Couples Therapy – The Truth About Romance
Our extensive experience in couples therapy has given us the impression that Love and Marriage is too romanticized for its own good. Popular culture creates a set of values and ideals that we apply to our conception of what love and marriage are supposed to be that are extremely unhealthy, make relationships senselessly difficult, and land a lot of people in couples therapy. Broadly speaking, romanticism says that marriage is supposed to be a permanently passionate love story. Romanticism says that ‘true love’ means that someone is never lonely, and that someone’s married partner is supposed to understand every aspect of their being, that your partner is meant to “complete” you, and that you are to accept every aspect of your partner. Capital Choice Counselling offers couples counselling, helping all Ottawa couples reconnect.
Romanticism and Love are Not the Same
Romanticism is disastrous for adult relationships. It completely prohibits ordinary people from leading successful emotional partnerships, because it creates in them setof impossible expectations. Often we find that much of the work of couples therapy is challenging and adjusting these expectations in our clients. We have generally found that if you want a successful emotional relationship with your partner, you need to recognize these expectations as generally illegitimate, and replace them with more reasonable ones.
Among other things, romanticism provides us the expectation that we are meant to find a partner that we permanently attracted to, that we ought to have satisfying sex from marriage until death, that we should be never feel attraction toward others, we ought to intuitively understand every aspect of our partner, keep no secrets, maintain emotional and sexual intensity though child-rearing, etc, etc.
If YouWant Love, Lower Your Expectations
To the naturally romantic, the thought of subtracting romantic expectations from the idea of love can seem blasphemous, because they consider the two one and the same. It’s important to recognize that this removal of romantic values isn’t meant to hurt love, but to save it. The fact of the matter is that romantic expectations of love end more relationships than they maintain, because they set the bar of expectations so high that no relationship can vault over them.
Romantic expectations are totally out of line with human nature and basic realities of real relationships. Real, long-lasting relationships are rarely romantic; in fact they are generally quite boring! Being someone’s life partner is much more about pragmatic concerns like money,work, house cleaning, and groceries than it is about attraction, sex, and romance. This is not to say that these things do not have an important place in a relationship, but it’s important to recognize that their place is not the most important. While this can be an uncomfortable realization for the romantic to accept, the realization in couples therapy that de-prioritizing romance is about re-prioritizing love saves and strengthens relationships.
Only so much can be said about such a broad concept in a 500-or-so word article. If you’re having trouble in your relationship, perhaps you should get in touch with Marriage Therapy Services to speak more. Perhaps it’s the case that your expectations of what a strong relationship is supposed to be is getting in the way of the strong relationship yours could be. The only way to know for sure is to get in touch.