Relationship advice is everywhere these days. It’s in the news, incorporated into sitcoms and offered up on the radio. It’s so prevalent in today’s culture that many relationship myths have taken hold that can actually harm a relationship. Here, some of the top relationship myths are dispelled once and for all.

1. Every argument must have a winner.
Trying to win an argument and convert a partner to a new way of thinking often takes a lot more effort, and a bigger toll on the relationship, than just agreeing to disagree. Some of the happiest couples learn to live with differences of opinion, rather than trying to hash them out. Nobody ever really wins in an argument because arguing itself is so stressful. It’s often healthier to accept the fact that a relationship is made up of two individuals with their own thoughts and feelings, who don’t necessarily have to agree on everything.

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2. Opposites attract.
One of the oldest relationship myths, this can be true on the bar scene, where people might want to be swept up in something novel and temporary, but happy couples who go the distance are most often very similar. Matching core beliefs and values, and a set of shared interests, are important building blocks for any lasting relationship.

3. Couples should feel free to vent.
This is one of the most potentially damaging relationship myths, because it gives the people in a relationship license to heap abuse on one another over every little thing. A partner should be someone to confide in and share opinions with, not someone to henpeck and belittle. Happy couples often find a way to suffer in silence when it comes to the little things. Showing respect and consideration for a partner’s feelings is one way to build a solid relationship.

4. Couples should bottle up their feelings.
Striking a balance between letting the little things go and knowing when to speak up is tricky, but people in lasting relationships learn to respectfully and calmly talk about their feelings with each other when it comes to things that are important to them. Failing to do so allows stress to build, and when the issue comes to a head, which it inevitably will, the ensuing discussion is likely to be more explosive than constructive.

5. True love is effortless.
This is one of those relationship myths with which people are presented in childhood. Like anything worthwhile in life, romantic relationships require work to be successful. Too many couples bail when the going gets tough instead of working to make things better. Only in fairy tales do couples live happily ever after without ever making sacrifices or working to find compromises.