A big part of having a successful relationship is maintaining reasonable expectations. When your expectations are unreasonable, they will frequently go unmet. When someone fails to live up to your expectations, you become upset and angry.
Having realistic expectations will enhance your relationship.
Avoid believing in these unrealistic ideas:
- My partner should be able to read my mind. We’re all guilty of this at times. We believe that if our partner genuinely cared, and was a good fit for us, they would be able to figure out what we want and need. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t true.
- Help yourself out by letting your partner know what you need from them. At the same time, ask what your partner needs from you. You’ll both be better off and happier.
- Zero fighting. No relationship is 100% smooth sailing. You’re two different people with two different set of beliefs and ways of viewing the world. Your needs and interests don’t match 100%. Your likes and dislikes aren’t exactly the same. There will be disagreements with any relationship.
- The right partner will make my life perfect. There are benefits to having a partner. There are disadvantages, too. Expect that some parts of your life are likely to improve while others may slip a notch or two. No one’s life is perfect. Your partner can enhance your life experience but won’t provide perfection.
- My partner will always be available when I need them. Everyone has other things to do besides tend to your needs. Your partner has things to take care of, and sometimes won’t be available to you.
- Our ability to be there for others varies from day to day. There will be times your partner isn’t available physically or emotionally. We all have our good and bad days.
- I will always be the only important thing in my partner’s life. You don’t really want to be the only important thing in your partner’s life 24/7. People with passion and a strong commitment to a goal are highly attractive and more likely to keep your interest for the long term.
- Everything should be 50/50. Everyone has different interests and strengths. One of you will make more money. One of you will spend more time with the kids. One of you will carry a larger burden of the housework, bill paying, yard work, or home maintenance. Nothing is every truly 50/50.
- All we need is each other. It’s been said that the best possible partner for you can provide for 70-80% of your needs. You’ll need others to pick-up the slack. What other people do you have in your life whom you can rely on?
- Good relationships are easy. A good relationship should be relatively easy most of the time, but never easy all of the time. A relationship is a constantly evolving thing that requires regular attention and maintenance.
Romantic relationships are challenging. When your expectations are unreasonable, a romantic relationship becomes impossible. Not only are you constantly dissatisfied, but your partner is also likely to become frustrated with you.
Take a look at what you expect from your partner and determine if it would enhance your relationship to make a few adjustments to your expectations. It might be time for a conversation with your significant other.
*DISCLAIMER: This is general advice and not directed at any specific situation.