I have high expectations for myself, so it should come as no surprise that this carries over to my relationships and the guys I date. I used to hold them to such a high standard that every single dating experience inevitably crashed and burned. Once I got real and ditched the unrealistic expectations I had of guys, my life and relationships got a whole lot better.
I stopped expecting them to read my mind. When something is wrong or if something is bothering me, I tell them. Guys aren’t intuitive and can’t figure out what’s going on unless we’re upfront and frank about it. It only takes a few minutes to explain what they said or did that rubbed me the wrong way. These precious few minutes of talking about what’s wrong save me days of pent-up frustration. Instead of assuming they know what’s up, I suck it up and just say it. They appreciate my honesty and that I’m comfortable enough to talk to them and I don’t feel like I’m going to explode. It’s a win-win.
I stopped expecting them to live up to my standards. I have a fantasy of a guy coming in and sweeping me off my feet like a modern day Prince Charming but the reality is, that’s probably never going to happen. Relationships take work from both sides and they rarely ever resemble a fairytale. My standards see me going to the gym 5-6 days a week and not drinking alcohol and the guys I date might be the total opposite. This doesn’t make them him wrong, it makes us different.
I stopped expecting them to be my entire source of happiness. I can’t stress this enough—happiness needs to be found in other things besides guys. Creating my own happiness is one of the most important things I do and practice. It sustains my self-worth and my self-love because people are temporary. If all my happiness is put into a person and they leave me, I’m left with nothing, and I deserve better than that.
I stopped expecting them to text me back right away or always initiate contact. Yes, it’s 2018 and everyone is obsessed with their phones, so what’s stopping them from texting me back? Another girl? Doing something more interesting? Maybe, but more likely they’re busy and will text me back when they can. Expecting guys to text me back as soon as I send a message is unrealistic and desperate and I have better things to do than wait around. If I want to text the guy I’m dating to say good morning or to have a nice day, then I will. He’ll respond when he can.
I stopped expecting them to change overnight. There are only a few things that can change overnight and human behavior isn’t one of them, especially if the behavior is one they’ve been doing their entire lives. If they don’t want a relationship with me today, they aren’t going to have an overnight epiphany and change their minds tomorrow. Working on things that bother me about a particular guy takes time and thinking he’ll change overnight or even a few days is unrealistic.
I stopped expecting that I could control the relationship. Trying to control my past relationships was one of the worst things I could do or try to do. I was afraid of losing my exes and that drove me to do crazy things like blowing up their phones or expecting them to hang out with me every day. If you try to control how fast or slow you’re moving, it’ll blow up in your face. I was constantly terrified of losing my relationships and eventually, I did. Now, I let my relationships unfold the way they were meant to and let go of control.
I stopped expecting them to be marriage material. People who don’t want to get married will most likely need a miracle in order to change their minds. Whether it was their parents’ terrible divorce or the nonbelief in marriage as an institution, changing guys’ minds about marriage is virtually impossible. If they tell me from the beginning that they don’t want marriage, I know they’ll never get down on one knee. If they’re not changing, it’s time for me to change the guys I’m dating.
I stopped expecting them to do everything I wanted to do. It’s Friday night again and I want to be wined and dined by the guy I’m dating. He seems bored and distracted at dinner and is in no mood for after date activities. I get pissed and the whole evening is ruined. Instead of compromising on something to do together on our two nights off, I expect him to do whatever it is I planned. Totally unreasonable and unfair. Now, I try to find activities we’ll both enjoy and it works so much better that way.
I stopped expecting their friends to care about our relationship. A guy’s friends are an extension of his family, just as our friends are too. We go to our friends for advice and guidance about problems and approval of our significant others. Guys can be like us with their friends too, but don’t expect them to care as much. When they hang out, they aren’t talking about how sweet and funny I am because they don’t care. I also know they probably don’t care if we have plans the next morning as they’re slamming shots at the bar. As long as my guy respects our relationship and knows when to say no to them, it’ll be a good balance.
I stopped expecting my relationships to resemble rom-coms. Rom-coms are guys’ worst nightmare since they tend to give women unrealistic expectations. No wonder these movies make them cringe! Whether I’m single or in a relationship, watching a rom-com can totally hinder my ability to face reality. I do myself a favor and skip the rom-com and watch horror instead. At least I have an excuse to cuddle up with the guys I date.
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