Conventional wisdom would have us believe that we should accept our chosen partner, warts and all. To enter into co-habitation, let alone matrimony, secretly hoping that he or she will turn over a new leaf and stop leaving his or her toenail clippings on the windowsill just isn't the done thing, according to a whole raft of self-help books, marriage guidance counsellors and self-professed love gurus.
It stands to reason that hoping and praying for a fundamental character change isn't the ideal premise for happy ever after.
But we've always been of the opinion that relationships are about growing together, challenging one another, encouraging one another to be the best possible versions of ourselves, while, of course, accepting—and being forgiving of the fact—that nobody is perfect.
That's why we were so delighted to stumble across this absolute gem of a video from the clever peeps at London's School of Life. In just two minutes it succinctly deconstructs the nonsensical nature of the prevalent, romantic philosophy that loves means "loving exactly as you are".
All that does, argues the narrator, is create "a blanket refusal to listen" in relationships.
It stands to reason that the more time you spend with someone, the more time you're likely to notice flaws. So if you're of the belief that feedback is unromantic and illegitimate, you've bought wholly into the "you wouldn't criticise me if you loved me" school of thought, that ultimately leads people to stop working on themselves.
"We're all so imperfect, we've got to teach and learn," he argues. Tolerance and acceptance are of course necessary qualities in your partner, but if they do attempt to coach, remember that they're simply giving "the sort of feedback that nobody else gives a damn enough to".
Be mindful though, that it's a two way street. Both parties in a relationship must, at one time or another, play the roles of both "really kind teacher" and "deeply, open-minded, undefensive student".