We all fall victim at times to our own flawed belief system. It’s part of being human. But when it comes to love and marriage, the false beliefs we cling to can really get us into trouble and lead us down a path to unhappiness in our relationships.
Here are seven beliefs I frequently encounter that are guaranteed to leave you unhappy in love:
1. All I need is someone to love and I’ll be happy.
If your ability to be happy is predicated on being in a relationship, I’m afraid you’re headed for disappointment and a lack of fulfillment in your life. While it’s true that being in love is usually accompanied by feelings of happiness, it isn’t necessarily true that being in a relationship equates to a happy life.
If you’re spending time with the wrong guy or gal, you could just as easily end up miserable. Likewise, if you are feeling dissatisfied with aspects of your life or how you see yourself, you can become vulnerable to attracting people who prey on or magnify those feelings. Getting involved in a relationship isn’t a quick fix for everything wrong in your life.
True happiness comes from within and is the result of a healthy self-image, finding meaningful purpose in your life and work, and appreciating beauty in the world around you. By creating inner happiness and projecting that confidence and joy out to those around you, a wonderful thing happens. The world responds, like for like, and you’ll find yourself attracting the kind of love you truly want and deserve.
2. The most important aspect of a relationship is sexual chemistry.
While sexual chemistry is important, it isn’t the most important aspect for a long and lasting relationship.
Because the intensity of sexual desire doesn’t last. It wanes over time and isn’t enough to sustain a relationship. So, if you failed to pay attention to what really matters long term – emotional and mental compatibility – as you slowly, or sometimes quickly, come down from that endorphin-induced high, all those annoying differences or relationship issues you ignored in the past, get elevated to the most important aspects of your relationship. They become like fingernails on a chalk board! You find yourself unhappy and wondering what went wrong.
If you want a happy, lasting relationship, look for strong physical chemistry, yes, but focus most of your attention on what can truly withstand the test of time – the emotional chemistry that can only be forged through a deepening relationship built on a foundation of compatible values and goals, along with good communication.
3. Love is about putting my mate’s needs above my own.
This kind of thinking might make your mate happy but it won’t make you happy. A healthy relationship is about give and take, working together as a team, and mutual respect. It’s never about being a doormat to your partner’s wants, needs, or demands.
Compromise is essential, but if you’re always the one doing the compromising, then it’s hard to feel happy or fulfilled. Standing up for what you want and need is about validating yourself as an equal partner in the relationship.
4. If the relationship fails, I must have done something wrong.
You’ll never be truly happy if you’re the kind of person who takes upon your shoulders the whole weight of a relationship’s success or failure. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be and blaming yourself every time it doesn’t work out will erode your self-confidence and cause you to make unhealthy relationship choices.
If you know you’ve made mistakes in your relationship, then learn from them, don’t spend time living in the past blaming yourself. Focus your attention on becoming the kind of person you seek and since like attracts like, the love you desire will eventually find you.
5. You can’t help who you fall in love with.
If you cling to this belief then you’re all about letting your heart rule your head and treating love as a game of chance. Finding true love should always be about making healthy choices, never about chance. When you remain in a bad relationship or one that doesn’t make you happy, then that is a choice you’ve made.
You can love a person and still choose to walk away when that person isn’t able to offer you the healthy, happy relationship you deserve. Don’t settle; choose wisely!
6. True love is about accepting the other person for who they are regardless of their faults.
It’s true that if you really love someone you should be able to accept their little quirks – he forgets to close the cupboard door or she snorts when she laughs. But if the traits that annoy or disappoint you are the kind that are contrary to your values or what you deem important, such as addictive behavior, or being irresponsible with money, then no amount of love is going to make you happy being with that person. Seek compatibility first and the little quirks will seem endearing.
7. Things will get better after we get married.
Unfortunately marriage rarely changes things for the better. Problems or unresolved issues before the wedding usually remain long after the honeymoon is over and often, because of our expectations, we perceive them as getting worse. Whatever is wrong or making you unhappy in your relationship needs to be resolved before the wedding.
If any of these false beliefs sound familiar, it’s time to give them up and focus on getting your love life grounded in healthy relationship principles. Until next time, live smart and be savvy in love!