When things get tough in a relationship (or on the dating scene), it’s natural to seek out the advice of friends, family, and even experts. Unfortunately, not all love advice is created equal, and some of the most frequently-mentioned recommendations could potentially do more harm than good.
These are the little bits of “wisdom” relationship pros wish people would stop listening to immediately.
“Living Together Is A Great Way to Test The Waters for The Future”
The problem with this advice is that very few couples have a seamless move-in experience, which means it’s easy to assume that a few hiccups along the way mean your relationship is doomed.
Healthy, happy couples don’t start out compatible. They build their relationship skills dealing with the small differences so that they’re ready for the big ones that come along later. Create a lifestyle and a home you’re both compatible with, and do it together, so you’re ready for whatever illnesses, losses, disabilities, career changes, lapses in character, and other challenges might come up later.
“Never Go To Bed Angry”
It’s actually better to take some time to chill out before discussing something you’re feeling worked up about. When things get heated, we tend to say things we don’t always mean. Sleeping on it can give you that needed time to cool off, and in most cases, whatever it was will not seem as big by morning.
“Forgive and Forget”
Forgiveness is absolutely crucial to having a healthy relationship, but forgetting is not necessary. “Forgive and let go” is better advice.
“Age Is Just a Number”
There are certainly relationships with age gaps that work out beautifully, but experts say couples closer in age tend to be happier. Age matters less as you get older—that’s true. But dating someone close to your age has huge benefits. You’ll have the same cultural references, interests, and grow into new life stages (including seniorhood) at the same time.
“Look For A Partner Who Loves All Your Hobbies”
Having a life partner who loves everything you might sound great, but there’s often more than meets the eye in these partnerships.
Someone who needs to feel connected to another human being in order to survive will adapt their likes and dislikes to you.
Suddenly you’ve found a partner who also loves horses, worships your favorite sports team, has the same type of friends, loves the same movies.
They’re probably just a little bit codependent. The moral of the story? Compatibility is great for most relationships but proceed with caution if it seems too good to be true.
No, you don’t have to be exactly alike, but seeking out someone completely different from you in every meaningful way is a recipe for disaster. You must have some common interests and values.
If you don’t, there is no glue to bind the relationship.
“Time Heals All Wounds”
While time is necessary to get over being hurt, time does not necessarily heal anything. If time heals wounds, then why are there grumpy old people? Making healthy decisions to treat the wounds heal them, not time.
“He Can Change”
Of course it’s true that people change over time—but only if it’s self-motivated. Don’t ever go into a long-term relationship, especially marriage, thinking you are going to change them. While relationships grow and evolve, there are some personality traits and ways that will never change.
“If They Can’t Handle You at Your Worst, They Don’t Deserve Your Best”
You’ve heard it before—maybe even seen it as a meme on Instagram. This is the motto of every person you have ever met that draws drama to them like a magnet, but can’t for the life of them figure out why. What many proponents of this advice fail to realize is that often ‘you at your best’ isn’t worth having to handle you at your worst. Instead of trying to rationalize your bad behavior, spend that time actually improving yourself and your life to the point where your worst is worth dealing with.
“Your Perfect Match Is Out There”
There is no such thing as a perfect partner. Every single person you will meet is going to have flaws, and your relationship will reach a point where it is no longer effortless. If you accept this fact, you may find that one of the people who you thought was ‘not so perfect’ is actually pretty great for you.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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