In the dating world, many things we think we can’t do without may eventually erode us. Unfortunately, this is the reality of relationship expectations. Many people go into a relationship with preconceived ideas of how they ought to be treated, what they want and what kind of experience they expect. And they expect these things to happen at certain milestones in the relationship.
Most people tag it as “having standards.” There is nothing wrong with having expectations and setting boundaries within your relationship. The risk is that these expectations could spiral and become unrealistic.
These unrealistic expectations may creep in when you expect too much yet invest little into the relationship. However, for many people in a relationship, the pain point isn’t nursing unrealistic expectations but knowing how to identify them.
How can you tell if your relationship expectations are unrealistic or realistic? How can you set realistic relationship expectations that could promote its continuity and help build a solid bond? Since these expectations are easier created than met, it would be best to have a guide or roadmap to help you pinpoint when you have spiral expectations to stay on track.
If you read this article to the end, you will find the answers to these questions and many more. The tips revealed in this guide will not just strengthen your relationship but could also help you avoid unnecessary expectations and conflicts.
Do I Have Unrealistic Expectations in My Relationship?
Here is one of the first questions you should ask yourself right away. What’s the best way to know if you have been nursing unrealistic relationship expectations all along?
In a healthy relationship, no one is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. If your partner isn’t meeting your expectations as planned, it doesn’t mean they are flawed. Something might be wrong! Probably your expectations were unrealistic from the onset.
The best approach to identify unrealistic relationship expectations is to write out all of them and evaluate their potency one after the other. Then, perhaps, you could make the process quicker if you ask yourself these questions.
- How is this expectation affecting the health of my relationship?
- Will my love life be better if I exclude this relationship expectation?
- How does my partner feel about this expectation?
- Is this relationship expectation the primary cause of the conflicts in my relationship?
- Have I received advice in the past about an expectation?
After providing answers to these questions, you can better tell if a confident expectation is derailing your relationship or uplifting it. Notwithstanding, you could have saved some stress if you set relationship expectations correctly. But in many instances, this is easily said than done. Distinguishing realistic from unrealistic expectations might be a puzzle because there is a thin line between them.
What is the Best Way to Set Relationship Expectations?
There are a few things as detrimental as having high relationship expectations. First, you will keep jumping from one relationship to another when your partner fails to meet these expectations after a series of conflicts and arguments that finally break the relationship.
Therefore, before discussing expectations in a relationship, it’s best to think about your goals and values. Also, it would help if you determined whether or not you are ready to invest emotionally into another person’s life.
However, setting realistic expectations is easy when you include your partner in the picture. That way, you will know what you can tolerate, accept, and set boundaries appropriately. The tips below could help.
- Be clear about your intentions
It’s not enough to assume your partner already knows your intentions. Be clear about them. Include them in the picture as you make decisions about your relationship. most times if you don’t let it out. Your partner may not know what you mean or what you want.
Making vague statements or dropping hints about your expectations will not help. Instead, it could lead to misunderstandings.
- Avoid arguing over minor issues
Before you set relationship expectations, you must know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Otherwise, you could make your relationship unhappy by swinging in the mud of unmet expectations. You should also know how to draw the line and what’s non-negotiable irrespective of the situation.
- Be open to compromise
You and your partner must keep an open mind when discussing relationship expectations. You both ought to know that their expectations are like a two-way street. More so, you and your partner are two different persons.
There will be many instances where you will disagree and have different expectations. That’s normal! The most important thing is for you to reach a compromise. This may require you to reach a common ground and settle differences amicably.
Relationship Expectations That Could Ruin Your Love Life
Since you now know how to set the right expectations in your relationship without taking issues overboard. It’s time to look at some relationship expectations that could ruin all your efforts in building a healthy relationship.
Expecting Your Partner Always to Read Your Mind
It’s normal for you both to occasionally anticipate each other’s needs and desires. But expecting them always to read your mind and understand your thought in every instance is like expecting magic always to happen. This could leave you feeling disappointed and annoyed.
Expecting Your Partner to Always do the Chores
This is one of the top reasons for the clash of expectations and chaos in most relationships. It could be frustrating when you expect your partner to do things around the house and help with chores like emptying the trash, cleaning the sofa and mopping the floor. Instead, they leave dishes unwashed in the sink and wouldn’t lift a finger even when they notice that the house is untidy.
Expecting Them to Fill Every Void in Your Life
Unrealistic relationship expectations could make you see your partner as a “void filler” and nothing else. But, remember, your partner is a human too! Being a seductive sexual partner, chatting buddy, and personal therapist isn’t easy. And they may not find it funny juggling between these multiple roles in your life in a bid to keep the relationship going.
Thinking They Will Spend all Their Free Time Wit You
Probably, having some quiet time with your partner is your love language. There is nothing wrong with that. But thinking they will call you for a date night each time they are free from their daily activities is an excellent example of an unrealistic expectation.
Assuming You Will Always Be Attractive to Your Partner
No doubt, when you first met your partner, you were the best thing that happened to them. You enjoyed so much attention, love and care that you thought you could sustain it effortlessly. But life happens, and for some reasons, you are no longer attractive to your partner.
This could be disappointing and make you think your partner no longer loves you. But there is more to maintaining attraction in a relationship than you know.
Expecting Your Relationship to be Modeled After Hollywood
No one is saying you mustn’t have great relationship expectations like those depicted in the movies. But modeling your relationship after specific scenes in movies is one of the best ways to invite self-doubt and uncertainties into a healthy relationship.
You must know that real-world happenings or realities are absent in most movie scenes. Therefore, your relationship expectations shouldn’t be inspired by movie scenes.
Expecting Your Relationship to Take a Turning Point After a While
You probably may be used to seeing other people’s relationships move along a particular timeline and hitting specific milestones alongside. So, you may be tempted to expect your relationship to follow the same pattern. And when it doesn’t, frustration sets in. The fact that partners in relationship X got married after dating for one year doesn’t mean yours will be that way too.
Expecting They Would Know What Made You ANGRY Without You Saying a Word
This is common among relationships that have spanned some years. Just because they have known each other for a long time, one of the parties may feel they have understood themselves to the extent that they can accurately predict each other’s emotions.
Expecting Your Partner to Apologize First
Despite the nature of the conflict, it’s unrealistic always to expect your partner to apologize first. Even though they may quickly become apologists for the sake of peace, they may eventually get tired and stand their ground. There is no guarantee that a person will remain submissive despite the odds.
Expecting to be Intimate with Your Partner Regularly
There is nothing wrong with expecting to have sex regularly with your partner. But the problem usually starts when you and your partner aren’t on the same page on the issue. For example, does your partner agree to have regular sex? There will be disappointing times without numbers if you aren’t on the same page regarding sex.
Expecting Your Partner to Pay for Everything
This is usually common when one party earns far more than the other in the relationship.
There is a difference between norms and expectations. If your partner is financially successful, you may not want to bother yourself over anything he could easily pay for. But it may be unrealistic to expect them to bring out their credit card for everything.
Expecting Your Partner to Always Plan Date Nights
In the early stages of the relationship, it’s common always to be wood and talked into going for a date night. During this time, the onus usually falls on the man to plan date nights and take his woman out. But as the relationship progresses, going on regular date nights may no longer be his focus. So. it would help if you considered planning date nights instead of waiting.
How to Set Realistic Relationship Expectations
Now that you know some unrealistic relationship expectations that could ruin your relationship, it’s time to look at those great expectations that typically build relationships.
- Support each other interests
You don’t necessarily have to get involved in whatever your partner does to show your support. There are more than a million ways you can show genuine interest in his life. It could be as little as asking him how his day went or how he is faring with a personal project. It’s normal to expect such from your partner as long as you show interest too.
- Communicate even in conflicts
This is one of the best ways to build a long-lasting relationship. even though conflicts are inevitable. You shouldn’t allow them to wear out your relationship and ruin your efforts. Communication is key. Use it as a weapon to ward off misunderstandings and uncertainties in your relationship. setting this as one of your relationship expectations could help.
- Always discuss your expectations
This is the framework of every successful relationship. First, if you expect any specific behavior from your partner, it’s best to let them know rather than dwelling in self-regret and pity when they fail to meet up with them. Secondly, if you include them in the picture early enough, you will know their perception of it and whether they will likely commit to it in the future.
Tips to Help You Meet Relationship Expectations Despite the Odds
Now that you know how to set realistic expectations, how can you ensure your expectations are met without causing a fuse in your relationship? It’s simple if you stick with these tips.
- Be truthful
- Set boundaries
- Accept that you may fail
- Avoid negative influence
- Be disciplined
- Be focused
If you uphold these attributes in your relationship, you may find it easier to build trust and fulfil your promises and meet your relationship expectations without a sweat.
There is a thin line between realistic and unrealistic relationship expectations. However, knowing when to draw the line is essential for building a healthy and long-lasting relationship. This article discusses some relationship expectations that could damage your relationship. You also learned how to identify them and set realistic expectations or goals. Now you should consider implementing these tips to strengthen the bond in your relationship and make your partner love you even more.