Passion may wax and wane in your relationship

Passion may wax and wane in your relationship

But as OKCupid founder Christian Rudder wrote, in that same time frame, “OKCupid users are certainly no more open-minded than they used to be. If anything, racial bias has intensified a bit.”

Consider: In 2009, Asian men on OKCupid rated black women, on average, 16% less attractive than the average woman. In 2014, Asian men rated black women 20% less attractive.

You and your partner may not always see fireworks like you did in the early stages of your relationship. The key is not to freak out.

Rachel Sussman, a relationship expert and marriage counselor in New York City, told Business Insider that the decline of passion in a relationship is perfectly normal – and that you can lure it back.

One strategy is to schedule sex; another is to try a new and exciting activity together. Above all, try to be patient while you work on things.

It can be hard to make a relationship work if you and your partner have different values

Values are different from interests. If you like going to football games and your partner doesn’t, you can probably find a friend to go with you instead.

But if you’re interested in earning more money and status and your partner doesn’t care, that could be a problem.

Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, spoke with a series of older Americans for his book “30 Lessons for Loving” and heard a lot about the importance of shared values.

Pillemer’s interviewees recommended having an explicit discussion about core values with your partner before getting married, or deciding to be together long term. You’ll want to cover values around children, money, and religion – and whatever else is important to you.

One 80-year-old man put it in very frank terms: “If you have divergent personalities and ideas of what’s right and wrong, and what you want to do and what you don’t want to do right at the very beginning, well, it’s not going to get better. It’s going to go downhill.”

Sometimes you will be miserable in your relationship

In her book “The Real Thing,” Washington Post features writer Ellen McCarthy quotes Diane Sollee, a marriage educator who explained that too many people have delusional expectations for marriage.

“[Sollee] wants couples who are getting ready to walk down the aisle to know – really know – that it will be hard. That there will be times when one or both of them want out and can barely stand the sight of each other. That they’ll be bored, then frustrated, angry, and perhaps resentful.”

Most people have unrealistic expectations for their relationship

Ruth Westheimer – better known as Dr. Ruth – has seen it all, having counseled thousands of people about their relationships and sex lives. One general conclusion she’s reached? Most people have unreasonably high expectations for romance.

Westheimer told Business Insider: “Hollywood and the movies tell us that the stars have to be twinkling every night,” adding, “That’s not reality of life.”

As for sex, Westheimer said too many people expect multiple orgasms or think that “a man can have an erection like you see in sexually explicit movies.”

That’s why it’s important both to be sexually literate and to temper your expectations about what your relationship can bring you.

You and your partner may not always be compatible

Here’s a scary thought: The person you’re happy with today may not be the person you’ll be happy with forever.

Eli Finkel, who is a psychologist at Northwestern University, a professor at Kellogg School of Management, and the author of the book “The All-or-Nothing Marriage,” told Business Insider: “Even if we achieve compatibility in the marriage, there’s no guarantee that that compatibility will remain strong over time.”

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