When it comes to relationships, there are unreasonable expectations like wanting your boyfriend to make $2.5 million a year and look like Ryan Gosling and completely reasonable expectations like, oh, I don’t know, not treating you as if you’re a garbage fire, perhaps? Here are just a few other things you shouldn’t feel bad for demanding from the person you’re dating.
Complete and total honesty No matter what, you should expect and be given complete and total honesty at all times. Without honesty, your relationship has no foundation and is built on wobbly lies.
The ability to trust him Along with honesty comes the expectation to be able to trust your partner without reservation or hesitation. You should feel safe with him physically, mentally, and emotionally and never have to feel like you should doubt him.
An equal partnership Even if one partner makes more money than the other, there should be a balance of quality in the relationship. You shouldn’t just expect it but demand it. Where one partner thrives, the other picks up the slack and vice versa. This isn’t 1950 and it’s more than reasonable to want to be treated as an equal because you are an equal.
Emotional and mental support Crappy day? Bad week? Family drama? When you’re in a healthy, grown-up relationship, expecting your partner to be there for you through it all is very reasonable. You’re not just friends and lovers but a team. Teams work together, support each other, and come up with plans to make things better, easier, and if need be, less painful.
Alone time It doesn’t matter how in love you are with each other, it’s very healthy to expect a decent amount of alone time so you can gather your thoughts and do your own thing. This isn’t just about the heart growing fonder when you’re apart but allowing the two of you to remain separate entities who are able to function without each other just as well as you function together.
A trusting partner As much as you trust your partner, you should expect your partner to give you the same amount in return. You shouldn’t feel like you need to check in with your him, get permission to hang out with certain people, or feel as though they’re dictating to you how and what you can and can’t do. You should also expect privacy sometimes and get it.
A healthy sex life Although sex isn’t the most important thing in a relationship, it’s definitely a major component and one that needs to be fostered. Sex provides not just physical pleasure but comfort and intimacy and to expect a healthy, active sex life is absolutely reasonable. You should also be able to expect your partner to be open enough to share his sexual fantasies with you and provide a safe space, free of judgment, for you to do the same.
Adequate affection While sex definitely involves affection, the two can stand on their own and because of that, expecting affection without sex is reasonable. Cuddling, kissing, holding hands – all of those aren’t just normal expectations in a relationship but necessary to relationship satisfaction. All these things, including sex, release oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone,” and it’s this oxytocin that creates a deep bond between people.
Respect Well, of course. I mean this one goes without saying. In fact, you shouldn’t just expect respect but demand it all the damn time.
Alone time together If you have every right to expect alone time away from your partner, then you definitely have every right to expect alone time with your partner. While there’s nothing wrong with vegging out on the couch watching movies, you should expect more. Whether you need to set up a weekly date night or set aside specific time where it’s just you two, one-on-one with zero distracts, then do it. It doesn’t matter how busy your lives are, you should always make time for each other and you should expect that time together from each other.
Understanding Both love and relationships are very complicated. People love differently, people accept and show their love differently, and depending on where we’ve been and what we’ve seen, our idea of love can be very dissimilar to that of our partner. Because of this, a happy, healthy relationship that can stand the test of time should require two people who are willing to understand these differences and have the expectation that their partner wants to take the time to understand.
Communication Of all the things one should expect in a relationship, communication is definitely a big one – right up there with respect. If you expect your partner to communicate with you in a positive and constructive way, and they either can’t or won’t, then that’s an issue. It’s not unreasonable to expect a grown-up to be able to effectively communicate. Honestly, it should just automatically come with the territory of being in a relationship.
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