Have people often told you that you were a hopeless romantic? Are you perpetually entranced by fairy tales and Hollywood’s version of “happily ever after?” Perhaps your search for perfect relationships has never come to fruition.
In reality, we live in an imperfect world that’s full of fallible people. The knight in shining armor doesn’t always come to rescue the damsel in distress. You won’t always find the singing cowboy hero riding off into the sunset with his fair lady at his side.
Since there’s no such thing as a perfect person, perfect relationships can’t exist. It’s a falsehood created by authors, artists, and romantics since the beginning. Real-life mothers don’t clean their homes and vacuum in heels and pearls, and Father doesn’t always know best. The stereotypes of perfection are old, tired, and outdated. So stop trying to live up to perfect relationships that do not exist!
Sometimes, unrealistic expectations of a relationship can be more harmful than good. It can often hinder you from finding your forever person. If you are stuck in the chronic myth of perfect relationships, here are some helpful hints to bring you back to reality.
Why Relationships Shouldn’t Be Perfect
In the best of relationships, there are bound to be conflicts of opinions. If not, somebody isn’t true to himself. You and your partner have different life experiences, thoughts, ideas, and dreams. It’s what makes you both unique as a person.
The problem comes when one partner has an unrealistic view of the relationship and tries to change the other to conform. In a healthy relationship, people realize that although they are a couple, they must still respect each other’s individuality. Going into a relationship to change someone will only lead to disaster.
So, you will always have issues in a relationship. Working together to solve them creates a closer bond and prevents your relationship from becoming stagnate. Here are some normal imperfections that are usually part of the perfect imperfect relationship.
Are there things about your sweetheart that make you see red, or vice-versa? Chances are you both had these little idiosyncrasies when you met and fell in love. Maybe he is chronically late, or you are a neat freak.
If these were issues in the beginning, they are likely to be more challenging in the long run. You can both work on yourselves, but the issues probably won’t go away. Learning to cope with personal flaws is all part of growing in a relationship.
2. Disagreements are Normal
No matter how much you adore one another, you are bound to have some disagreements in the relationship. Individual preferences are bound to create conflict, even for the most committed couples. These will probably turn into arguments that may get a little heated.
However, disagreements are never an excuse to abuse each other verbally or physically. Just because you argued doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. When you can discuss the issues calmly and come to a compromise, you grow as a couple.
3. Pick Your Battles
Although disagreements are inevitable in a relationship, not every issue has to be crucial. For your relationship to flourish in all its imperfections, you must choose your battles. Is it really worth a huge argument if you want a cat and he’s always wanted a dog?
Learn how to let go. That doesn’t mean that you must always give in and never voice your opinion. You know what’s important to you and what you can put aside as a compromise.
4. Keeping a Sense of Humor
Are you so uptight that you’ve forgotten how to laugh at yourself? Someone once said that people who can laugh at themselves will always be amused. Nobody is perfect, so you might as well realize that you’ll make mistakes, and some of them can be funny.
Can you and your partner laugh at each other? That’s not to say you should be cruel and condescending. When you can laugh at each other and do a little lighthearted teasing, you’ve created a stronger bond. You’ve both realized that mistakes happen, and it’s not the end of the world.
5. Coping With Stress
Another unavoidable fact of life is stress. The most solid relationships in the world are not free from it, and neither will yours be. Some pressure may be unavoidable, but how you handle it as a couple can make a big difference.
Chronic stress can lead to severe physical and mental health conditions down the road. It can also create a wedge between you and your partner. Find healthy ways to alleviate undue stress together and cope with everyday issues.
6. Overcoming Boredom
Throughout your relationship, it’s understandable that boredom can be a problem. There are no perfect relationships, and feelings can stagnate if everything stays the same. For a relationship to grow and flourish, learn to be spontaneous and think out of the box.
Surprise each other by saying or doing things that you usually wouldn’t do. Spend time together and have meaningful conversations about what’s important to you as a couple. Break out of your routine and find new ways of falling in love and appreciating each other.
Relationships aren’t always 50-50, and you sometimes have to compromise. For example, perhaps you both cherish spending the holidays with your respective families. You each have beloved family traditions that have become part of who you are.
When the holidays come, are you both locking horns and arguing over whose family you will visit? Rather than make it a heated debate, learn how to compromise. In this example, maybe you can agree to divide the holidays between both families, so you both win.
The skies won’t always be sunny, and you may have to sacrifice for each other occasionally. When you accept this normal imperfection in your relationship, it can make you feel closer.
8. It’s Okay to Be Alone Sometimes
Those who believe in perfect relationships often think that a couple should be together every moment of the day. In fact, the opposite is usually true. If you and your partner are together too much, you can get on each other’s nerves and start bickering.
Although you are in a relationship and love one another, you haven’t lost your individuality. If so, you will only get bored and build up resentment over time. It’s healthy for a relationship to spend some time alone or to enjoy your interests.
Go ahead and join that exciting girls’ night out with your BBFs. Guys, get together with your buddies for a weekly poker tournament or a few brews at the pub. You’ll both find that perpetual togetherness does not create perfect relationships, and time apart can be beneficial.
9. Sleeping Solo Is Also Okay
Are you enthralled by the passion and never-ending lovemaking in soap operas and the movies? It seems like these people live in the bed together. Yes, most couples want to sleep in the same bed, but it won’t always end up like a steamy Hollywood love scene all the time.
Did you ever wonder how Lucy and Ricky, or Fred and Wilma had separate beds, yet they had kids? Just because you are a couple doesn’t mean you have to share a bed. It’s perfect for making love, but you may be a person who has sleep issues.
Does your partner snore like a grizzly bear or hog all the covers? Little issues like these can become big problems if you are uncomfortable and don’t get restful sleep. It doesn’t speak ill of a couple if you have your bed or even your own room, as long as your intimacy doesn’t suffer.
10. Eliminating Unreasonable Expectations
If you enter a relationship expecting to be Cinderella and Prince Charming, you’re in for a stunning reality check. You may be sabotaging your efforts in finding true love with unrealistic expectations. If you aren’t perfect, why would you expect to find a perfect mate?
Hollywood and fairytale books aren’t reliable examples for a fulfilling relationship. When you put aside the lights and cameras and make-believe royalty, you can enjoy the reality of a relationship. You don’t have to stop dreaming; you just put your dreams into the right perspective.
11. Be a Good Listener
When you are talking to each other, do you really hear what the other is saying? Life isn’t perfect, but good communication can help you both over the curveballs it often throws. Learn how to be an active listener by maintaining neutral body language and mirroring your partner’s emotions.
When you restate what your partner has said, it shows that you are listening, and it can clarify any misunderstandings. Even with your best efforts, you both can forget things and have a break in communication. These dire predicaments can be remedied with compassion, understanding, and better listening skills.
Don’t allow the illusions of perfect relationships to ruin your chances of love. Remember that your Mr. or Ms. Right won’t be right all the time, and neither will you. When you both learn to accept each other’s perfect imperfections, your relationship will grow and flourish.