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How These 3 Myths About Love Are RUINING Your Chance To Be Happy

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How Myths Of Unconditional Love Will Ruin Your Chances To Be Happy
Love

Don't fall for these love pitfalls. They are myths for good reason!

Love.

Sometimes, society makes us feel super miserable about it because we're "bad" or at least definitely not good enough to participate in a relationship. Sometimes, even our friends, myths, and societal rituals have sent home the message that we must "find that special person for us" or else we are doomed to spend the rest of our lives.

From Cinderella and her shining glass slipper to Rapunzel in her tower awaiting her Prince Charming, a large majority of societal women seems to have been captivated by Disney stories growing up and informing them of powerful ways they can be loved — if they only abide by the following three "Golden Rules" of unconditional love:

1. You won't be able to find love unless you're beautiful.

There is research that says that a partner needs to have certain physical proportions in order to procreate according to evolutionary psychology. That's all well and good, and there are certain parts that cannot be disputed (symmetry of the body is an important aspect that draws people to feel attracted to others), but not everyone works the same way.

With any data, there is always room for interpretation. Everyone on this planet is not going to be attracted to everyone else, especially not on the premise of looks alone.

I cannot tell you how many dating stories I've listened to from my therapist point of view where one person was telling me about a date they had been on where the person was really good looking, but that they were bored after awhile — or when they were able to sleep with the person and move on to the next "conquest".

There has to be personality and interest in something in order for the relationship to move from casual encounter to more of a love candidacy. Furthermore, what is "beautiful" to me may not be to someone else. It is very personal and very subjective.

Most importantly, if you don't think you're beautiful, then, unfortunately, neither will anyone else. It will be a very difficult battle at that point. Much of my time as a therapist is spent helping women especially manage these feelings of self-criticism.

Love yourself and who you are, and the person will come along when you are in a good place with yourself.

2. You need a partner to rescue you from your chaotic life.

You should not need someone to take you away on a white horse (as Jenny McCarthy parodied so well in one of her 2005 movies, Dirty Love) in order to feel complete or to be rescued from your life. Ideally, the work begins by creating a life you want to exist within, and not a crazy life someone has to take you out of.

In fact, by creating drama, chaos, and other shenanigans, you are most likely repelling (and not attracting) a quality partner.

I know someone who will go back and forth between making a simple lunch date. So, let alone making any decisions because she believes the man she is dating at the time should be the one to make all of the decisions.

Eventually, either the man is going to become super controlling and take away the power of her being able to decide anything for herself or he will get bored and tired of all of her indecisiveness and find someone who will make decisions regardless of him being in the picture.

Know what your boundaries are, what you're willing to accept and not to accept and stick to them. If you don't know what they are, then you should probably find them and not wait for someone else to test them.

This is probably over half of the types of conversations I have during pre-marital counseling sessions because the couple did not do their own work to find out what their value system is prior to entering the relationship.

3. You are incomplete until someone else fills in the gaps you were always missing.

Another 1990's movie reference here (I use the Jerry McGuire metaphor) about the "You complete me" myth. When Renee Zellweger said that now-infamous line, so many tissues were used that trash cans were overflowing. However, even prior to being a therapist, I thought that line was really cheesy.

Who says you need anyone — or anything — to complete you? This is part of the big issue!! So many of us grow up sheltered nowadays, with our every whim taken care of.

As an adjunct professor, I hear stories from the undergraduate professors who talk about how some of the incoming freshmen can't even do their own laundry and that their parents were asking when their kids could expect the maid to do their laundry (true story).

In a relationship, if you are waiting for the other person to fulfill you and think that it won't take work to achieve the type of relationship you want, then you are gravely mistaken.

However, I also see hope in today's youth that I have the pleasure of speaking to on a daily basis (both at my practice and the high school I work at). They are growing up to be more open-minded than their parents. Many of them do not feel the same pressures to fall in love and get married that even the peers I went to school with not that long ago expressed.

They are okay having children later on in life or not at all. They want to go "find themselves" and their parents and older people call them "silly millennials".

Silly millennials, or kids who don't want to settle in a relationship with someone just because they don't think they could have any better or they don't know when their next White Knight will come to sweep them off their feet?

It has taken over 100 years for women especially to come as far as we have — and this type of progress keeps me hopeful for future generations to come. Myths and legends have a special place in our hearts, but they shouldn't control how and who we give our hearts to.

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