What We Think We Know About Relationships
Based on the blogs, seminars and best-selling books on the market these days we think we know about relationships. However, there's a good chance that you don't know as much your partner as you think you do (and vice versa). However, realizing that we're not experts when it comes to matters of the heart could give us the insight we need to understand our mates and have more fulfilling interactions with each other.
A 1997 study at the University of Texas Austin revealed that couples who have been together for years don't necessarily know each other better than couples who have only been dating for a few weeks. This suggests that as we become more familiar with one another, we don't ask questions about each other's preferences. We assume we know our mates, and our partners don't always speak out about our inaccuracies, because it makes the relationship "easier" and cuts down on arguments.
Don't Assume To Know
For instance, if you ask your spouse to order dinner for you while you go to the restroom and come back to find that he/she has ordered something you don't particularly care for, you may just pretend to enjoy it so you won't make your spouse feel bad. This leads him/her to believe that the meal is one of your favorites, and if you don't speak up, you could be eating the same foods at a later time, ultimately confusing your partner.
We also think we know how our partners will react (for the most part) based on gender. For instance, women generally assume that men only want sex, but the truth is that men desire an emotional connection with their partners and want to hear compliments, just like women do. Men often assume that women want to be treated like princesses all the time. While most women do like to be pampered every now and then, women also want to be taken seriously by their partners in terms of intelligence and professional savvy.
Build A Solid Foundation
One of the main things we should all keep in mind when it comes to relationships is that a happy home doesn't happen magically. It takes lots of time and effort, even for people who are perfect for each other to build a solid relational foundation. As we continue to establish a life with our partner, we'll learn different things about them, but there will still be some things we don't know. That's the beauty of relationships. If you don't know something about your mate, ask.
It's a great way to start a new conversation that could lead to a greater understanding of why you fell in love in the first place. What we think we know about relationships can short circuit forming healthy relationships.