What Can You Realistically Expect In An Intimate Relationship?


What Can You Realistically Expect In An Intimate Relationship?
Your expectations may be based more on wishes and fears rather than realism.

Have you ever found yourself in the predicament of loving almost everything about a person, but finding that there is one important thing missing, one fly in the ointment?

Mary has been dating Ted for almost a year. In many ways he is her ideal man, but he is not as interested in lovemaking and cuddling as she is. She resents the amount of time Ted spends at work, and while they have talked about this issue a lot, nothing seems to be changing. Should she stay or call it quits?


Art is in love with Trang, but he has one major frustration. After 6 months together, they have never, in his opinion, had a deep, soulful conversation. This is something he has had with lovers in the past, and he really misses this aspect of relating. Should he leave now or stay and try to work it out?

The quandary that Art and Mary find themselves in is a common one in dating and new relationships. In this article, we will look at what you can realistically expect in a relationship and how to take stock of your wants and needs in a way that supports long-term happiness and personal evolution.

What Can We Realistically Expect?

Most people enter a relationship with expectations, but often these expectations are based more on wishes and fears than on realism. When I talk about what you can expect, I am not going to give you a list of what it's reasonable to get from one another. My list is more about understanding the things that typically occur as two people grow more intimate, things like change and conflict and uncovering your shadow sides. As I consider each topic in detail, I'll give you some questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether to leave or to hang in there.
•It will change your life.
•It will not change your life.
•You will be disappointed.
•Your feelings will change.

It Will Change Your Life.

When you decide to share your life with another person, you become interdependent with that person. That's both good news and bad news. His or her family and friends become your family and friends, at least to some degree, whether you like them or not. His money karma becomes your money karma. And if you are sexually monogamous, your sexual needs cannot be fully met without this other person's participation. If you want to spend time together, you will at times compromise what you would normally choose to do so you can share more time with your partner.

Keep Reading...

More relationship advice on YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Susan Campbell

Relationship Coach

Susan Campbell, Ph.D.

Relationship Coach



Location: Sebastopol, CA
Credentials: MA, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Susan Campbell:

Are You Having Great Sex Or Maintenance Sex?


For some people, just being able to have any sex at all is considered "great." For others, great sex must transport the partners to a state of blissful oneness of body, mind, and spirit. For most people, great sex is any sex that brings a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment to both partners. What does great sex mean to you? Why Can't ... Read more

It's Time To Face Your Fears


We hear a lot these days about letting go of fears or other unfortunate conditioned patterns. In the Getting Real work that I do, I help people see fears and unconscious patterns as a portal to deeper self-compassion, self-awareness, healing, and intimacy. In January, my new book, 5 Minute Relationship Repair (co-authored with John Grey), will be published ... Read more

15 Statements Necessary for Relationship Success


  Have you ever had the experience, “He (or she) doesn’t get me….we’re not on the same wave length…we keep missing each other.” Pretty frustrating, isn’t it? In my 45 years as a relationship coach, I have discovered that most misunderstandings are preventable if people can master what I call “the 15 ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Most Popular