It’s easy to believe that your relationship is different from everyone else’s. It’s probably not.
Relationships take effort to maintain, and you won’t always be happy with your partner.
Even if you love each other, if you have fundamentally different values, a breakup may be the best option.
Everyone knows relationships are hard, and take effort to maintain, and sometimes disappoint you.
Except, of course, your relationship. That’s different. Or so everyone likes to believe.
Here are some of the truest but hardest-to-accept insights about modern romance. If you can get past these somewhat unsettling ideas, you’ll be more likely to have a happy and fulfilling partnership.
Trick question: There isn’t a right one.
That’s according to Esther Perel, who is a couples therapist as well as the author of “Mating in Captivity” and “The State of Affairs.” Perel previously told Business Insider: “There is a one that you choose and with whom you decide that you want to build something. But in my opinion, there could also have been others — you just chose this one.”
Once you’ve chosen someone, you work to make that person a better fit.
It can be hard to make a relationship work if you and your partner have different values
Values are different from interests. If you like going to football games and your partner doesn’t, you can probably find a friend to go with you instead.
But if you’re interested in earning more money and status and your partner doesn’t care, that could be a problem.
Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, spoke with a series of older Americans for his book “30 Lessons for Loving” and heard a lot about the importance of shared values.
Pillemer’s interviewees recommended having an explicit discussion about core values with your partner before getting married, or deciding to be together long term. You’ll want to cover values around children, money, and religion and whatever else is important to you.
One 80-year-old man put it in very frank terms: “If you have divergent personalities and ideas of what’s right and wrong, and what you want to do and what you don’t want to do right at the very beginning, well, it’s not going to get better. It’s going to go downhill.”
Poor timing can be a reason to break up — even if you love each other
In “The Love Gap,” journalist Jenna Birch explains why timing is all-important in a relationship.
Specifically, Birch argues that many men and women may be on different timelines: While men want to feel established professionally and financially before settling down, women can work on love and their career at the same time.
Birch urges women to take men seriously when they say they’re “not ready” for a serious relationship right now. That may mean moving on to someone else who does feel ready, instead of wasting your time hanging around.