It seems like déjà vu.
You have finally found “the one” only to call it quits after a few lunches and dinners with him. You are in this perpetual merry-go-round, meeting most amazing men only to lose them soon after. This can’t be happening! You are exhausted and ready to give up. You feel perhaps something is wrong with you and it is not in your stars to be in a happy relationship like many of your friends and co-workers.
If you feel you can never seem to hold on to a relationship despite all your best efforts, then it is time to look at some of the beliefs and expectations you have of your partner. Misplaced expectations in a relationship can be subjective and biased, and are merely opinions that do not match up to the other person’s thoughts and persona.
The biggest misconception we have is that our partner must reciprocate all our feelings and agree with our opinions all the time. The fact is men are wired differently from women and vice versa. The way each of us approaches life situations and challenges is different, and to accept these differences and allow room for understanding the other is key to lasting happiness.
Expectation without appreciation leads to frustration and ultimately conflict in relationships. Here are some expectations that have no place in any happy and healthy relationship:
- I must be the center of his universe:
Each of you had a life, relationships, family, jobs etc. before merging together. Even though you are very important to each other you can still have room to nurture other aspects of your lives
- We must agree with each other all the time:
To expect this, means that each must always live up to the expectation of the other. True success in a relationship is not about having to constantly seek approval and agreement of your decisions in life, but to dare to be yourself and follow your path.
- He must respect me as much as I respect him:
Love and respect yourself enough that you never have to beg your partner for his attention and validation. Having faith and trusting who you are and taking care of yourself shows the other that you deserve the same from him.
- He must need me as much as I need him:
Needing someone is like saying that you feel unwanted and unworthy. Value yourself enough that you will never “need” anyone.
- Our relationship should be easy going:
In relationships as in life there are always ups and downs, good days and bad days. Good relationships require work, sacrifice and compromise. How easy going your relationship is will depend on how much effort you put into making it so.
- He should change for me if he loves me:
You loved your partner just as he was when you were dating. Expecting someone to change to please you, to distort him to fit your own image, is practically impossible. Appreciate your partner just as he is.
- He should know what I’m thinking and feeling:
Your partner is not a psychic and maybe clueless of what you are thinking at any given point in time. He could be preoccupied with his own thoughts and not realize that you need something. Say what you need to say, share your thoughts, let him know what you would like and what concerns you.
- He should sacrifice his friends/time/family for me:
Balance in a relationship is important. Just as you need some time away to be whole, he does so as well. Set aside certain days and time that each of you takes a break to spend some time with your friends and family. If you neglect other relationships in your life, your relationships will end up neglecting you too
- He will take care of me financially:
Unless you have an understanding from the very beginning this may be quite an unrealistic expectation. Depending who is earning more income in the household, and what agreement is in place you should be prepared to share your responsibilities and contribute to the running of your household as well as for other needs and wants.
- My relationship with him will solve all my problems:
This is the wrong reason to marry anyone. If you feel you have problems, and you’re not comfortable enough with your life situation and in your own truth yet, then you are not ready to be in a relationship. Expecting another to solve all your problems, existing or otherwise, is the direct route to disaster.
- If we love each other we should never have to say “sorry”
All relationships require constant forgiveness. There will be mistakes and failures, and you will stumble often on your way to learning about each other. Articulating lovingly, accepting and apologizing for your mistakes shows that you are intentional about building a strong relationship.
- He will love my family and friends because he loves me:
We live in a society where many of us belong to dysfunctional families. Just because he married you does not mean that he has to like your family. However, courtesy and politeness will go a long way. But do not expect him to feel for your family as you do.
- He will share equal responsibility and time in raising our children and maintaining our household:
All things are not created equal. Your job (or his) may require that one of you spend more time raising your children and overlooking and handling your household chores and responsibilities.
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
― Sam Keen
© Rani St. Pucchi, 2016