Top 10 Relationship Myths

Conventional wisdom is great for creating ordinary relationships, but creating extraordinary relationships takes extraordinary means, means that replace conventional thinking with a less conventional, more out-of-the-box approach to connecting. In this article, I quickly debunk the top 10 relationship myths I see most often in couples counseling.

1. Relationships take teamwork.

Actually, no. Each individual in a relationship is so powerful to influence the state of a relationship that the “extraordinary” truth is that everyone has 99% control of all their relationships. When couples mistakenly believe that relationships are 50-50, they give half their power away to their partner, instead of embracing their ability to individually create the relationship of their dreams, which they can, all on their own. When one person commits to doing things differently, the entire relationship changes.

2. Couples are supposed to meet each other’s needs.

No way. First off, there are no needs, just wants and don’t-wants. Secondly, in extraordinary relationships, each partner takes responsibility for their own happiness and well-being, then gives willingly to their partner, not out of necessity, but out of freedom and a sincere desire to do so. Extraordinary relationships are built upon choice, not (the illusion of) obligations.

3. Couples should respect each other’s boundaries.

Boundaries are great for keeping people away. Extraordinary relationships are built on the type of friendship, intimacy and closeness that renders boundaries completely unnecessary. Partners gladly honor one another’s wants of their own free will, without any need for imposed limitations.

4. Compromise is a good thing.

Not by a long shot. Actually, compromise is quite harmful to relationships. It’s a lose-lose solution masquerading as a win-win. If couples compromise, neither partner gets what he or she wants. This usually results in resentment. A better alternative exists. It’s called collaboration, the solution in which both partners “win”, 100%.

5. Lying is bad.

People actually lie whenever they don’t trust that their partner will be open to hearing and then discussing the truth gracefully and maturely. There’s nothing wrong with lying; it’s merely information. Many couples get stuck on the issue of lying, instead of focusing on creating a relationship in which trust and truthful communication is fully supported.

6. Snooping is wrong.

In extraordinary relationships, partners are willing to be 100% transparent. If there are no secrets or hiding places, then snooping is impossible. Partners are perfectly entitled to be curious. In fact, such curiosity about one another is tremendously healthy! “Want to see who just texted me? Sure! Here’s my phone.”

7. It’s helpful to ask for what you want.

In extraordinary relationships, partners don’t have to ask for what they want. They naturally care about one another’s happiness such that, instead of asking, they simply reveal this information through sharing. Then they give one another the freedom to act upon this information however they want.

8. If we were closer, we’d be happier.

Not true. Happiness doesn’t come from closeness; closeness comes from happiness. When both partners focus on their own joyfulness, sharing this with one another comes naturally and couples grow closer and closer with time–not the other way around.

9. It’s important to keep the passion alive.

Most relationships start out with a high level of passion and lust. When this “high” fades, couples can become despondent and seek to reclaim the old spark. In truth, this isn’t important. What’s important is to recognize that the relationship is gaining depth. Extraordinary relationships recognize the value of this depth and allow the union to continually evolve in this direction, where deeper love and intimacy await.

10. Love conquers all.

I wish it did. In truth, love is the easy part, and only half of the equation. The goal is to know how to love with wisdom. Extraordinary relationships are abundant in both, love and wisdom. This tandem is what conquers all (not that “conquering” is the goal).

If you balked at the suggestion that any of these top 10 myths are actually, well, myths, then I’m not surprised. This was just a very brief overview, with minimal elaboration on each of these important topics. If you’d like to hear more of my explanation about why some of these conventional perspectives are untrue, I welcome you to read my other articles where I offer a more detailed discussion. You can find these using the links listed below:

  • Myth #2: There are no needs? You can view my TEDxTalk here.
  • Myth #3: My take on boundaries? Click here.
  • Myth #5: Lying is okay?! Yep, click here or here to find out why.
  • Myth #6: My thoughts about transparency and privacy? You can click here.
  • Myth #7: My admonition against asking? Just go here.

Here’s to making all of your relationships extraordinary relationships!