The unrealistic expectations you seek in a relationship are probably the result of reading too many fairy tales or watching romantic films where the couple ride off into the sunset. Or you may pattern your relationship based on your own parents’ happy marriage.
But fairy tales and movies are fiction and your parents may have limited their differences to their bedroom, away from kids’ ears. Whatever, we’re all products of dissimilar upbringing and if we hope for a harmonious and lasting relationship, we have to get rid of fanciful notions about romance and love.
We’re living in a real world and, like it or not, we have to revisit and revise some of our ideas that can ruin a promising partnership. Read on and see if you have these false beliefs too.
6 Unrealistic expectations we bring into a relationship:
Your partner will make you happy.
This is a totally valid expectation within certain limits. Nobody goes into a relationship hoping to be filled with sadness. But if you’re seeking an escape from depression or you want out from the dysfunctional family you grew up in, it’s not fair to expect your partner to fill the void and keep you feeling happy all the time. Besides, the source of your happiness should not depend on another human being.
Happiness in a relationship comes when there is mutual respect, understanding and caring. It’s unrealistic to expect your partner to leave their own life and devote all their time to making you happy.
He will change his ways for you.
You’re an introvert and your partner enjoys going to big parties and talking to strangers. You’re frugal and he’s extravagant. He smokes and drinks, which you find abhorrent. On a deeper level, there are moral or ethical values, personality traits and beliefs deeply ingrained into him that are contrary to your own. Trying to change him will cause arguments, resentments, and disappointments, and may lead to a breakup.
Your partner is not a DIY improvement project. Change comes from within and from powerful experiences that affect them. Instead of unrealistic expectations of molding him into your dream man, you can set examples by your own behavior in a positive manner and hope that it will gradually and unconsciously influence him.
Your partner can read your mind.
How many times have you felt hurt because you assumed that your partner knew what you were thinking or what you wanted but he didn’t respond according to what you wished? He’s not a mind reader and unrealistic expectations like this can result in frustrations and misunderstandings.
It’s a common mistake to assume that your partner thinks the way you do; ergo, you don’t have to state your thoughts, wants, and ideas out loud because he’s supposed to know. It’s also common to presume that if they can’t guess what’s on your mind, they don’t really care about you.
To avoid getting upset and starting an argument, both of you should work on your communication skills and practice talking about an issue instead of making assumptions that you’re on the same page.
Love is all you need.
Just because you love each other, you think everything will be alright from now on. But in the real world, you’ll meet a lot of challenges – social, financial, health, etc. Patience, tolerance and the serenity of your world will be put to the test.
Nurture your love for each other by caring, understanding and compromising. Challenges should unite you as partners and not tear you apart. Trust and support are vital to keeping the love burning.
You should always be on equal footing.
Equality in all aspects in a relationship is a myth. It’s impossible for both of you to earn the same amount and divide household and parenting chores equally. Sometimes, one decision prevails over another, or it’s necessary for one partner to assume more load in chores or see to the kids.
What’s important is, both partners should agree to a system which is best for everyone, without one feeling left out or overloaded. When there is communication, mutual respect, caring and finding a middle ground that is acceptable to both, the satisfaction that ensues is a sign that the relationship has equality.
Your partner should always prefer being with you than be with his friends.
It’s unrealistic for you to expect your partner to stop seeing his friends because you are now a couple. The company of friends is different from your time together. They fulfill social needs that you can’t simply because they’re his friends. The same goes for you. Spending time with other people is healthy for a relationship and keeps you and your partner from feeling trapped and suffocated.
Togetherness 24/7/365 makes you bored and boring. Make it a regular thing to visit mom and dad, or spend a day with friends. Time apart from each other will make him miss you more and vice versa.
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