From new relationships to break ups, Jordan Gray says that these three myths about dating and relationships are the most damaging.
When it comes to relationships, people love to blindly follow black and white rules with zero nuance. Why? Because it feels safer that way.
Why tap into your own gut-level intuition when you can just follow the rules that someone else passed on to you?
Here are three of the most annoyingly pervasive myths about dating that are simply not true.
1. Exes should never get back together
“Your ex is an ex for a reason” is something that I’ve heard a lot of people hide behind.
And yes, while it’s true that the majority of relationship partners should leave their intimate relationship in the past, it’s far from being true 100% of the time.
What if you both had to learn vital lessons in your time apart in order to understand how to relate to each other better?
What if you were going through a stressful time in your life and you broke up with them because it was an easy thing to do?
What if one or both of you matured a lot in your separation and your collective life goals have only grown more similar?
There are an infinite number of reasons why exes can get back together and grow to have a thriving relationship with each other.
All it takes (as always) is a heaping dose of self-awareness, intentionality, and a willingness to learn from our mistakes.
2. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else
Of all of these three myths, I believe that this one is the most damaging.
I have had clients of all ages, genders, and walks of life come to me freshly after a breakup and ask if was true that the best way to get over their ex was to sleep with someone new as quickly as possible.
Sex is one of the most beautiful, transformative acts that two people can share with each other. Sex can also be something that we engage in to numb ourselves to our emotions. And at no other time is this more consistently apparent than when we race out to hop into bed with someone new shortly after a break up.
Will sleeping with someone new temporarily help you feel better about yourself and help distract you from your emotional pain? Yes. It will. In a very short-term, numbing kind of way.
Sleeping with someone new right after a break up will help you out just as much as finding out one of your family members passed away and drinking down eight shots of hard alcohol. It will momentarily dull the pain (maybe) but it won’t solve anything for you. It will simply delay the tidal wave of emotional pain that you are avoiding feeling.
When we go through a break up, whether or not we were the ones to initiate it, there will be a grieving process where you have to lean into feeling the emotions that are there to be felt.
I would recommend that after a break up – for your emotional health and for your future ability to have the healthiest intimate relationship possible – go celibate for a while and feel the heck out of your emotions.
3. Opposites attract
Genetically speaking, yes, opposites attract. People are generally more attracted to those who have complementary immune level resistances to diseases that they themselves do not.
But in terms of personality, character traits, life goals, passions, and hobbies? The research is overwhelmingly in favour of similarities attracting more often than opposites attracting.
You are more likely to attract someone whose level of self-esteem is nearly identical to yours. If you love camping, you are more likely to marry someone who also loves the outdoors. If you put your career above all else in your life or you want to become the best version of yourself possible, then you are more likely to attract someone who is driven in a similar way.
When it comes to long-term, fulfilling intimate relationships, similarities attract more often than opposites do.
This post originally appeared at JordanGrayConsulting.com
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