The truth is that love is one of those things that’s difficult to understand no matter whether you’re 18 or 80. It’s nearly impossible to describe the frustrating-wonderfulness that it is and it can be ridiculously difficult to deconstruct why some relationships work or why others are just not meant to be.

What we are sure about, though, is that some common misconceptions have gotten way more credit than they deserve. In fact, we can all do without them, thank you very much.

In this article, we pick four misconceptions that have no place in a healthy relationship:

1. Your #couplegoals need to be the same as everyone else’s

Say you’re scrolling through your feed and up pops a sweet photograph informing you that someone you know has just gotten engaged. Are you happy for them? Of course! But are you now also wondering if you should pop the question to your partner of 2 years?

You should go ahead if you think you’re ready and feel it’s a step in the right direction. Be careful to not do it just because all your friends are doing it.

Every relationship is different and goes at its own pace. In a healthy relationship, the pace is set by the people who are in it.

2. ‘Happily, ever after’ means nothing ever goes wrong

There are a couple of misconceptions to clear up here. The first is that marriage automatically equals happiness. But if you’re unhappy in your relationship, marriage doesn’t automatically make things better. Actually. it often exacerbates problems that already exist.

Secondly, marriage is often treated as the ‘end goal’ of a relationship. In fact, there’s so much more that happens after the wedding – maybe kids, career growth, retirement etc. Life brings with it an array of joys and challenges, whether there’s a ring on your finger or not. Having a committed partner by your side can help in facing those life challenges better.

Related: La La Land's Important Lesson About Not Regretting Love

Relationships should always stay the same

Isn’t it human nature to grow and evolve? Both you and your partner are bound to change as the years roll by. To keep up, a healthy relationship will grow and adapt as well. Your honeymoon phase will not last forever, but that’s not a bad thing.

Arguments are sometimes looked at as ‘failures’ in relationships; constructive disagreements can be a healthier form of communication. During a disagreement, let go of trying to prove ‘I’m right’ and attempt to learn something new about your partner. Ultimately, this strengthens relationships.

Being in love, in a relationship will make you happy

Being in a relationship makes life more colorful and adds a certain glow to it. But your general state of happiness ultimately lies in your own hands. Giving someone else the responsibility to make you happy is really a big ask. If you’re dependent on being in a relationship to be happy, you will likely fall into traps of insecurity and jealousy. Which, in turn, puts a strain on your relationship.

Related: 30 Beautiful Quotes & Affirmations On Self Love To Start Your Day Right

No matter who we are or where we are in life, it’s important to remember that in a healthy relationship, there’s no winning or losing. Love is all about connecting with someone else. Sometimes these connections fade but that doesn’t lessen its value. There are always learnings and memories to hold on to.

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