Relationship advice can be found on any magazine you see in line for the register at any grocery store, but if your relationship is in crisis, there are some old gems of ‘good advice’ that you’ll want to ignore. In this article, we will look at 7 pieces of relationship advice to throw out with the recycling and why they are no good for you or your partner.
7 Pieces of Relationship ‘Advice’ You’ll Want To Ignore
It is hard to ignore the fact that our social culture has changed over time and has brought about some pretty radical changes in the way we find a partner, join our lives together, and sustain a relationship over time.
Researchers at University of California, Irvine and State University, Los Angeles reviewed women’s magazine topics on relationships since 1900. They found ‘a historical change toward equating love with self-fulfillment and advocating the expression of anger.’ There have been many changes from traditional relationship values to more modern ones and the research showed that these changes in relationship advice given by women’s magazines are related to waves of political liberation versus oppression.
The researchers say that ‘Emotion norms have become less rigid and more tolerant of diversity; but gender differences persist, and women are still responsible for maintaining intimate relationships. Historical trends in love and anger norms are nonlinear, not a continuous shift toward individualism, self-development, and free expression, as suggested by recent cultural theories.’
1. You can train your partner to be a better mate
No one can force another person to change their behavior, so this is an avoidable piece of relationship advice. Training is something you can do for non-human animals, not people. Although you can certainly communicate your preferences to your partner, and praise or reward them when they listen and respect your boundaries, you will never change the core of their personality.
2. Express your emotions, don’t repress them
‘Harry, you’re going to have to try and find a way of not expressing every feeling that you have, every moment that you have them.’ – Sally Albright, When Harry Met Sally
Should you tell your partner how frustrated you are by, for example, them humming along to the radio, now, or to ignore it? Is it better to bottle up your feelings, or express them right away? The best relationship advice is, it depends.
For example, if your partner is happy, and you can tell this by their body language and expression, then telling them that you are annoyed by their behavior is going to hurt them more deeply than if you can move to another location or plug your ears or just learn to be happy with them. No one partner in a relationship has the right to stop the other partner from being happy just because they find it annoying. You both have the right to happiness.
3. Don’t go to bed angry
Honestly, this piece of relationship advice should be ignored because some topics are too serious to come to a decision about before bed. An argument is usually a difference of opinion between you and your partner and if it’s important, and you’re still arguing about it before bedtime, sleep is probably the best thing you can do to gain some perspective on the situation.
4. As long as you are both honest about your feelings, everything will be fine
Honesty is key to building trust, and hiding things from your partner isn’t good, but you also know the difference between telling a little white lie to save your partner from having hurt feelings and a flat-out lie that is dishonest and could destroy your relationship later.
5. If the sex is good, then the relationship is healthy
Sex and intimacy is only one component of a healthy partnership. A strong libido doesn’t equal a happy relationship with excellent communication and a couple who work together to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. Sex does not equate to a deep emotional commitment either, unfortunately, so this is one piece of relationship advice you’ll want to ignore.
6. A good breakup is better than a bad relationship
If it’s truly a bad relationship, meaning that staying is emotionally, physically, mentally or otherwise harmful to one partner or both, then a breakup is indeed better. However, if you’re not hurting, it might be worth staying if the relationship problems can be solved. University of Buffalo researchers found that the physical health of both partners was a sign of a high-quality romantic relationship. So if you are fit and healthy, consider yourself to be in a healthy relationship.
7. You can always go to counseling to fix your problems
Couple’s counseling won’t fix anything unless you are both willing to work to fix problems with communication, trust, intimacy, or whatever else is ruining your relationship. It takes two to make a partnership and both partners are usually involved in the problems of the relationship as well as the solution. If each of you is blaming the other, this piece of relationship advice is never going to work until you take accountability for your own actions.