comfort facilitates attraction
Okay so the mystery is gone. But so is the fear and insecurities that came with keeping that mystery, and that inevitably kept you and your partner at a certain distance. You’ll see: when you’re with someone for a while, and you can uninhibitedly ask for the Gas-X, you’ll look over at him and feel warm, fuzzy feelings towards him because you can just be yourself. The fact that he creates a safe environment in which you can do that makes you attracted to him.