Whether you realize it or not, everyone in life has expectations from their relationships…it’s normal to want something from the people in our lives. It’s also healthy to be in reciprocal relationships of give and take. But our expectations can often be way out of whack when it comes to our partners. For example, some people believe that their mates should be romantic and selfless at all times. Or we may expect that our mate will always be strong, being there for us each time when we need them to be. When this doesn’t happen, we can think that our lovers have failed us. If we deem that our expectations are the rule book for the way other people should live their lives, we are then quite astounded and angry when our expectations are not met.
In a mature relationship, there is a balance between what you expect and what your partner can realistically deliver for you.
The critical point is to know what realistic expectations are. First off we need to determine what realistic expectations really are and what we want and need from each other. For expectations to be sensible they must be founded in reality. Can my wife give me some of her time right now, or is she too busy? Why do I need my husband to tell me he loves me so often? The more we fantasize about how others “should” be in order to soothe our personal insecurities, the more we will expect of them and the more disappointed we will inevitably feel.
Here’s what unrealistic expectations may look like:
- If you really loved me, you would make love to me every night.
- You should know what I want before I do.
- You should always know what to do to make me happy.
- If you loved me, you would buy me expensive presents.
Here's what realistic expectations look like:
- I expect that my partner and I will have a healthy sex life where we receive mutual satisfaction and also make compromises around our sexual desires.
- I understand that my partner can't read my mind or know my needs. Instead I expect her to listen when I tell her what I want.
- I don't expect my partner to be the sole reason for my happiness.
- I expect my partner to remember birthdays and anniversaries with a thoughtful gift that does not have to break the bank.