We are sure that if we stick to definite relationship rules, a happy and lasting union is our only destination. Yet, these rules typically aggravate a situation so that they should be re-considered. Here is what Jill Weber, a clinical psychologist, thinks about the matter.
There are a lot of recipes on how to attract and keep another person’s interest. Undoubtedly, all of them are aimed at a long-term meaningful relationship. Jill Weber analyzes six rules of a “successful marriage” that don’t work.
Six taboos in a relationship
Three dates rule
Very often we hear that we should agree on sexual intercourse only after a couple (usually three) dates. However, no expert is able to define how many dates will one need to jump into a new acquaintance’s bed. The point is that to feel safe and comfortable in a physical relationship, the majority of people need to feel psychological bonding with a partner. Some people are able to establish this connection earlier (before the third date), others need more time. Instead of sticking to artificial rules, listen to yourself and your feelings.
Women pretend to be “Ice queens”
Don’t call first, don’t express too much interest, and never confess your feelings first – this advice is meant to spare us disappointment in case of rejection. Yet, we should keep in mind that intimacy and love are based on emotional sincerity. If you want to call somebody or send a message right after a date, but you stop yourself because “it’s too early,” you destroy the feeling of spontaneous intimacy which is very important in a relationship.
Of course, there should be some boundaries, especially when we are just getting to know another person. However, should we constantly repress our desire to be sincere, we may never learn how sincere our partner is. If your feelings are confronted with coldness, try not to take it personally. We can’t be perfect for everyone around, and inconsistencies do exist. You’ve let yourself be yourself, and now you know better whether you need such a person by your side.
Men pretend to be mysterious
Some men intentionally become closed pretending to be mysterious and inaccessible. Is this a useful practice? Well, women are intrigued to dream how they will melt an icy heart if this brave knight. Yet, for a man who has got used to this role, it’s very difficult to be sincere. Some may be afraid of being rejected the moment they become themselves; others may innately be unable of an intimate relationship and they get real satisfaction from a game. As a result, a relationship doesn’t develop and causes disappointment and frustration.
Don’t talk about an ex
On the one hand, it’s better not to make your ex-partners the main topic of conversation. On the other hand, if you have been through a meaningful relationship, it’s a part of the experience that’s made you the person you are now. It’s natural to tell what has happened in your life since a partner has to understand whether you are emotionally free for a new relationship. In any case, avoid criticizing your ex. Firstly, it looks as if you were humiliating your ex; secondly, a new partner may consider the passion of your feelings (even negative) as a sign that you are still living in the past.
Besides, it’s a harmful practice to project your ex’s traits onto a new partner. The point is that either consciously or not, we start looking for the traits we’ve recently adored in another person. It may be the height, posture, the color of hair or eyes, interests, and the way of life – everything that reminds us of past love. However, the attempts to reconstruct a past relationship are always doomed. It only distances us from another person and makes our worries last.
Moreover, you may even insult your partner by such behavior because they will feel you are not accepting them as they are and/or are trying to change them. Also, it is a matter of self-deception. We may fall in love with our dream image of our ex-partner as if he/she was incarnated in a new one. Later on, when the spell is broken, we will feel frustrated and disappointed with our illusions.
Always be joyful and careless
This myth is popular with women. For some reason, there exists a belief that men like light-minded and careless girls. Yet, these artificial rules may harm both men and women. Women believe they should behave frivolously in order to become desirable. But if this state doesn’t correspond with your temperament or mood, a new acquaintance won’t be able to learn your true self. Thus, it would be hard for you to understand whether you will attract him if you remain yourself. As surveys prove, the majority of men prefer to be with a woman who has an independent point of view and can engage in a meaningful conversation.
Hide your dark sides
It may concern your taking some drugs, illnesses (yours or your relatives’), addictions, or fears. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or panic attacks, perhaps, you shouldn’t engage in a relationship right now. We are open to a new relationship when we feel ready to sincerely talk about ourselves. Last but not least, we want to meet a person who will be able to understand and support us in any hardship, not only when we at our best. Life isn’t a pink dream, and reality differs from our fantasies a lot; that’s why we have to know whether a partner can accept us with all our demons and quirks.
A lot of things have been said about a relationship between a man and a woman. A lot of rules have been established that are supposed to make us happy if we stick to them. The problem is that humans are not machines or robots but alive beings with a set of their own feelings, thoughts, and preferences. That’s why all the rules of a “perfect” relationship can’t be applied to every individual. Just listen to your heart and respect yourself – that’s the key to finding a worthy partner!