At a young age, I made a decision that falling in love wasn’t for me.
I watched many marriages around me fall a part. Being a part of a culture where arranged marriage was extremely common, I often saw marriages without love or passion. I associated the words “marriage” and “relationship” with very negative emotions, and I decided that I put my guard up extremely high.
As my started to grow older and my social circle started to grow larger, I was surrounded by more relationships and marriages. At first, I convinced myself they were too good to be true. Eventually, however, I realized that I had many misconceptions about marriage.
Misconception 1: Avoiding Hard Conversations is The Best Way to Cope
While this sounds like an extremely obvious point, I found it difficult to grasp this concept and let go of this misconception. Growing up, there were many times I saw individuals in relationships struggling. Instead of talking to their partners about their struggles, however, they often chose to cope alone. To them, it was much easier to work through situations alone than get their partner involved.
The relationships I saw had little communication and trust. Because of this, I often felt uncomfortable when asking for help. I felt that dealing with all problems independently was worth avoiding difficult conversations. In reality, however, those difficult conversations are often the best ones- they help move relationships forward and create a strong sense of bonding and trust.
Misconception 2: All Arguments Are Uncontrollable
This misconception affected me in a major way. Often times, many of the arguments I saw got out of hand. There was yelling, throwing things, and storming out when things got hard: this became the new normal for me.
When I entered school we began to explore the concept of conflict-resolution, and how it can be done peacefully. That was the first time I realized that arguments did not have to be uncontrollable. It was possible to deal with situations using love, compassion, and understanding. Knowing that made relationships and communication seem a lot less terrifying.
Misconception 3: Love-filled Marriages Do Not Exist
I was convinced that marriage wasn’t about love, but about convenience. To me, it was all about settling. I didn’t believe in concept of finding a “soulmate.” It sounded to good to be true.
As I grew up, I saw many marriages filled with love. Each one filled my heart with a little bit of hope. I soon realized that positive relationships can have a love so beautiful that it it is contagious. Somewhere along the way, I became a hopeless romantic. These misconceptions began to fade one-by-one, and deep inside, I believe in a love that lasts.
Don’t get me wrong- I still have my guard up. I still often feel afraid to move into relationships. These misconceptions often creep into my head. However, I’ve learned to move forward. To me, opening my heart is worth the risk, and I’m excited to see what adventures life brings.
Growing up around unhealthy relationships can have a major impact on your life. It can take years to undo the damage that has been done. I think the best thing to do is move forward as much as you can, and surround yourself with positive people and positive relationships. When I did, I realized that there was a completely different kind of love that I had yet to explore- and that was extremely exciting!