Each of us has a collection of deeply rooted ideas about romantic relationships – how they form, how they are supposed to work, and why they end.

We build our collection of relationship ideas from watching relatives, making our own mistakes, and from pop culture. Rarely do we stop to consider whether or not our beliefs about relationships actually make sense in the real world.

This post is a mini pause button to stop and ponder insights from relationship experts.

Here are 5 misconceptions that can ruin a relationship.

1. Big problems require big solutions.

Dr. Kelly Flanagan observed that when problems between us seem large, we often assume the solution must be, too. Big plans, big changes, or big bucks are thrown at the problem in the hope for a big solution. But in reality, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference, and begin to melt the “big problem” glacier.

2. Give your date the full download?

According to WP Diamonds relationship expert Dr. Terry Orbuch, sharing the gory details of your life too early in a relationship is a mistake.  Getting to know someone should be gradual, unfolding process. Telling your date everything about your life – the divorce, the personal crisis, the family drama, the unfortunate string failures – early in the relationship may be jumping the gun. Why not take some time to become friends in the present before hashing through the past? 

3. Common interests keep you together.

When it comes to similar interests, it’s easy to think that’s where the connection will be the easiest and the deepest. The Gottman Institute astutely observes that common interests do not necessarily equate with loving communication and maturity in a relationship. Two people can be interested in the same things, yet still treat each other poorly. 

4. You “just know” when it’s right.

Sabrina Alexis claims if you’re expecting a lightning bolt of clarity to make a love decision for you, you may be in for a long wait. The perfect person probably won’t just materialize. There is work to be done to prepare yourself to be a good catch, and allowing time for a relationship to develop leads to confidence in the choice.

5. True love is unconditional.

You might be thinking, “Wait, that’s a misconception?” Yet, Jake and Hannah Eagle remind us that while being loved unconditionally may seem like a wonderful idea, every lasting relationship will have some conditions: no cheating, no lying, no abuse, no drugs, no crime, etc… in order for romantic love to flourish. The unconditional love label is a popular ideal, but we should understand the obvious agreements (conditions) most of us take for granted.

You can also read this epic breakdown of unconditional love.