Expectations in relationships
When it comes to relationships, expectations, and disappointments, here is the formula that explains everything: Expectations = Disappointments. Or let's look at it differently: No Expectations = No Disappointments. Did you like what you just saw?
Imagine being in a relationship which brings little to no disappointments.This is completely possible if you make a conscious decision to go with the flow and not expect anything.
This, however, does not apply to having basic fundamental expectations, that need to be in place at any time to sustain a healthy relationship. For example, we do expect to be treated with respect and we do expect to not be abused or lied to.
No Expectations = No Disappointments applies to a different kind of expectations, the ones that may or may not come to fruition in a particular relationship. For example, you expected him to propose by a certain time but he did not; you expected him to say "i love you", but he did not; you expected to become exclusive but he was not ready.
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Not expecting those things would make you feel less upset and disappointed, and if they WERE to happen it would be a pleasant surprise. To complete the picture, here is another formula to be aware of:
Unmet Expectations = Unmet Needs.
Now, you have to draw the line to what degree you are able to tolerate a relationship that meets little (to maybe none?) of your needs. It is OK to voice your needs, but as experience shows, people do not change. What you see is what you get, and if he is consistently failing to meet MOST of your needs, then perhaps you are not compatible.
Please note, the 'most' word here. What is that supposed to mean - you ask? It means that neither you nor him are ever supposed to meet 100% of each other's needs. In other words, when you enter a relationship, do not expect the other person to meet 100% of your needs. He will never meet all of them, and neither WILL YOU.
Let us elaborate more on the Unmet Expectations = Unmet Needs part.
When you start dating or enter a relationship with someone new, you surely will have your own unique and important expectations of that person or of a relationship in general. You may also start assuming that the other person somehow will know or become aware of those expectations without your saying a word.
Rather than talking openly about your needs you may opt out for keeping your mouth shut. This is because voicing out those needs may seem (to you) like ‘asking too much’ or coming across as ‘being too demanding’.
You may go on like this for a while – unsatisfied, unhappy, hoping for a miracle, but what happens next will be the exact thing you have tried so hard to avoid in the first place. Your failure to voice out your own needs will result in ending up being in an unhappy and miserable relationship. You wanted to be cherished, taken care of, and loved but ended up being unsatisfied, misunderstood, and ignored. Who is at fault here?
When dating or in a relationship do you feel like:
~ Your needs do not matter
~ As long as HIS needs are satisfied YOU are satisfied too
~ Talking about your expectations feels like ‘asking too much’
~ Putting him on a pedestal because he and the relationship with him have higher priority than YOU
~ You are forced to play a doormat to keep the relationship going?
Here is the truth - your ability to be in a happy relationship is directly related to your own ability of loving yourself. You need to love yourself enough to stand up for your own needs. A man who fails to deliver the very basics you ask should not be put on a pedestal, he should be flushed out of your life instead!
And how about him? Do you think he may have expectations of you too? In case he does not voice them out, will you automatically assume that you need to be ‘this’ and ‘that’ to keep his attraction and the relationship going? What if he becomes cold and distant, will you try harder?
What he wants and your assumptions of what he wants could be two different things. Trying to be someone you think he wants you to be may not be who he wants you to be. Playing this assumption game is something you put upon yourself (without talking to him first), and therefore you cannot blame HIM for any negative consequences you may end up with in the end. The worst case scenario - you may end up by being who you are not which will result in him… losing interest and dumping the fake you. Would you rather give him a change to get to know the real you instead? Maybe the outcome would be different?
Never assume anything without talking to him first. You both need to voice out your needs, expectations, and deal breakers. Do not be afraid to talk about your needs. Remember, he has ones too!
Bringing it out into the open will immediately eliminate the need for assumptions; bringing it out into the open will also give you a glimpse at what your relationship is going to be like, and whether there is a chance of working it out in the first place.