Some of it is cultural, some of it is related to family tales, or things we have picked up along our life travels. But, we all have some similar misconceptions about relationships, that we may need to look beyond to make the most of the one we find ourselves in.
For example, there is the truism that opposites attract, which may, or may not be true. Who knows. But, common ground is often what builds a future. Conflict may be painful, but it is not inherently bad, another misconception. Rather, it
can point out differences and lead to a stronger union. Cohabiting before marriage is good, or cohabiting before marriage is bad. Interestingly, this assumption can go either way. In reality, it does not have to be either. It can cause tension, as in ‘ we should hurry up and make this legal,’ but that is an issue on its own. Finally, many point to the divorce rate, which popular knowledge would have us believe strikes down half of all marriages. Those more in the know than most of us say it’s actually less. Numbers of those divorced do not always coincide with those who were married.
- Constructive conflict in a relationship can actually be good and lead to understanding each other better and increased intimacy.
- The notion that opposites attract is false and studies show that people show a preference for potential partners that have traits similar to their own.
- According to researchers Kennedy and Ruggles, divorce actually is not on the rise and has declined to a degree over the past thirty years.
“This is one of the most persistent misconceptions about relationships. Opposites do not attract. Rather, it’s birds of a feather that flock together. Research has shown strong evidence for assortative mating, which involves the nonrandom coupling of individuals who resemble one another on one or more characteristics (Buss, 1984; Watson, Beer, & McDade-Montez, 2013).”