Romeo and Juliet are held up as one of the most romantic and idealized couples ever.
But their star-crossed relationship lasted just a few days, caused their relatives to fight to the death, and ended up (spoiler alert!) with them both dead.
And let’s not even mention that Juliet was 14.
What is it about romantic stories that cloud our heads and blind us to the truth of what makes a relationship happy and healthy?
Whether you’re looking for a Prince Charming or someone to complete you, you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good by barking up the wrong tree.
If you’re in what you think is a perfect relationship, or if you just have one pictured in your mind, I have some bad news for you – it might not be as great as you think.
In fact, here are eight heartbreaking reasons why your “perfect” relationship is actually a fantasy and one you may need to totally reconsider.
1) The relationship is based on superficiality.
Look, we all want to have a partner that we find attractive.
But should that be your priority when you’re choosing someone to spend your life with?
How about wealth, then?
But what if fortunes change and that wealth suddenly declines?
Maybe you should be looking for something deeper and longer-lasting.
You might imagine a Prince Charming character as your ideal partner – rich, good-looking, great kisser – as your perfect partner.
However, personality, character, and shared values are going to make for a much more stable and happier relationship in the long term.
2) Your expectations are unrealistic.
The things you expect from your “perfect” partner might just be totally unrealistic, and your standards impossible to maintain.
Do you want someone who will be with you every second of every day? Someone who will agree with and support your every opinion? Someone who can fulfill your every desire?
I hate to say it, but the only person who could actually tick all those boxes is you!
If you’re looking for someone else who is that devoted to you, you’re going to find yourself disappointed.
Only a robot or a zombie slave is going to be able to live up to your unrealistic expectations.
Everyone else on the planet is their own person with their own ideas, needs, and desires. It’s inevitable that theirs will sometimes come into conflict with yours or, at the least, not mesh perfectly.
So stop expecting perfection, and you’re going to find real relationships that can be even more fulfilling.
3) You love the relationship more than the person.
Most people forget that at the beginning of the play, Romeo was in love with a woman named Rosaline. Or was he?
He meets his cousins and goes on and on about how lovesick he is, saying things like:
“Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;”
But it seems he’s more in love with the idea of love than the actual woman. All he ever says about her is that she’s hot.
I had a relationship like this once.
She was constantly taking selfies of us together and posting everything we did on social media like it was a sort of branding campaign. If she had put even ten percent of that effort into the actual relationship, though, it might have actually worked out!
Sometimes, we fall into the spell of being in a relationship that makes us look good or brings other rewards, and it makes us look right past how well we fit with the other person.
4) You idealize your partner.
“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”
You guessed it – Romeo again.
These lines from the famous balcony scene show just how much he idealizes Juliet despite having just met her at a party a few hours before.
And despite her being just 14. Did I mention that yet?
This idealization ends up being his downfall. He takes no time to really get to know her and find out her qualities and her flaws.
And isn’t that the same in many so-called “perfect” relationships?
When we fall head-over-heels for someone, we’re usually blind to any negative qualities they might have. They can do no wrong.
In healthy relationships, this changes over time as they reveal more about themselves, and we learn who they really are and accept them in their entirety.
But if you think your partner is perfect, you’re just plain wrong.
Or if you’re waiting for the perfect person to come into your life, no one like that exists, so you’re going to be waiting for a terribly long time.
5) You don’t have great communication.
Romeo and Juliet had great banter, but that’s just because their rhyming lines were all written by old Billy Shakespeare.
Their real communication, however, was a different story. It was so bad, in fact, that Romeo kills himself because he thinks Juliet has taken poison – he didn’t get the message that she was just faking her death so they could run away together.
Now, that might be an extreme example, but if you don’t have great communication in your relationship, then it just isn’t perfect.
If there are things that you feel you can’t say to your partner or things you’re not open to hearing, you’re going to end up living in a sort of fantasy where the whole truth is never spoken.
While that might be enchanting in the short term, it won’t do anything to make your relationship healthy and strong over time.
6) You avoid conflict.
People who have fantasy relationships will tell you, “Oh no, we never fight.”
And it’s probably true.
But that’s not because there aren’t issues. It’s because they avoid conflict at all costs.
Maybe they grew up with parents who fought a lot and hate the idea of the same sort of thing happening in their relationship.
Or it could be that they just don’t want anyone to think there is anything less than perfection in their relationship.
But either way, conflict is a natural part of two people joining their lives together. There is no such thing as a perfect fit, and issues are bound to come up.
The secret is how you deal with them.
If you avoid conflict at all costs, your issues never get dealt with, and they simmer away in the background until one day they boil over.
But if you face things head-on and discuss your differences in a healthy, mature way, you can learn a lot about each other and actually strengthen your relationship through conflict.
7) You can’t be genuine.
If you hide parts of yourself from your partner or don’t feel like you can always speak your mind, then NEWSFLASH!!! Your relationship isn’t actually perfect.
This is quite common in the beginning stages of relationships.
When you’re single and trying to date people, you naturally put your best self forward and hold back some of the qualities that you feel less than happy about.
And the people you date do this, too.
So, you meet idealized versions of each other and embark on a relationship.
The problem is that you either have to keep up this façade forever, or you eventually have to reveal things about yourself that are negative, or at least not what you were selling initially.
If you’re afraid to do this, you’re denying your true self-expression and also denying your partner the chance to get to know you completely.
That doesn’t sound perfect to me.
8) You think your partner can make you happy.
If you think your partner can make you happy, you may be living in the biggest fantasy of them all.
First of all, if you’re not happy with yourself and your life before entering a relationship, you’re very unlikely to be any happier once you’re in one.
Of course, being loved and loving someone else can bring you joy. You might find yourself with a very supportive, kind, wonderful person by your side, and that can be excellent for you.
But the deep-seated reasons why you might not be content don’t necessarily get chased away by this other person.
Ultimately, it’s you and only you who’s responsible for your happiness, and to place this burden on the shoulders of any partner is both unfair and unrealistic.
Stop living in a fantasy world
Fantasy is great until it ends.
If you recognize these eight heartbreaking reasons why your “perfect” relationship is actually a fantasy, you’re not alone.
And it doesn’t mean that you can’t build a better, more realistic relationship.
But it will take a lot of effort to change your current patterns and behaviors in that relationship. And in the end, you might also find that it’s just not the right one for you to be in.
Stop wanting Romeo or Juliet and start wanting something real!