Nowadays, there are so many dating advice websites and forums that it’s hard to know where to look when your relationship is feeling the strain. However, there are some common dating and relationship myths that are becoming increasingly widespread. They can be harmful – and we are here to squash them.

1. The myth: Don’t go to bed angry

Trying to resolve a conflict in your relationship by putting a deadline on when it needs to be resolved by can lead to an uneasy truce. Neither party is happy or satisfied with what has been discussed. Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. The negative emotions it evokes in you must be carefully considered, not just brushed off by bedtime. Conflict needs to be approached when you have calmed down, when the negativity and resentfulness that initially coursed through you are not hindering your objectivity.

Anger, as with any other emotion, is accompanied by physiological changes: increased heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, muscle tension. It takes time for these to revert back to their baseline; it’s not as simple as being told to ‘chill out’! Getting back into a genuinely calm state can take hours. It’s important to be kind to yourself. Calm down at your own rate, no-one else’s. You can’t guarantee this will happen before bedtime!

It’s harder to stay angry when your partner is physically not there, so an effective idea is to simply remove yourself from the situation (or politely inquire as to whether they would like to do so instead!). Come bedtime, a few hours’ alone time may have done you both the world of good.

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2. The myth: Withhold sex by way of punishment

Sex in a committed relationship is a beautiful, wholesome act. It brings the two of you together in body and in mind, a wonderful way of showing how much you love one another. To weaponize this is to taint a fundamental part of your relationship and can lead to unintended consequences down the line.

Sex should never be used as a bargaining tool. It’s not something you ‘earn’ or ‘deserve’; it isn’t something to use strategically. To use it to punish a partner not only harms the deep-rooted dynamic of your relationship but also doesn’t help in addressing the underlying reason you wanted to punish them in the first place.

3. The myth: Discussing exclusivity will scare your partner off

A healthy relationship is built on foundations of openness, honesty and communication. Lying to your partner about how you truly feel – even lying to yourself about how you truly feel – will create cracks in the relationship as it goes on. While I wouldn’t recommend declaring your undying love after two dates, it is important to acknowledge how you really feel about your partner – and act accordingly.

Do you value their time, their company, their personality? Then don’t sleep around. If they feel the same about you, they too will be having this internal monologue with themselves. Don’t force it. Don’t rush it. Let it flourish.

You will know when the time is right to have ‘the conversation’. It will feel natural, effortless. If they don’t feel the same way, this is the best way to find out, in an open, honest dialogue. If they do feel the same way, they will be immensely touched that you have given the subject so much thought – and been brave enough to discuss it. Having ‘The Talk’ doesn’t have to be weird – in fact, Zoosk has a fabulous guide on precisely how to make sure it isn’t!

4. The myth: You must lower your standards as you get older

As our in-house relationship expert Dr Madeleine Mason Roantree has discussed previously, we are generally attracted to individuals of our own age. If you are an older individual, this does not in any way represent a lowering of your standards. As a singleton, setting realistic expectations is key. People in our own age group have more similar life experiences, maturity, levels of wisdom. This is your potential life partner we are talking about – there can be no doubt in mind when deciding whether they are the right person for you.

The beauty of compatibility

Here at Maclynn (formerly Vida), we take every member through a compatibility profiling assessment, splitting their life into nine essential segments – such as health, career and family – and delving into what they value in each. We analyze your previous relationships and determine what traits, characteristics and principles you truly desire in a partner.

If you’re looking for love, we can hone in on precisely whom you are looking to meet – and then find them for you, somewhere in our extensive global network of exceptional singletons. Get in touch today – fall in love tomorrow.