1. Every couple fights.
This is said to defend the times they fight in front of you and you’re left awkwardly pretending you don’t exist while they make “you always disrespect me” and “you’re such a diva” comments to each other. Nope. Totally not true. Disagreement is totally normal and healthy, and conversations about how to move forward are inevitable and important. But having loud fights, fighting in public, picking at each other in front of your friends and family — that’s a diseased relationship and it needs some serious TLC or else it’s going to fall apart. Normal adults don’t make each other so crazy that they can’t think rationally and have a measured disagreement.
2. Casual sex is always unfulfilling.
There’s a cultural myth that people who say casual sex is fulfilling are lying to seem cool (?) or something (?) because no one could possibly actually think that way. What these people don’t understand is that just because something makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t mean everyone else in the world feels that way. No, we don’t naturally “need” more, people have been hermits since the beginning of people. Marriage and families make some people happy, solitude makes others happy. Do whatever you want to do and don’t spend time stressing out about people who choose differently. That’s the only unhealthy thing that’s happening with regard to people making their own choices.
3. “Happy wife, happy life.”
This is how I think people view marriage, roughly: women grow up responsible and wanting commitment. Men grow up running away from commitment and wanting to be “wild.” When a woman “captures” a man and tricks him into marriage she is responsible for civilizing his wildness through forcing him to live in a home with throw pillows and plates that match bowls. The men have to learn all the tricks women grew up learning and buy them domestic items to make them happy so that they can be rewarded with sex or the pleasure of living with someone that is pleasant to be around.
I mean, how else do people think the happy wife, happy life mantra plays out? It makes women seem shrewd and men seem like dumbasses. In a healthy relationship, you aim for both people to be happy, but you also strive to have reasonable expectations of what you need in order to be happy. For instance, not needing someone to treat you like a princess or be your domestic servant in order to be happy is a great place to start.
4. When you get married, your sex life is OVER.
It doesn’t take much to find a lot of evidence to back this up, try stomaching some of the stories over at r/deadbedrooms. The problem is that 99% of these stories aren’t about someone who was “tricked” into marrying someone without a sex drive, the problem is that they never bothered to figure this out in the first place. Here’s a tip: don’t get married to someone who doesn’t think sex is unworthy (or too embarrassing) to talk about. That’s a teenager’s relationship. The lack of sex doesn’t come from commitment, it comes from committing to someone who isn’t willing to be an adult and address or fix problems. Committing to someone is normal and healthy, committing someone who believes staying stuck in their problems is okay, is definitely not.
5. “I can do anything in my relationship I could do single, I just have a friend to do it with now.”
This is a somewhat harmless lie, to be honest, but it goes on the list for it’s lack of self-awareness. It’s used to defend your relationship when people are talking about how much they enjoy the freedom of being single. It’s not true that you can do anything single people can do when you’re in a relationship and it shouldn’t be true. Again, learn to be okay with other people making different choices than you did, and enjoy what you have.
6. Trashing your partner is normal or just “venting.”
I cannot speak to what guys do but if you’re a woman at any gather (though in my experience, especially family gatherings) you will at some point be in a women only group that sits around and trashes their partner. “OMG when I first met Matt, he didn’t even know what a napkin was!” “LOL Joe thinks its romantic to fart in my face!” I really do not understand the appeal of this, but it always backfires when you want to talk to your friends/family about a serious relationship issue and they advise breaking up with the guy. After all, they’ve only ever heard shit about him, why would they defend him? People forget that their friends and family only know what you tell them about your relationship. If you only tell them crap, they will assume it’s crappy. A great relationship is a true partnership where you have each other’s back. You would never shit-talk someone if you had their back, even if it was under the guise of “venting.”
7. Relationships are work.
This is true to an extent, relationships require upkeep and you know, not getting your way 24/7. It’s a job sometimes, but there are different types of jobs. It should feel closer to working your dream job than the shitty nightmare unpaid internship you regrettably took in college. Listen to this song and determine whether you feel jealous and like the singer is “unrealistic” or like it is a fun reminder of your own relationship. That’s a good test.
8. Men are rational and women are emotional.
LOL at your actual relationship if you actually think this. Don’t try to explain why you have communication issues with your partner by saying their issue is an issue with their entire gender. Start there.
9. You shouldn’t try to fix/change someone.
I don’t know if there’s a more disheartening saying about relationships out there. Sure, you shouldn’t pick up any old dude off the street and spend the next 50 years of your life hammering him down until he fits your checklist — but no person should ever think that they don’t need to change or improve. You have a responsibility to use your life to become the best person you can. A crappy partner cares about determining what that is and setting goals for you, a great partner just wants to cheer you on as you follow your own goals. No good partner will sit passively by and be tied to a loser who has stopped dreaming.