We often get so caught up in ourselves that we forget other people have a completely different way of interacting with and looking at life.
In addition, our expectations of how others should be can dictate how we interact with other people and how happy we are in our relationships.
I’ve had a lot of expectations in my relationships, and I know how unhappy they can make you feel. I have found that it is very important to be aware of your expectations in a relationship and how they are affecting your relationship. Once you have that awareness, you can change the way you view your partner and circumstances that occur in the relationship.
An expectation is a strong belief, and believing that your partner is going to act a certain way, do something, or achieve something, is a huge setup for disappointment and conflict in the relationship.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect a few things out of your partner. For instance, you should expect:
Those are all realistic things to expect in a relationship. However, there are other things that you should not expect because they are just not realistic.
1. Expecting Your Partner To Make You Happy
Too many people get in a relationship and expect their partner to make them happy. In fact, I know many people who feel they are not going to be happy until they are in a relationship. This is simply not true.
Happiness is not something you find from someone else. It is something you find from within.
Expecting your partner to make you happy is like expecting your partner to lose weight for you! It’s not going to happen! You have to make the choices that lead you to your desired state yourself.
When your partner doesn’t make you happy, it will cause you to be frustrated – and it will make you feel bad about yourself and your relationship. Those negative feelings will affect how you interact with your partner and how happy your relationship is.
2. Expecting Your Partner To Read Your Mind
It makes perfect sense to want to be known and understood, but you will never be perfectly understood, nor will your wants and needs be unerringly anticipated. – Huffington Post
You have probably been disappointed by your partner for not taking action on something that you hoped they would take action on.
For instance, you may have expected they would buy you a certain gift, take you out for a celebration, or just cook you a dinner after a hard day of work, but in the end they did none of that.
Expecting your partner to know what you are thinking is unrealistic. They cannot peer into your mind and know what you want, expect, think, need, or crave. They can guess, but they will likely be wrong, and you will be disappointed.
It would be nice if they could read your mind, but until that day comes it is important to clearly communicate what you want if you want something to happen at all.
3. Expecting Your Partner To Be Happy
Most of us don’t like it when other people are grumpy or not feeling good. But expecting them to be happy all (or most) of the time is unrealistic.
All humans go through a wide range of emotions, and your partner is no different. Depending on what is happening around them, they are going to be mad, sad, upset, angry, and possibly even depressed sometimes.
Emotions help guide us towards the life we want. They help get us motivated. They help us figure out what we really want to do. And they help us work through difficult times.
As long as their issues are not chronic, letting them work through their emotions (and possibly helping them if you can by listening and having patience) is important to their well-being, your well-being, and the strength of your relationship.
4. Expecting Your Partner To Get It Done The ‘Right’ Way
You’ve heard the old saying, “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” It took me a while, but I’ve realized that this is something that you should live by if you want to get things done in a way that pleases you.
Other people do things as well as they can or desire, and it may not live up to your expectations, which can be disappointing and cause you to make them feel as though they are not good enough.
For instance, I like things cleaned in a certain way. My husband can try to clean according to his expectations, but he doesn’t do the same kind of job I do. This causes frustration on my end, and anger or hurt on his, which is not something we want in our relationship.
The bottom line is that we all define what ‘right’ is differently. Either do it yourself or accept that the other person is doing their definition of right.
5. Expecting Your Partner To Have The Same Beliefs You Have
This is a huge cause of conflict. I’ve especially seen this in couples who have been together for a while and start to develop different beliefs.
Beliefs are formed from many things, such as experiences and evidence, and as we go through life our beliefs can change.
Some people can get very defensive around their beliefs, especially when they develop the mindset that their beliefs are the only beliefs that are acceptable in life.
In fact, they can get so narrow-minded, that they judge and hate others for being different. That’s not something you want to do in your relationship with your partner!
The truth is that we all have different beliefs on some level. Allowing your partner to have his or her beliefs, without making them feel bad about those beliefs, is essential to the overall happiness of your relationship.