Relationship Articles

Reset Your Relationship Beliefs

July 29, 2015 - Relationship Articles

Many WP Diamonds clients are experiencing life transitions, like divorce. These transitions can be challenging and difficult, and the changes involved can even feel like an emotional roller coaster. One major way to help you through these periods of change is to consciously switch how you think about the transition. In other words, instead of viewing the divorce experience as full of loss and negativity, reframe this transition to: “What can I gain from this experience” or “How can I learn information about myself or my beliefs to develop better and more satisfying relationships?”

Think back for a minute to your past relationship(s). Did you often feel annoyed at your partner(s)? Have you consistently been attracted to the wrong people? Do you feel like you’re making the same mistakes over and over again? Many of these feelings stem from frustration, disappointment, and the belief that your relationships, “just haven’t worked out the way you thought they would.” But the truth is, many of your beliefs and expectations about love, men, women, and how relationships “should be” aren’t backed by facts, research or even science. So, as you move on to new beginnings and experiences, take the opportunity to reset your relationship beliefs. Now is the time to forget everything you thought you knew about dating, divorced singles and post-divorce life.

Yes, you’ve learned about love and relationships from movies, television, magazines, family and friends. And, of course, you know a thing or two about relationships and dating firsthand. But without realizing it, you may be hanging on to myths and beliefs about love that are holding you back from the relationship you deserve! Getting rid of these myths and learning new information about relationships will increase your confidence and self-esteem, boost your odds of dating success after divorce, and improve your future (or current) relationships!

Below, I’ll reveal the top four most common myths about dating, relationships, and the opposite sex from my studies on dating and divorce. I’ll debunk these myths with research that will completely change or reset your expectations about relationships. By learning what relationship research tells you about how men and women relate, behave, and think, you can approach this new beginning, dating and relationships with a fresh, clean slate! You’ll also be less frustrated and more likely to find a partner who’s a good fit for you.

Most of us think we know a lot about relationships and that what we believe is true. But do you really know as much as you think you do? Read the below myths and truths to understand how you need to reset your relationship beliefs.

Myth 1: Women have more romantic thoughts, beliefs and feelings about relationships and love than men.

Truth 1: Studies show that it’s actually men—not women—who have more romanticized beliefs about love and relationships. Men are more likely to believe in love at first sight, that it’s easy to fall in love, and that if you can just love someone enough, nothing else matters. Many men idealize how love should be, even though these beliefs often don’t match up with the realities of their own relationships. It is not surprising then that men would be more likely than women to hold on to photos, mementos, keepsakes and jewelry from past relationships. And, when I spoke to WP Diamonds, they confirmed that based on their data. Women are more likely than men to sell their diamond rings, jewelry, gifts and watches to WP Diamonds.

Myth 2: There’s a definite period of time after a divorce before you’re ready to get out there and date again.

Truth 2: Contrary to what your friends and family may tell you, there are no set time lines to follow for when you should date again after divorce. What research studies show is that whether you are ready to date after a divorce depends on your prior relationship and your emotional attachment to that partnership. Everyone is different. Some people emotionally separate from their spouse while they are still in the relationship. When the marriage ends, they’re ready to find love again right away because they’ve already worked through their feelings. Others need to separate physically, and then work through their emotions and/or grieve the loss of the relationship, before they are ready to date again.

Myth 3: When you’re dating, it’s best to disclose everything about yourself in the beginning so your partner knows the real you, no secrets or surprises.

Truth 3: Many people make the mistake of telling too much information to a date, especially early on in the dating process. People think they are being honest and open, but they are viewed by the listener as not trustworthy, because they tell all without knowing the other person first. Plus, other people do not want to hear too much, too soon. Sharing personal details—like why your marriage didn’t work, struggles with your ex-partner, or your children’s woes—is fine after you have spent time together, but they sound like red flags and are overwhelming to another person if revealed prematurely. Instead, it’s better to reveal personal information about yourself gradually over time. If this person is right for you, there will be plenty of time for the details to unfold.

Myth 4: The majority of children respond negatively when parents begin dating again.

Truth 4: Contrary (again) to what you may believe, children differ in their responses when their parents start to date again. When you discuss the situation your children, their response can vary depending on their age, the reason for the divorce, and the quality of their relationship with the other parent. When you do start dating after divorce, you shouldn’t hide the fact that you are dating from your children, but you might want to only get them involved and attached when you feel it is a serious relationship. Regardless of age, talk with your children and explain that no one will ever replace the other parent. Tell your children that you are dating again to make yourself happy and fulfilled, but you will always be there for them. When you are happy and balanced, you’ll be a better role model for your children – at any age.

Bio: Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka The Love Doctor®) is an author, speaker, therapist, professor at Oakland University, and research professor at University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research. She is also the director of a landmark study, funded by the N...

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