4 myths about relationships

Attraction Between Opposites

There's no evidence that differences lead to greater attraction or improved relationship outcomes. Similarity does predict attraction and relationship success. 


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4 myths about relationships

4 myths about relationships


Key Ideas

Arrival Of Children

The general consensus amongst social scientists is that children cause a drop in marital and relationship satisfaction.

Moreover, marital satisfaction usually doesn't begin to recover until children "leave the nest". Raising kids is certainly worthwhile, but that doesn't change the fact that it's immensely difficult even with careful planning.

Living Together Before Marriage

A couple should probably make sure they can successfully cohabitate before deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. However, there's no scientific evidence that premarital cohabitation improves marriage quality or reduces divorce rates. 

Attraction Between Opposites

There's no evidence that differences lead to greater attraction or improved relationship outcomes. Similarity does predict attraction and relationship success. 

 The Libido Of Men And Women

Research indicates that measured physiological signs of arousal are self-reported more accurately in men than in women. Also, straight and lesbian women show physiological signs of arousal when watching sexual videos regardless of who was with whom. 

The gap between the arousal that women report and the arousal they feel, is theorized to be a consequence of societal repression.



Happy people vs. miserable people

Happy people engage in more happiness-boosting habits while unhappy people engage in more misery-inducing habits. 

You can choose which habits to cultivate in your life. If ...

Happy People Experience Flow Often
Flow is a state of complete absorption and full involvement in the present moment. 

It is marked by intense concentration, a sense of timelessness, and a loss of self-consciousness. It’s a deeply healing and enjoyable state and one that greatly contributes to our happiness.

Activities of happy people
  • They meditate.
  • They exercise regularly. “Surveys show that exercise may very well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities.”
  • They stop and smell the roses. 
  • They spend time with their furry friends.
  • They spend time outside.

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Unresolved conflicts

The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth. The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes.

Being honest

The last person you should ever have to censor yourself with is the person you love.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel-good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right.

Being willing to end it

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. 

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

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"Needing" therapy

By framing therapy in terms of what we need rather than what we could benefit from, many people experience too much shame or embarrassment to try it.

Not everybody needs therapy. But ...

How therapy helps
  • Understanding how the way we tend to think about things affects our moods and emotions
  • Clarifying our values and strategizing about the most effective path toward them
  • Learning to communicate directly and assertively in relationships or the workplace
  • Building self-confidence in social situations
  • Acquiring more effective parenting skills and techniques
  • Working through complicated grief or loss
Therapy and growth

Ultimately, therapy is about growth and creating opportunities for positive change.

And in addition to improving traditional mental health struggles, therapy can also be a powerful and efficient way to make progress on personal goals or aspirations.

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