I’m not going to tell you to lower your standards or make excuses for your guy — he could be an undercover loer or just totally wrong for you! But if you’re blaming his wrongness on these unrealistic expectations you harvested while marathoning Disney movies in your parents’ basement as a kid, you might want to reconsider. Holding onto these isn’t only unrealistic, but it’s setting you up for serious disappointment:
Every tiny thing you do will inspire him to write a love song/poem/make some other grandiose gesture of love. Nope nope nope. Own up to the delusion that he’ll be overwhelmed with love for you because of the way you eat your cereal or fold your sweaters — and for the love of God, stop pinning barf-worthy memes about it! He doesn’t have to think every little thing you do is magical and wonderful and the fact that he doesn’t isn’t an indication that he doesn’t love you. Life is boring sometimes. If he loves being with you even when this is the case, that’s what matters.
Loving him doesn’t always come naturally to you, so you must not be right for each other. First of all, a lot of things don’t come naturally to you. I bet you didn’t wake up one day and apply a face full of flawless make-up. No! You fearlessly winged that blue eyeliner and applied three coats of lipstick until you eventually got it right. It’s the same thing with relationships. Real committed love requires you to choose a person even when you don’t FEEL like you love them. It’s intentional and selfless and the most “true” kind of love you’ll ever have.
He’s going to change. He’s not. You’ll both grow and develop, as will the relationship, but don’t expect his core character qualities to change. Introversion, sense of humor, pessimism – all things that are probably around for the long haul. So if something fundamental about the guy you’re dating doesn’t work for you, call it a lesson learned, do him a favor, and move on. That’s kind of the point of dating.
He won’t notice the scantily-clad Victoria’s Secret model that just walked by. If you did, he did. This next part goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway just in case. Don’t excuse him to lust after the yoga instructor at the grocery store or make a habit of comparing you to other women — those things aren’t okay, but you have to know it’s unrealistic to expect anyone – male or female – not to notice a lot of skin or a strikingly attractive person. The best guys anticipate things like this and make efforts to be faithful to you with their eyes. Seek that out. It’s worth having.
He’s going to anticipate your thoughts and feelings and just “get” you. Sometimes I find myself bumming out that my hubs didn’t telepathically know I wanted extra guacamole on my Chipotle burrito or recognize that I really need to be sad right now, get me a glass of red wine and put “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miz on repeat already. I mean, damn. Is that too much to ask? Yes. Yes, it is. Reality check: As much as we’d love to be understood all the time, our guys are different from us and that’s why we love them. On second thought, though, the guacamole thing should always be expected.
He’s a guy, so he must be just like your dad. Maybe you could trust the men in your life when you were little or maybe you couldn’t. If you couldn’t, I’m genuinely so sorry. That’s broken and it sucks. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, though, know that your guy is not necessarily anything like those men. If your dad had really good hygiene or made a lot of money, know that your guy might just forget to wear deodorant or want to pursue his dream of touring with his band. Not so lucrative, probably.
It must be over since there’s like no magic anymore. If your life together doesn’t quite resemble the rom-com you had in mind, don’t panic! Romance will come naturally some days and not-so-naturally other days. The trick is to not read too much into the not-so-naturally days. It’s okay! If you always call it quits when the novelty of the relationship wears off, you’ll never stay with anyone for longer than a year, at best. And besides, the greatest part of life is not romantic love, it’s unconditional LOVE love. I wrote “love” twice to emphasize my point.
He’s not the person you fell in love with, so the relationship must be heading south. Not necessarily. Remember when I said that you’ll both grow and develop? Well, you will. Evaluate the changes and if you’re no longer compatible, consider calling it quits. Otherwise, and especially if you’re married, honor the commitment you made and file it under “just part of it.”
You’ll get along with his best bro and your mom will love him (and vice versa). A lot of times, Mom has a good sense of people’s intentions and character, but sometimes her sense is wrong. You can only take so much stock in what other people think of your relationship before you own it and tune them out. He doesn’t have to be right for anyone else, he just has to be right for you.
If he really loves you, he’ll never hurt you. I’m gonna go ahead and call BS on that right now. Caring about a thing is investing in it. When you’re invested in a person, every mistake they make will feel like a personal affront and cause you a little heartache. Or a lot. People make mistakes, so expect him to fall short of Prince Charming sometimes and learn to have grace for him in those moments. He’ll have to do the same for you.
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