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3 Myths Holding Back Your Relationship

Social norms are important guidelines for how we should behave in society and interact with others but following them without consideration can sometimes lead to negative outcomes.

These Show Notes are a ChatGPT summary of the episode transcript (with brief additional editing)

In today’s podcast episode, hosts Kim and Rog delve into the concept of debunking myths related to relationships, with a particular focus on the role of social norms. They start by defining what they mean by a “myth,” describing it as a commonly held idea that could be potentially wrong. These myths often relate to social norms—unwritten societal rules that people often follow without questioning.

According to Kim, social norms can make people operate from an “external place,” meaning that their actions and decisions are influenced more by societal expectations rather than their own internal values or experiences. She also acknowledges that while some social norms are beneficial, like being respectful, others can be harmful. For example, the societal expectation that women should stay at home had even been supported by laws in the past.

Social norms are important guidelines for how we should behave in society and interact with others but following them without consideration can sometimes lead to negative outcomes. The pair argue that the real danger is the lack of questioning these norms.

Myth 1: the individual comes first in a romantic relationship

Rog discusses how this belief has become popularized, especially with the rise of individualism in Western culture. He also relates it to the liberation of women from patriarchal dominance.

Kim and Rog argue against the individual-first mentality in a relationship, emphasizing that a relationship is a collaborative effort, much like a team in a business or sports context. Rog points out that in professional settings, CEOs and leaders are praised for their ability to bring people together toward a common goal. They emphasize that the relationship should come first and not the individual. Both hosts agree that the key to a successful relationship is not sacrificing one’s self but investing more into the partnership and working together toward a common goal.

The hosts also touch upon why people might feel the need to put themselves first, stating that it often stems from fear—fear of losing one’s independence or time. But they argue that this attitude can be detrimental to the ultimate goal of a relationship, which is to build a fulfilling life together. They conclude that instead of pulling in separate directions, couples should focus on shared goals and dreams to lead more enriching lives.

Myth 2: Good relationships should be easy

The hosts argue that the concept is misleading because nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. In fact, striving for a fulfilling and purposeful life requires effort and hard work, especially in relationships.

Kim and Rog emphasize the importance of pursuing dreams and working towards achieving them, both as individuals and as a couple. They mention their own experiences of moving to Japan and starting a renovation business as examples. Both endeavours required hard work and commitment not just to the dreams themselves but also to their relationship, to make those dreams a reality.

Rog mentions that they had a decade-long period where they weren’t working as a team, and it took a lot of effort to turn that around. He says that life is an evolving journey, and even after achieving a certain goal, people still want to accomplish more. Kim agrees, saying that fulfilling a dream gives a sense of satisfaction, but it also leads to seeking the next purposeful journey in life.

They both believe that you start living your “dream life” the moment you start working towards your goals, not necessarily when you achieve them. They reveal that even if they won the lottery, most of their dreams would remain the same; they are already living their dream life by working towards their goals.

Kim addresses the fear-based mentality that makes people apprehensive about admitting that they’re working hard on their relationship. She encourages listeners to view the effort put into a relationship as “upskilling,” similar to how you would improve your skills in any other group or collaborative situation.

Rog emphasizes that being a good partner involves skills like communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence that most people are not born with but need to develop and continually refine.

Myth 3: Happy couples don’t fight

The hosts instead argue that conflict is both inevitable and essential in any relationship. Kim reframes the concept of “fighting,” suggesting it’s better understood as “disagreeing.” She argues that disagreements are crucial for progress, questioning, and challenging one another. Contrary to the notion that the absence of conflict indicates a successful relationship, both hosts cite research that shows it’s not the lack of fights that matter, but rather how couples resolve them. The concept of “rift and repair” is introduced, where fights or disagreements offer opportunities for personal and relational growth.

Roger emphasizes the role of relationships, particularly marriage, as not just a comfort zone but also a domain for personal development. He notes that your partner’s willingness to engage in disagreements is a sign they care about you and your shared future. The hosts point out that no one really wants a “doormat” for a partner as you will end up in an echo chamber of your own importance. They argue for the importance of viewing relationships through the lens of a team. In this view, disagreements are less about personal attacks and more about mutual improvement.

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To learn more about Kim & Rog's story and what inspired them to start their podcast.