I decided to address some current misconceptions out there about the concept of relationships. I’ve heard some people view relationships as a cure for their own personal shortcomings and issues. I’ve also heard people give me a long list of reasons why they would never in their life enter coupledom again. So I decided to talk about some of the myths about relationships. While the list here is not exhaustive by any means, I’ve chosen some top ones that are worth talking about. And I hope dispelling these myths, help people reevaluate whether or not they are ready to commit to one.
- They Heal Broken People
I’ve never been the type of person to believe that relationships heal broken people. I understand that some folks think that finding the perfect boo will solve all of their problems, but that simply isn’t true. If you have daddy issues while single, I guarantee you will have them in a relationship. A partner while I believe should sharpen you as a person, should not be held accountable to heal your wounds. And no one should expect as much.
Listen, I, like everyone, have gone into a relationship with personal baggage. Things have happened in my life that helped shape some of my greatest flaws. However, I never expected my mate to fix me. I wasn’t with him for that purpose. But having said that, he helped point out some of my flaws and persuaded me to deal with them. And he did that, in an effort to help strengthen me as a person. Conversely, I did the same for him. However, neither he nor I played Dr. Phil. We may have pointed out flaws, but it was up to us to independently address our own issues.
- They Suffocate the Individual
Despite a popular opinion out there, relationships are not meant to be prisons. They aren’t jail cells holding individuals hostage. While I have seen a few people lose themselves in their mate and the coupledom, that’s not what relationships are to supposed to be about. A good relationship is about exchanging love and enhancing two individuals. As Ne-Yo once said in a Fabulous song, “I’m a movement by myself. But I’m a force when we’re together.” That one line hits the nail on the head. People should be great on their own, and be an even better them with a mate. Not disappear when they link up with Jim, James, Paul, or Tyrone.
If you need an example of what I mean, take a look at Queen Bey and Jay. While not many people know the inner workings of their relationship, outwardly looking in, it appears that those two have maintained their individuality and enhanced one another. Having seen Beyoncé on her Mrs. Carter tour, and then again on her joint On the Run tour with her husband, I can attest that she is better with her partner around. I mean she is amazing on her own, but when Jay Z is present, he lifts her to new heights. And to me, that is what a partner is supposed to do.
Speaking on suffocation, let me point out another thing. Just because two people are together, does in no way mean they have to do everything together. One can go somewhere without the other, and frankly, I encourage it. In a healthy and solid relationship, two people can go hang out on their own with their individual cliques, without one partner serving as warden. It boils down to trust and respect.
- Long Distance Never Works
For many folks, the term “long distance” is the equivalent of the most vulgar of profane words. It’s an inconceivable concept that two people living in completely different locations could be together. Well let me quickly shoot down this relationship myth. While long distance relationships don’t work for many people, there are numerous folks out here that have found love 40 or 400 miles away from them. They originally met their partner online or on a vacation somewhere, and a bond just blossomed. For a while they communicated multiple times a day via phone and video chats, and visited each other every two weeks. The relationship worked for these people, until eventually someone moved, and the mileage in their partnership no longer was an issue.
And I’m not saying all long distance relationships translate into forever. But heck, folks in local relationships don’t always last. But sometimes a person will find his true love in life lives a plane ride away, and that’s okay. Love, patience, and commitment tend to strengthen a real bond, and even persuade folks to change their living situation when the time is right. I find that successful long distance relationships may start with two people in two different locations, but end with both people in the same area.
- None of Them Last
In a day and age where it seems people fall in and out of love faster than Wendy Williams changes wigs, many believe coupledom just doesn’t last. And I understand why people believe this myth about relationships. Not only are there some alarming statistics out there, but social media has put so many individuals’ love lives on display. If you were to scroll through your timeline on Instagram and Facebook, you will come across names and faces of people you follow, that are in a relationship with Jamal one day, and a month later are committed to Brandon. So I get people think that no relationship are short lived.
However, I know quite a few couples that have been together for what seems like a lifetime. They may have their arguments, or periods where they need a break. But the bond between them is unwavering, and the love they share has kept them together. You look at my grandparents, and they were married for over 55 years. Oprah and Stedman have been together since the mid-1980s. Our very one President Obama and First Lady Michelle have been married for 24 years. And this is just to name a few couples that have been in it for the long haul. So don’t buy into the hype that relationships don’t last these days. Instead buy into the notion that some people, NOT all, aren’t willing to put in the work.
- They Always Consist of More Arguments than Love
I’ll be the first to admit that relationships are hard work. They need attention, demand comprise, and require patience and understanding. And even in a loving relationship where these things are present, the occasional argument is inevitable. That’s just the way it is! (Shout out to 2Pac LOL!) Couples will get into spats over an array of issues. Folks will go at it over breakdowns in communication, issues of infidelity, finances, etc. However, healthy relationships consists of more laughter than yelling. Especially the more rooted you become in a partnership.
Don’t get me wrong, at different times through the course of a relationship, couples will go through seasons of conflict. But again a healthy relationship shouldn’t stay in those seasons, but grow past them. I’ve seen some couples that argue almost all the time and about everything, but I really haven’t seen those types of relationships make it. After a while, folks get tired of going through it all the time. It’s too much volatility. There is not enough make up sex in the world to maintain dysfunction. So a healthy relationship doesn’t look like Chris Brown and Karruche. (No shade)