I see so many articles on Facebook that deal with relationships. How to tell if you’re with the right person, ways to improve your relationship, things people have learned from getting divorced, etc. I’ve read a lot of them and they seem to provide wonderful insight on how to “get things right.” These random writers seem to be filled with so much more knowledge than the average person, so much wisdom and experience that if we just follow their recommendations then we too can know this amazing joy.
Only they’re wrong.
There is no “right” way to have a relationship or “rules” to follow. What works for one couple may not work for another couple. I have a friend whose husband allows her to sleep with other men (within their own set rules and boundaries), and it has proven to be a wonderful thing for both their sex life and overall marriage. I know couples who seem to live almost independent of one another, each chasing their own dreams yet somehow using that to unite them more deeply. I view couples who seem obsessed with one another and making sure the world knows it by posting nearly every detail of their romantic lives on social media. Any and all of these things could work well for other couples, or they could bring about an end to the relationships.
I honestly find these “self help” relationship blogs and articles to be detrimental. I have personally stopped reading them. They make people second guess themselves, their partners, and the relationships they have. People begin to think if they can’t check off the “10 ways to know you’ve found your soul mate” then something must be wrong. These descriptions and lists set up false expectations and tell people how a relationship “should be.”
I have had three exclusive relationships in my life. None of them I was seeking at the time, and each of them had their own way of functioning and quirks to them. The way each operated likely did not make sense in some ways to those on the outside. I learned from each one though and each shaped me as a person. Maybe reading more of those articles and following the “advice” given would have kept each from ending. Or maybe each played out and ended the way it did because that is just part of life. And maybe the way to have the best relationship is to follow what works for you and the other person, not what a random stranger tells you on the internet.