One of the more cringe-inducing memories I have of my teen years is playing the Buzzcocks’ “I Believe” over and over, as I sobbed alone in my twin-sized bed. In particular, the line “There. Is. No. Love. In. This. World. Any-moooooooore!” always sent me into paroxysms of tears. I was positive—one-hundred-percent convinced—that life would be perfect if only I had a boyfriend.
Boy, was I wrong!I should clarify. I’m very happy that I’m shacked up with my large, Greek luvuh-man. But as far as his presence eliminating all strife and stress from my life—well, he’d have to be Superman (as opposed to merely being a super dude) to do that.
We women are force-fed so many untruths about what it’s like to be in a relationship that I gathered a panel of experts and polled them about what they considered the biggest misconceptions about romance.
1. It’s A Non-Stop Sex Buffet
OK, this one’s mine. But back when I was going through AA batteries like a drunk goes through gimlets, I was positive that once I landed a man it would be all sex all the time. The reality is a little different. Rare is the couple that can maintain that first-flush frequency for more than six months or so. A married guy friend put it best: “If you’re having sex weekly at the one-year mark, you’ll always have sex weekly.” The downside of this being if you’re having sex bi-monthly at the one-year mark, well—get on it!
2. Relationships Are Work
While it’s true that living, breathing, and sexing with another human being can be a trial at times, comedian Jen Dziura points out that, “’Work’ doesn’t mean ‘suffering.’ If you’re just enduring being miserable, that’s not ‘work,’ that’s like being the albino guy in The Da Vinci Code who stabs himself in the thigh for Jesus. No one needs that.” To clarify—remembering he loves brussel sprouts and loathes vacuuming, acceptable; blowing off your friends because he’s jealous of them, unacceptable.
3. Love Conquers All
As that wise ’80s sage Patty Smyth once sang, “Sometimes love just ain’t enough.” I know so many people—myself included—who have used “love” as an excuse to stay with toxic losers. Take it from one who learned the hard way—loving an abusive creep will not make him nice. Nor will love make a drunk sober or turn a gay man straight.
4. He Loves Me For Me!
While yes, technically this is true, that’s not an excuse to start stuffing your piehole and dressing exclusively in sweats. (And yes, this goes for him as well.) Make an effort once in a while! Also, cohabitation does not mean open season on public nose-picking, chin-hair plucking, finger-pulling, and open-door pooping. A little mystery goes a long way.
5. We’ll Become One!
I was at a wedding recently where the pastor was all about joining these two people as one. Why would anyone want that? People grow at different speeds and in different directions and these differences are what give you something to talk about at the end of the day.
6. The ONE And ONLY!
I know there are those who claim they haven’t gazed longingly at another person since they hooked up with Mr. or Ms. Right. These people are either liars, visually-impaired, or have never seen “True Blood.” (Hulloooo, Eric!) Looking at and lusting after other people is normal and can even spice up what you’ve got going on at home—especially if your lover man is willing to bleach out his hair and gnaw on your neck.