Why Expectation Is The Root Of All Heartache

Get out of your head.

sad woman on bench kittirat roekburi / Shutterstock

We all have a pretty picture in our minds of what our ideal relationship would look like.

Half concocted from Katherine Heigl romance movies and half dreamed up from things we saw on the internet, the kind of love we think we want is hardly ever what we get. It’s disheartening and is the basis for 80 percent of my drunken journal entries. 

But we can take comfort in numbers. We’re not alone in our tendencies to exaggerate reality and have high expectations, especially unrealistic expectations in a relationship.


RELATED: Why Smart Women Have Low Expectations When It Comes To Love

I’d say most women do this kind of dangerous thinking on the daily. Almost every guy we meet or interact with (excluding family members up to third cousins) is subjected to fantasy so good it could be its own romance movie. Our imaginations run so wild on so little that the film industry should really be seeking us out for future projects. Just sayin’. 

And while daydreaming about a guy you just met is romantic (especially if it’s raining and you’re near a large window), it has to potential for some serious consequences. Like, for example, you get so caught up in the fantasy you alone created that you ignore signs he doesn’t actually like you, or, worse, that he’s no good for you. 


It’s time we get our heads out of the clouds and back to reality. 

RELATED: 19 Ridiculous Expectations That Keep Your Relationship Unhealthy (And Damage Your Self-Esteem)

We (me) accuse guys all the time of breaking our hearts. We say they don’t care, don’t understand us, and just don’t have a clue on how to love us. Well, dear, you can’t be mad at someone for not living up to the version of themselves you created in your head. That’s literal nonsense. 

The truth is, we break our hearts through our own insane high expectations. We spend more time dissecting the romance with our girlfriends than we do in the actual romance. We expect serious relationships with guys we’ve been out with twice.


We hold men up to high standards, but fail to ever tell them what those standards are. 

This kind of thinking breeds heartbreak. The lack of reality and communication keeps us on this constant cycle of disappointment rather than just enjoying everything as it is. 

Love, dating, relationships — they’re all just experiences. Some are serious, and some are not. Some will break your heart, and some will just make you laugh. Some last a night and others a lifetime. But no matter how hard you try, they will all be what they’re meant to be. 

So rather than fight and force every guy you meet to be “the one,” just let them be someone. Someone whose value in your life can only be determined by time — time spent in the real world and not in your head. 


RELATED: 10 Unfair Relationship Expectations That Are Damaging Your Marriage

Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor focused on relationships and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter.