Relationship rules are shifting very rapidly, and they have become totally different from those we had in the past.
The art of negotiation
The old-fashioned relationship model has a clear task and role distribution among partners. It gave less freedom and had more responsibility (usually based on social stereotypes) but in a way, it ensured certainty. People knew what was expected of them, e.g. it was clear who earned the money, who looked after the children, or who had to take care of the household.
Everything has now changed. Partly, it is an impact of the gender equality movement and women’s rights. These strict rules are fading: there are no clearly-defined roles anymore. Instead, there are many possibilities how to behave and how to construct relationships. Accordingly, it results in a great uncertainty and self-doubt. It became an art of negotiation, trying to find a suitable alternative while taking into account both interests equally.
Undefined roles lead to high expectations
Nowadays there is more space to choose a more convenient option for both parties. Moreover, both partners can equally participate in the decision-making process. However, having undefined roles lead to higher expectations. It leads to creating an expectation of an ideal lover, who doesn’t exist in reality, and applying these excessive standards to one’s actual partner.
This might sound rough, but today’s romantic relationships remind one a bit of market economy where people try to find a commodity that matches their needs the best. This insight is built on a public opinion that everyone can be replaced by someone else. For this reason, people tend to chase their perfect idea of a partner while disregarding less ideal candidates. This might lead to facing difficulties in starting romantic relationships and even falling in love.
A common misconception
Many people believe that their relationship/partner will make them happier, fulfill their needs and desires, and remove all intangible negative assets that they have.
Research calls this a new model: in the past people tended to rely on a bigger number of members in their families instead of concentrating only on one. Marriage by itself contained more attributes like relatives and friends who are in the surrounding environment.
We are social creatures that have an inherent need to socialize, which means romantic relationships shouldn’t put a damper on the non-romantic ones.