Nonsense relationship mythology

Okay, here’s why it all goes wrong….

Society offers us a fairy-tale mythology about romantic relationship, and most of us buy into it. It’s surprising how deeply rooted yet this mythology can be in many of us – even though we might not admit it. Here are the basic points:

1) the chances of a romantic relationship working out are predestined and out of your control

2)  there is a Ms Right or Mr Right out there, just for you

3)  when you find the right person, they will make you completely happy

4)  if a relationship doesn’t work out, that’s because it ‘wasn’t meant to be’

5)  when a relationship ends you forget the good bits, remember the bad bits, make up more even worse bits, and tell yourself that it was obviously never going to work out so it’s not your fault

Here is the truth about relationships:

1)  your happiness is not determined by your romantic partner

2)  relationships are predominantly what you make of them; they do not arrive fully-formed

3)  good relationships are manufactured over time – grown, built from the ground up, committed to, invested in – then, over time, there is a positive return on that investment

4)  a relationship between can be a medium in which two people can develop together, as a result of what the relationship brings up – developing and evolving together, overcoming problems and challenges, and growing as a result. Problems do not mean that the relationship ‘wasn’t meant to be’

5)  relationships which continue are relationships which people continue with

6)  a so-called ‘trial separation’ is a disinvestment which sooner or later turns into the more accurately named permanent separation

7)  none of this makes it any less romantic – on the contrary, romance grows with investment

So relationships are active rather than passive processes. The process will therefore be helped by doing stuff like:

1)  sticking at it

2)  investing in the relationship

3)  talking about stuff that’s coming up

4)  trusting

5)  being trustworthy

6) also doing stuff together

7)  doing stuff apart

All this, you may say, is easy to say but harder to do. To which I say, that’s right. It’s simple – but not easy. And anyway, what do I know?

Gerry Thompson