1. People in a healthy relationship never fight–False! Everyone in happy relationships find themselves in fights now and again, which is normal and healthy because it means you’re speaking up, voicing your opinion, and trying to resolve things that frustrate you. But if you find yourself in daily screaming matches or jealous, it may be time to reassess your relationship. Research has shown that for every argument or unpleasant confrontation, you should experience four to five feel-good encounters.
2. People in a healthy relationship have to share all the same interests—While it’s fantastic to share some interests, most healthy relationships work when each person has things to enjoy that their partner might not. Not only does this give necessary time apart, but it also opens the door for each of you to teach the other about things you’re into. If you’re feeling like you and your partner really don’t share anything in common, try choosing one thing to do a cooking class together, weekly trips to a museum or bike riding on Sundays.
3. People in a healthy relationship have sex constantly (and it’s always amazing!)—Most people in healthy relationships aren’t jumping into bed every single chance they get. In fact, the frequency of sex should be less of a concern. Of course, if you’re really not happy about the way things are going in the bedroom, talk about it.
4. People in a healthy relationship have to adore each other’s families and friends–Nope, but people in solid relationships do treat certain friends or family members they may not love with respect. Nobody said you have to adore your boyfriend’s cousins, but that doesn’t give you a pass to be nasty when you’re with them. If something bothers you, talk to your partner about the problem.
5. People in a healthy relationship have to follow a typical life trajectory—The pattern goes: dating, moving in, getting engaged, getting married, having a kid, buying a home, having another kid, and so on. Not every happy couple follows that life path. In fact, if parts of that don’t feel right, your only going to be miserable in the long run. The trick is to agree with your partner on what works for both of you and go from there.
6. People in a healthy relationship have to love living together all the time–If you do decide to live together, that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and roses. For people who live in cities, cohabitation can be cost-effective, but also claustrophobic at times. Compromises must be made, space must be shared, and responsibilities must be attended to. It’s an adjustment that’s worth it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never miss being able to throw your stuff wherever you want, blast your music as late as you choose, or decorate according to your own taste.
7. People in a healthy relationship never have to work at it–This is probably the biggest myth of all because a good relationship takes a lot of work, even if you get along on the day-to-day. When we say work, we’re talking about compromising, being less stubborn, and working on things you know you need to change. We’re not talking about changing who you are completely for another person, constantly apologizing for yourself, or putting up with jealousy, anger, or negativity.