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Top 5 Expectations That Can Ruin Your Relationship

Top Expectations That Can Ruin Your Relationship

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:

  • respect
  • honesty
  • love
  • kindness
  • patience
  • communication

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

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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

Quote By Napoleon: If You Want A Thing Done Well, Do It Yourself.

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.

9 thoughts on “Top 5 Expectations That Can Ruin Your Relationship”

  1. Hi..Expectation hurt. No arguing on that.
    My question is: When we decide to spend life with a person, we auomatically start expecting certain things from them like cute surprises, selfless love, understanding without speaking. I do not think there is anything wrong in it. Yes, it will hurt when these expectations are not met but this isn’t wrong.
    If you get hurt by such a s situation, how do you overcome?

    1. Hey Jenny. Cute surprises, selfless love, and understanding without speaking are fine expectations to have, but you can’t expect your partner to give them to you. Not every guy is going to think of giving little surprises – it may not be that important to him.

      Moreover, he may not be able to grasp what you need, want, or desire without you speaking it.

      I think that having the expectations causes unhappiness when they don’t come true, and letting go of them is a way to experience more happiness in your relationship. If you can’t let go of them, then expect disappointment, but don’t get mad at your partner for not living up to those expectations. You can’t change your partner to become the perfect version of what you think he or she should be.

      I would say that if you expect cute surprises and a mind reader, then you may want to leave a man who can’t give you those things and find someone who can. You may find him – who knows. But if you are not willing to let go of those expectations, then you will never be truly happy in your relationship if they are not met.

  2. Oh boy, you’ve really hit the nail on the head and got some great tips here! I think the big issue here is SO many couples have unrealistic expectations about relationships, and this is the cause of a lot of distress. I see a lot of ‘expecting my partner to read my mind’ in my work with couples, and it’s one that can be easily solved by just asking your partner that they are thinking. Sharing this on social media now.

  3. Great post ! I think that a big mistake a lot of people make is expecting others to make them ‘ whole ‘, and putting the responsibility for their happiness onto their partmners. We should all enter into a relationship in order to enhance out life, not to completely fulfill it 🙂

  4. What an insightful post. The root of all disappointment in pretty much any area of life is expectation. If you accept what actually is, rather than expect what it “should” be, you can save yourself a TON of heartbreak and disappointment.

    Especially in relationships, it’s often the case where we have to learn this the hard way. I used to be very hard on my own significant others, which caused a lot of unhappiness for me. In the end, let them be who they are without placing unrealistic expectations on them, and a lot of it works itself out. Thanks for the great writeup. Cheers!

  5. Hi, sometimes when we expect too much we create a scenario that is not even there and when we don’t get results we feel pain and disappointments. Always bear in mind that we should only expect more from ourselves because expectation from others will cause us pain. Thanks for sharing. Great Read

  6. If you or your partner has multiple of these unrealistic expectations, how can someone get rid of them? Surely it’s not as simple as just “letting them go” since these expectations are what someone wants and is a way a person thinks and feels deeply about? How can someone disconnect themselves from all of this and still be happy?

    1. It starts with awareness that they are unrealistic and unhealthy. And then it depends on the desire to get a new perspective on what someone wants and feels deeply about. When someone has a strong enough desire to do something, they can build habits that help them do it. For example, expecting your partner to make you happy is unrealistic. Just the awareness of that is enough to help you understand that they can’t make you happy. Then building habits that promote your own happiness can help you to put your happiness in your own hands and help you to depend less and less on your partner.

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