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Love is everywhere on the silver screen this time of year, and plenty of teens and adults swoon when taking in the seemingly-perfect relationships of Hollywood. However, authentic relationship-building is often anything but glamorous.

“This Isn’t Anything Like the Movies!”

After the honeymoon period of any new friendship or relationship is over, it’s easy to wonder where the magic went. Hollywood portrays relationships at the best and worst, but leaves out the middle, something that many families and married couples refer to as “real life.” If your relationship doesn’t look like it’s straight from a movie, that’s a good sign.

The Reality of Building a Strong Relationship

If you have ever visited Disney World, think about the first time that you went. Most people are filled with a childlike sense of wonder and infatuation after every ride, show and meal. After the fifth or sixth visit, the cracks in the sidewalk start to show themselves. While Disney World might be just as much fun, it’s not the perfect place you initially thought it was.

Relationships are the same way! It’s easy to think that your relationship is the problem when you realize your partner leaves dishes in the clammy sink water, but that’s entirely normal. Some adults leave perfectly healthy relationships and friendships because the Hollywood or Disney World ideal sets the bar impossibly high. In reality, true love is about making a relationship work, even when it means accepting imperfections in your partner.

Setting Realistic Relationship Expectations

To reset your expectations around relationships, take a look at the strongest relationships around you. Have your parents been married for 25 years? If you are comfortable doing so, talk about the highs and lows of the relationship with either parent. If your parent is being honest, you’ll probably get an earful!

Do you have a friend who has been with you since the first day of elementary school? See what has helped you two to stick together all of these years. Most long-term relationships require sacrifice, hard work and change. Examining strong, long-lasting relationships that have survived in the real world is a far better use of time than judging the quality of your friendships and relationships based on a movie.

Reset Your Relationships

If you are struggling to gain a realistic perspective on what authentic relationships look like, contact CBT Baltimore to get on the right track at 443-470-9815.