5 Romantic Ideals It's Time To Ditch

Quick: list off the three most important qualities you seek in a partner, If you don’t pressure yourself to think of anything specific, you probably will have rather simple answers: someone kind, happy, smart, or a combo of the three. But if you would have asked yourself many years ago or even as a teenager, you probably would have had a very different mindset.

And more likely than not, your notions and requirements for love were a tad bit romantic than they are. You might call yourself bitter, but relationship experts will call you smart: it’s normal, healthy, and productive to release unattainable ideas as we age. "As we mature and go through new experiences we take some new information from each of them, some impact us more than others and those that do help us grow and understand what we like and don't like about dating relationships and love,” clinical sexologist, therapist and author, Dawn Michael explained to Bustle.

While it might be tough to let go of those far-fetched dreams about an idealistic perfect partner, the benefit of letting go is that you get a true, wholehearted person, instead of someone out of a fairytale.

Here are the romantic ideas you should let go of (if you haven’t already):

1. Believing You Can Change A Person

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While it’s true that people do develop new habits, ideologies and perspectives as they have new experiences, going into any sort of relationship with the intention of changing the other person is a bad idea. Instead of believing you can change them, you should focus on what qualities are most important to you and which ones you could compromise on for the right person.

"A dangerous one that can lead into an unhealthy relationship is that someone believes they can change their partner. Getting into any relationship and thinking that you can change someone is a recipe for disaster,” Michael tells Bustle. “People can change a little over time and adjust their ideas a little but to think that they are going to change most behaviors or any core beliefs usually does not happen.”

2. Believing You Should Be Happy All the Time

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The test of a union that can make it the distance — and last through decades together — isn’t actually how about how often you’re happy together. Though you should be overall more content with this person than without them, a healthy relationship will have ups and downs, where you both take the brunt of the blame and you work together toward a common goal.

“A relationship is about give and take, and there will be some good days and some bad days, not every day is going to be ‘fun,”” Michael explains. “It’s not healthy to believe that ‘he is going to sweep me off of my feet and take care of me.’ It’s a two-way street.”

3. Believing A Partner Should Know Why You’re Upset

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If an argument, the basis of your side of the disagreement should never be ‘You should already know why I’m upset. You don’t know me!’ No matter how long you’ve been together, if you aren’t communicating the things that make you unhappy, you can’t progress together.

“Communication is key to a good relationship and the notion that someone is going to know you better than yourself or know what you are thinking without your telling them is ridiculous,” Michael says. “When I counsel young couples, this a notion that many women more women have than men. Especially when it comes to sex, there expectations that the man is going to know their body better then them without communicating what they like only leads to bad sex.”

4. Believing Unavailable People Are Worth The Chase

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Blame it on the mystery of it all or how they’re the person everyone wants — but only going after the bad guy, the unattainable girl, or anyone who isn’t willing to give you the attention, dedication and commitment that you want is something you need to grow out of, stat.

“This is one aspect about relationships that most women will hopefully grow out of after one or two experiences with a bad partner,” Michael says. “[They] may be sexy but after [they] continue to treat her like crap, [their] sex appeal soon wears away. These [people] are fun and exciting at first, but the notion of settling down and having a family are out of the question, and don't even think that over time they you have the ability to change them.”

5. Believing Your Partner Should Always Initiate Sex

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In a long-term relationship, especially if it's one that you hope will turn into marriage and a family, sex can’t always be a song-and-dance. Sometimes, you’ll barely sneak in a quickie before your baby wakes up and you actually shower for the first time in weeks. Michael says that having an equal balance of sexual dedication within your relationship is essential.

“Intimacy is a two-way street and [your partner] is not always responsible for initiating it or taking over in the bedroom. Also you should know your body better then [them] so you can show [them] what turns you on," Michael says.

Ready to let go of these romantic ideals? By releasing these outdated beliefs, you can strengthen every relationship you’re in because you're coming from a confident, self-sustainable perspective.

Images: Fotolia; Giphy