Do we set our bar of expectations too high when it comes to the relationships we are in? Where do expectations come from? They come from a variety of places. When it comes to romantic relationships, the driving force is what is called a person’s “inventory of experiences.” Much of what a person has observed growing up will help determine what is expected from their relationships. We base what we want or will accept by what we saw in our formative years. Obviously if these expectations are not acceptable to both members of the couple it can cause is a major problem!
Can having high expectations lead to disappointments? You can have expectations about the direction that your relationship should go and yet your partner may have differing expectations, and this can cause tension and conflict. If you have entered into the relationship, without a discussion of what is expected of the other person, or what you are willing to do, it will invariably cause problems in the relationship. If the lines of communications are kept open and your expectations are genuinely discussed, then you will be on the road to finding a mature relationship, one that hopefully, is headed for success and fulfillment. You’ll first want to figure out where it is you both want to go in your lives together. Then what work will be required to get to that place. Those expectations will need to be brought out and put on the table. This will be what is called having the hard discussions. You will have to work together to unify your expectations for your individual lives and your lives as a couple.Expectations are psychologically important when you enter a marriage or committed relationship. It’s impossible to enter into a relationship without expectations and you have to be wiling to compromise on them if needed.
Next time you feel your relationship is showing some strain, try to see if you are each expecting something different than the other. If so, try to understand why they expect things to go differently. Wherever possible put your relationship before any of your expectations. Your relationships will be stronger for it!
To make sure we are not setting ourselves up to be disappointed we need to think through situations rather than getting carried away by emotions. Ask such questions as: Is it wise to trust this person with my heart, with my well being, with my future? Make sure your expectations are reasonable and wise.Having realistic expectations for others involves realizing that all of us are less than perfect. Instead of looking to others to meet our needs, we must take responsibility for our own life and make necessary changes that are in our best interest. Is it sensible to expect that to happen?It is important to value and accept our partners and friends for who they are. It is in our best interest not to spend our energy trying to change them to fit an image of what we believe we need and what they can provide for us. We must leave our self-blame behind and find ways to untwist our thinking and behavior to make our lives more fulfilling. Is the key to a successful relationship getting our expectations met? Are unfulfilled expectations the reason we walk away?