He's Not Disappointing You ... You're Just Expecting WAY Too Much

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You're spoiling your own happiness.

Clearly, it's valuable to have high expectations about what you'd like your life to look and feel like. Those expectations help to guide your career decisions, clarify your life purpose, and establish basic boundaries around how the relationships in your life should operate.

But for all the benefits of setting high expectations, women often start getting into trouble when they harbor expectations for their partners that are either not realistically obtainable or that they've never even expressed.

Whether these expectations come first from movies, TV, romance novels, rap videos, your parents, or watching your friend's relationships — expectations can be incredibly damaging to your love relationship in the real world.

Expecting your guy to cater to your every whim, even the ones you don't tell him about (he's supposed to be a mind reader, right?), is a recipe for disaster. On the flip side, expecting that all men are going to screw you over can be just as damaging.

If your relationship is starting to feel disappointing, and you're resentful as a result, it might be time to check your expectations. Here are a few things to keep in mind:


1. Healthy expectations are realistic.


Most of our secret expectations rarely live up to reality. Sometimes it's a good idea to write down or say aloud (to yourself) what your expectations are to examine if you're spouting off something seriously unfair.

If I say, "I expect my man to know exactly what I want for dinner and make that for me without consulting me" it sounds a little crazy, right? Just like if I said "I expect all men to screw me over, because all men are pigs" — not exactly fair either. (FYI: the former is particularly horrible for ever sustaining a healthy relationship).

How would I act if I had either of those expectations? Probably pretty silly. On one hand, I'm never eating dinner and just hoping he'll come through. On the other, I'm assuming he's going to screw me over in some way and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop which is a total man-repellent.

When you feel the sting of your feelings being hurt over something he did or didn't do, think about whether or not your expectation was realistic in the first place and whether you expressed it to him. This brings me to my next point.

2. Boundaries only work if you speak up about them. 


If you're expecting someone to do something for you and they have no idea that you want that or what it is, this is a problem. Expecting your partner to suddenly turn into a better mind reader is a recipe for failure.

It should go without saying that your partner can't meet your needs if they don't know what they are. Often we expect guys to react to signals that we aren't even sending out. Holding him responsible for your nuanced hope that he'll bring you dinner without asking him to do so, is just plain unfair.

3. Comparing your relationship to other people's is a big mistake.


I get it. It's hard not to look at your "perfect" friend and think she's really got it figured out. Keep in mind that how people portray their relationships is often just like what's portrayed as in the movies and on TV — a fantasy.

It's easy to get a skewed perspective of what other people's relationships are like because they don't share every nitty gritty detail. Also, their reality is always colored by their perception of events.

Reality just doesn't live up to fiction. If you're holding out for movie love, you're going to get really old before it shows up.

Expectations don't seem like they are such a big deal on the surface. Some will argue that high expectations are a good thing. For the most part they are, but keep in mind it's crucial to express them to your partner so he can make you happy-- which is most likely what he was trying to do in the first place.

What are your relationship expectations? Are they realistic?


If you keep ending up in dead-end relationships with men who pull away and ghost you, get to the bottom of it with a free copy of Elizabeth's book, Why Men Lose Interest and free daily (almost) email series.



This article was originally published at Attract The One. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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