So, what happens if you both have expectations that do fall in the realistic category but one or both of you isn’t fulfilling these expectations for the other? That’s when it’s time for a deeper heart-to-heart conversation about what is truly enough for both of you to get your needs met. Here are some suggestions of how to talk about expectations you’d like from each other where both people can feel like it’s a win-win situation:
Expectations need to be replaced with core values that both of you can agree to. If couples can talk about what is essential and important for a loving relationship and then bring these values into the reality of everyday life then they can work for both people. There has to be an acceptance that as values they are not always possible to be implemented but the direction toward them is what you strive for. Something like: We both want to feel accepted for who we are while allowing for the wants and needs of the other and doing the best we can to respond to those needs and wants. Both of us want fairness, equality, harmony, compassion and understanding about differences and similarities while being accountable for both. It is about the effort we make to do those things that are important to our mate that matters most. In all things there needs to be room for glitches, foibles and flaws. There is no perfect system.
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Alienation is unavoidable because no two people can be connected all the time. If we use this knowledge to create realistic expectations, we will not overreact when we experience the inevitable loss of connection. Learning to consciously and thoughtfully create connections based on an intrinsic grasp of what’s realistic allows us the freedom to experiment with different and unique relationship ideas. To play and venture into new worlds with each other gives rise to innovation and rebirth, which brings us from distance to intimacy and from frustration to contentment.
By Dr. Bill Cloke, Care2 Healthy Living
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