Our obsession with love is so intense that we’ve molded popular culture around it. Love is the main topic in movies, songs, books and conversations with friends and family. It’s also responsible for the multi-million dollar dating app industry.
This stronghold on the topic has influenced the way in which we view love, creating unrealistic expectations and ideals. While having someone who understands you on an intimate level feels very nice, it’s not magic; it can’t make you happy and it can’t heal your problems.
We scoured the internet to find some of the most unconventional, yet healthy relationship habits we could find. Here are 5 of the most useful ones.
Feeling attraction to people outside of the relationship
Our culture has this hilariously unrealistic attitude when it comes to people outside of our relationship, expecting that once you’re with someone, other people will stop existing. We all know this isn’t true. And it’s not healthy. Self-help author Mark Manson says that suppressing these feelings causes tremendous guilt and makes people act irrationally, being more likely to cheat on their partners. He writes: “When you suppress these feelings, you give them power over you, you let them dictate your behavior for you (suppression) rather than dictating your behavior for yourself (feeling them and yet choosing not to do anything).”
Instead of thinking and torturing yourself over how attracted you are to someone, just admit it to yourself. Think about all the reasons why you love your partner and let it go. Like most things, your attraction will pass and you will be fine.
While being in a relationship means that you spend most of the time together, you should have your own space to enjoy the things you want to do alone. Maybe your partner doesn’t like one TV show and you do. Make compromises and communicate, letting the other know that you want to do this while they can go ahead and do that thing that you don’t find particularly enjoyable. Hobbies, separate friends, even solo trips should be considered when it comes to reacquainting yourself with you.
Letting conflicts go
While many psychologists and relationship experts express how important communication is, it’s also important to learn how to let things go. While the big arguments should be solved, the little ones, which can lead to awful fights and hurt feelings, can be ignored. Conflict is part of the deal; the best thing you can do for your relationship is realizing that there will be things that bug you and that you’ll still have to get over.
Having realistic expectations about love
While love and intimacy are great, it’s important to know that passion and butterflies in your stomach are not symptoms that will stay there forever. Quartz reports that the most successful couples understand that their relationships aren’t fairy tales and that being with someone for long periods of time takes dedication and hard work. “Many people never learn how to breach this deep, unconditional love. Many people are instead addicted to the ups and downs of romantic love. They are in it for the feels, so to speak. And when the feels run out, so do they,” explains the article.
Letting go of the relationship if it’s not working
This is kind of hard to explain, especially when it follows a paragraph detailing why real love isn’t a fairytale, but it’s an important point to stress over. Expecting that your partner will be there no matter what happens and what you do puts an unfair strain on your relationship. It’s also very harmful; if a relationship isn’t working, if you’re unhappy and don’t know why you’re still holding on, you should be strong enough to end it and to prioritize your own happiness and health.