The role of psychology behind love is still underestimated and that’s a shame because it’s an important tool in building healthy relationships. Cognitive biases can stand between you and the happiness of your loving relationship. And if you already managed to build your love nest, cognitive biases can easily ruin it.
At first, let’s take a look at cognitive biases that hamper your love and relationship.
Who would reject the possibility to choose from many different options? We like when we have multiple choice of answers, goods, jobs, etc. Nowadays, when it comes to romance we like to have a multiple choice too. Really, why can’t we date different partners simultaneously to understand which one is the best?
But we forget about the harm of choice. The process of making a decision is retarded by a wide choice. And you’re most likely to stay unsatisfied with the final decision. When it comes to relationship psychology, choosing is at least unnatural. True love comes uninvited. You can’t pick a partner based on his accomplishments without loving him and then just wait for love to come.
While the psychology of love clearly shows that this complex feeling is unconditional, the vast majority of us tend to forget about it. We like picking partners according to certain preferences. Your partner must be riding Harley Davidson or he must look like your favorite actor. He must be with or without tattoos. And the most important thing, he must act as you have scripted in your head.
Well, in the end, you’ll find the one who matches all of your search options. But sooner or later, the ideal picture gives a crack as your perfect one stops acting according to all of your scripts. Loving someone unconditionally means accepting your partner’s imperfections. In other cases, you are in love with the image you’ve created and your partner is your creature that scares you every time it starts showing human traits.
Oh, you do like fantasizing about your ideal prince charming. It can be a good guy or a bad guy, a party guy or that 100% masculine guy. All in all, the character of your prince is based either on appearance or on his social behavior. However, appearances can be deceitful. Moreover, social and intimate behaviors don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
Your party guy may turn out to be home tyrant that humiliates you on every occasion. And your Mr. Bad Guy may turn out to be boring.
It doesn’t mean that it will necessarily happen to you, but it’s better to get to know your partner-to-be before starting a love relationship. Mind that a local cool guy may be crying while secretly watching cartoons while a good guy may be killing hamsters in the basement.
What also may be a hurdle on your way to a healthy relationship is your low self-esteem. You won’t move any further from the pit where you pity yourself. If your romantic once failed it doesn’t mean that it will be like that forever. Just move one.
Another case connected with the failed romance is the fright of deja-vu. Once again, ever tried, ever failed, try again, fail again, sooner or later you will win. But if you instill yourself with the idea of failure you will continue to fail.
Enough with cognitive biases that prevent you from having a relationship, let’s talk about those that can kill it off.
You love your friends and relatives, but they easily may turn into enemies when you’re in relationships. They start giving you advices regardless of you asking for it or not. They are going to tell you what they think about your partner. Some will say that you shouldn’t trust him. Some will say that he is sucking up your energy.
Things may get even worse if you plan to develop your relationship. Most likely, you will hear something like:
“Oh, you know you really shouldn’t because no one knows how long your relationships will last.”
Maybe they are jealous, maybe they are afraid that your partner is stealing you from them, or maybe they just have a different opinion on what a healthy relationship is. Whatever the reason is, it works like a pit full of crabs. The crab on its own can make his way out of the pit. But when the pit is filled with other crabs, the one who tries to get out is prevented by others.
The only way to get out is to stop listening and participating in such conversations. Just keep building your relationship. If your folks are right, it is much easier to accept it later. If you give up without trying, you will regret it. Moreover, you will start hating your friends and blaming your folks for your wasted chance.
Now, let’s imagine that you are the lucky crab that managed to get out of the pit. Finally you have moved in with your partner and you have the absolute freedom, don’t you?
Well, not exactly. Whether you’re living together with your partner or not, your relationships may damage your personal comfort zone. That’s how the vast majority of people observe this case. Really, why should you change your lifestyle because now you share your life with somebody? You’ve had enough with your parents or flatmates. Such point of view is one of the cognitive biases that can kill your relationships off as it is against the psychology of relationships.
Why can’t you live the way you want with your partner? Well, because now you no longer have your personal comfort zone. The way to have a healthy relationship is to sacrifice your personal comfort zone for the sake of the mutual one.
It doesn’t mean that you should forget about privacy and a good partner will never ask you for that. You need to understand that love is a one-way street. It is a one-way street for both of you. Without understanding this simple law of love psychology your relationships are bound to end in the most painful way. And as a result, the crab is returning to his pit where other crabs say that it was obvious. And again you’re sitting and pitying yourself.