What if the reason you haven’t found your Prince Charming is because of your ridiculous relationship expectations? While it’s important to have standards and boundaries, it’s possible that your unrealistic desires are holding you back in the following ways.
- You expect to always come first in your partner’s life. Your partner loves you, but that doesn’t mean his life revolves around you. There are days he will choose his work over you. There are days he’d rather catch up with his friends than spend the day with you. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean he loves you less. Your partner should have a life outside you and vice versa. If not, you’ll end up crashing and burning.
- You expect your partner to constantly know how you feel. Your partner isn’t a mind reader. So, instead of giving him the silent treatment whenever he hurts you in hopes that he’d eventually realize his wrongdoings and apologize, communicate your feelings and let him know how he offended you.
- You expect your partner to always make you happy. Expecting your partner to always make you happy is the quickest way to break your heart. Your happiness isn’t his responsibility, it’s on you. Relationships thrive better when two happy individuals come together and share in each other’s happiness.
- You expect to never fight or disagree with your partner. Conflicts are inevitable in relationships. Your partner has different perspectives, beliefs, and traits and won’t always agree with you. The goal isn’t to avoid fights but to always communicate and find a common ground.
- You expect your relationship to always be lovey-dovey. Romantic movies and books have conditioned us to believe that you’ll constantly feel butterflies in your stomach. While that may happen at the beginning of the relationship, the excitement wanes down after a few months of being together. It doesn’t mean that you no longer love each other. To keep the spark alive, you should try new things together or relive memories.
- You expect your partner to always say and do the right things. Expecting your partner to always say or do the right thing creates an unhealthy atmosphere. He’ll eventually get tired of walking on eggshells around you and will leave.
- You expect to change your partner. Don’t go into a relationship thinking that you’ll change your partner. A leopard can’t change its spots. If your partner is conservative or has commitment issues, that’s who he is. It’s futile trying to change him. You can either accept him for who he is or walk away.
- You expect your partner to be your only friend. Expecting your partner to be your only friend is an unreasonable and unhealthy demand to make from them. One person cannot fill in all the voids in your life. You’ll slowly lose your sense of self.
The best way to manage your expectations in a relationship
What you expect from your relationships can determine whether or not they’re built to last. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships studied 296 young adults and discovered that their relationship expectations determined how satisfied they ended up in a given coupling. Where their expectations weren’t met, their satisfaction was much lower. Here’s how to manage your expectations to have a better relationship.
- Focus on your partner’s good traits. Learn to appreciate your partner’s good sides and you will be much happier in your relationship. He may not have dressed the bed but at least, he prepared breakfast because you were having period cramps. Pay attention to these little things and appreciate him.
- Communicate your feelings. Maybe there are things he usually did before you guys started dating and now he doesn’t do them anymore. He has become complacent. He no longer flirts with you or plans surprise dinner dates? He isn’t romantic like he used to be? Let him know. Tell him how much you miss the vibe you shared months back when you first met him.
- Never compare your relationship. Every relationship is unique. Comparing your new relationship with your past love will only leave you heartbroken and you’ll miss out on creating another beautiful memory with your present man.
- Be considerate. Instead of getting carried away by your needs and expectations, learn to also consider your partner’s wishes, needs, and feelings. Understand that the relationship isn’t just about you. Pause and ask yourself, “These things I’m expecting from my partner, can I do them as well?” If you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll realize that you can’t meet up with half of the expectations.
- Have friends outside your relationship. You definitely need someone to rant or vent to when your partner gets on your nerve; someone to share laughs and tears with. A lot of times your feelings and love for your partner may cloud your judgments in certain situations. You need friends who are quick to spot the negative changes and call you to order.
- Pick partners that complement you rather than ones you have to change. One of the easiest ways to ensure your relationship expectations are met (at least some of the time) is to choose partners who are in the same ballpark as you in terms of personality types, life goals, etc. “Long-term relationships will change you — either for better or for worse,” says Jianny Adamo, Counselor and Certified Relationship Coach at Fearless Love. “Love has the power to transform us, so hopefully we have chosen well and picked a partner that can grow with us. [Their] friends and family become our friends and family and vice versa. Their debts or assets will either take or give to our relationship. Their ability to support, listen [to], and cherish us will be wind in our sail, but if they tend to criticize, invalidate, and can’t hear you, this will take from you.”