The Ideal Relationship Is a Fairytale

To quote Maroon 5: It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise

Megan Orr, Opinions Editor

When it comes to relationships, we all believe that the only way to do it right is the way that we are doing it. Everyone else has it wrong, just you and your beloved have it figured out, right? You and you alone know the secret to a happy relationship and everyone else is just faking it. While that’s obviously not completely true, it does bring up the idea of subjectivity, in that, a successful relationship can only be measured by the people in it.

The ideal relationship, like so many things in adulthood, is utterly elusive. With the farce of happily ever after being shoved down our throats by popular media, it can be a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that the fairytale actually takes some work, some pain, some growth and a whole lot of compromise. It isn’t about compromising who you are or what you want, but about learning the intricacies of give and take.

“Everyone is uniquely different, so it [makes sense] that when two people [come] together there [will] always be a set of unsolvable issues. This [is] a normal part of healthy relationships. For relationships to work out, compromise [is] a non-negotiable part of love and [a] necessity in all relationships,” said Candace Wong of Meet Mindful. It can be difficult to realize that while you should always be able to prioritize yourself in a healthy relationship, you should also be capable of prioritizing your partner.

It can be exhausting to get bogged down by the ideas of what a good relationship looks like. The most tiring ideal of them all: that happy couples are happy all the time. According to clinical psychologist and author, Sue Johnson, “Good relationships aren’t just happier and nicer. When we know how to heal [relationships] and keep them strong, they make us resilient.” Johnson continued, “All these clichés about how love makes us stronger aren’t just clichés – it’s physiology. Connection with people who love and value us is our only safety net in life.” To elaborate on the same thought of clichés, a good relationship doesn’t just make us stronger, but makes us better as well.

That is perhaps the true key to a healthy relationship, being with someone who allows us to be the best version of ourselves. That sounds like an obvious one, but again it’s pretty subjective. This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships either. Any partnership can be complex. Different people will meet different needs for you and only you can be the judge of that.

According to Johnson, what it really boils down to in healthy relationships is whether or not your partner is there for you. However, what that looks for each individual person and couple is completely different. For some, it may be grand romantic gestures and spontaneity, for others it may be something as simple as filling up their water bottle without having to ask. The way people show up for each other varies, but the important part is them showing up at all. Afterall, the right person won’t “mind spendin’ everyday, out on your corner in the pourin’ rain.”

 

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