Having unrealistic expectations doesn't make you a downright brat. I promise! If you tend to put very high expectations on yourselftalking to you, my dear perfectionistsin order to work harder and grow yourself, then you might be prone to having those expectations bleed into your relationships with other people.
\"You have to remember that your partner is also a separate person with separate strengths and separate weaknesses, and they want to be accepted for their whole self, too.\"
It makes sense, if you think about it: You might see your S.O. as an extension or reflection of yourself, and in a way, they are. But you have to remember that they are also a separate person with separate strengths and separate weaknesses, and just as you want to be loved and accepted for your whole self, so, too, do they.
So if you find yourself expecting a helluva lot from someone you recently started dating or have been with forever, you may want to check yourself against this list of common unrealistic expectations. If several or many apply to you, your move isn't to beat yourself up or break up with your partnerit's to move a step closer to a happier reality (I'll tell you exactly how, after this list):
1. You expect your partner to look like Brad Pitt, or Liam Hemsworth, or whoever gets you goingalways.
Hopefully you know this, but looks fade (sorry!). If your interest in your person is based solely off their appearance alone, you're in for some real disappointment. It's one thing to expect your partner to take care of themselves; it's another thing to criticize themeither out loud or in your headfor gaining a few extra pounds or losing some hair.
Real love should be like wrinkles: growing deeper with time.
2. You expect to have a certain amount of sex on a regular basis.
The expectation itself isn't an issueit's when you and your partner aren't on the same page about it that things get a little messy. If you assume that sex will be on the table three times a week, no matter whatand they're more along the lines of once a week or, the other extreme, five times a weekone or both of you will likely be disappointed when life gets in the way and things die down in the bedroom .
Also, sex can be a sensitive topic, since getting turned down (or turning down your partner) can leave you (or them) feeling undesirable. That can lead to bigger problems, so reel back sexpectations or come to an agreement about what they look like.
Curious about how your sex life stacks up to others'? This video tells all:
3. You expect your partner to always plan date night.
I get it, I get it: You liked when your now-S.O. courted you during the fun, early stages of dating, with cool outings and surprise events. But as your connection turns into a solid LTR, always expecting your partner to take responsibility for making plans and keeping the relationship fresh isn't exactly fair to them.
They, like you, might be missing that spark , and having the pressure of rekindling it likely won't make them feel better. So try not to let the responsibility fall entirely on them.
4. You expect your partner to pay for (basically) everything.
It's super important here that you recognize that a norm and an expectation are not the same thing. If you think that, traditionally speaking, a man is supposed to front the bill for every date, vacation, and unexpected expense (say, you share a car and it needs new tires), I encourage you to reconsider why you believe that and what you're really looking for.
It's completely fine if you are someone who wants a partner who is extremely successful on the financial front. But even then, expecting them to whip out their credit card for everything may not only make them feel taken for granted, but also could mean you have to be more flexible in other areas. For example, you can't expect them to have unlimited funds and unlimited available time to spend with you.
5. You expect your partner to spend all their free time with you.
On that note of spending time together...
\"Relationships tend to prosper when both people maintain a level of independence within their own individual lives...\"
Relationships tend to prosper when both people maintain a level of independence within their own individual livesit creates a healthy amount of distance that breeds desire for closeness. You should want to have your own friends and own life outside the relationship and encourage your partner to have theirs.
That said, if both you and your partner prefer to be each other's 24/7 partner in crime and really don't like doing things in groups or alone without each other, that's y'all's call. Just, once again, make sure you're on the same page so you don't end up arguing over every single boys'/girls' trip away.
6. You expect your partner to apologize first.
Oof, this one's a biggie, especially as time goes on and relationship patterns form.
Sometimes in a LTR, one person becomes used to the other taking the first step to smooth things over when they've had a disagreement or blowout fight. Then they start to relax into a pattern of sulking and trusting that their partner will come around, no matter how they act or what went down in the fight.
It can become very destructive to a relationship to assume that your partner is (a) always going to be there, and (b) always going to make the first move to fix things. The hard truth is, there's no guarantee that your person will stand by your side forever...so don't treat them as such and avoid doing your own work to better your bond.
7. You expect them to have no friends of the opposite sex (or whatever sex they're attracted to).
No one likes the idea of their partner having a friendship with someone who they could easily be attracted to or want to sleep with. It probably makes you a tad uncomfortable, even if you trust them to the moon and back, because that's just human nature.
But forbidding your man or woman from having female friends isn't entirely fair, especially if they've proven to you that you have no legit reason to be jealous. If you really struggle with letting them be around members of the sex that they're attracted to, I'd recommend working through your insecurities, as they could drive your partner (or a future partner) away.
8. You expect that your family and your life takes precedent.
You know this, but I'll remind you: A relationship involves two (or more) people meshing their individual lives together. While it's impossible for things to always be equal, the best 'ships strike a balance overall. (Imagine a seesaw: One side might be up at times, then the other, but ultimately it teeters out to be even.)
When things start getting serious with your S.O., ideally, you'll talk about which holidays you'll spend with whose family, how you'll manage when work gets extra crazy for one (or both) of you, and where you'll live one day, if you both see your relationship turning into marriage or a lifetime partnership.
In some cases, you might be much closer with your fam than your partner is with theirs, or your job might be significantly higher pressure, but even still, never assume a convo isn't worth having. You want your person to feel considered and heard, and the best way to do that is by checking in and chatting.
9. You expect your partner to take care of things around the house.
Or perhaps they expect you toeither option isn't great. Research shows that the relationships and marriages flourish when there's a more even division of labor (around household chores), so try to come up with a system where neither of you feels like you "do it all."
Maybe your guy is a handyman and so it makes sense for him to do all the fixer-uppingcool, just make sure he's down with that, too. Otherwise, you risk the whole taken-for-granted dynamic again, and that's not fun for anyone.
10. You expect your partner to always take your side.
Okay, so, there's a difference between expecting your partner to have your back and expecting them to always take your side. One is a matter of support, the other (the latter) is a matter of agreement.
In order for your life to run as smoothly as possible with any human, you're better off not assuming everyone, your S.O. included, will always, hands-down agree with you. People are entitled to their own thoughts and opinions, and sometimes they just won't align with yours.
Now, if you expect your person to be there for you regardless of whatever sh*t you're dealing withthat's completely fair. Just be sure to let them know what that looks like for you: Do you want them to play devil's advocate when you need to vent, or do you just want them to listen? Letting them know your stance before you're in an irritated can only help both of you.
On that note, I'd rec reframing your expectation to something like this: "I expect my partner to take my side, but I also expect that theyll feel safe to let me know if theres something I can't see in my blind spot." Ah, how refreshing...for both of you.
11. You expect your partner to always know what you're thinking.
And by extension, that they'll never upset you.
Believing that you and your other half know each other well enough that you can understand and anticipate each other's needs is a sign of strength in a relationship. (Yippee!) But when you start taking that to assume that your partner is intentionally ignoring your feelings if they do something that bothers you, that's, well, not so good.
You can't expect anyone to read your mind, you shouldn't expect anyone to always want to do what you want to do (or know what you want to do without you saying it). As always, save yourself the drama by having neutral and mutual convos about it all.
12. You expect your partner to fill every void in your life at all times.
I saved this one for last because it's the biggest...but also the trickiest.
Some couples have a symbiotic, joined-at-the-hip relationshipand there's nothing wrong with that; it works for some people. Other couples, on the other hand, dont enjoy getting super deep and sharing every personal thought and emotion, and that works for them.
Neither is wrong. And neither is rightit's all about what makes you feel most secure, loved, and appreciated. That said, problems can arise if you expect your person to be a chameleon who can read your mind and knows when to be your best friend versus your therapist versus your concerned mom (haif anyone ever wants that!) versus your take-the-lead sex partner. That's a lot of hats to worry about at once.
I really believe that as long as you are clear and open about what your expectations are, you feel comfortable sharing them with your partner, and they can get on board with them, you can work through anything.
The key is to first own your expectations as they are, noting that they are not norms or rules that people should universally go by. Once you do that, you can stop judging your partner for being "wrong" about having different ways of doing things.
And finally, once you've done that, you can have an honest conversation about where you both stand. It could be that your partner has similar expectations but is having trouble meeting them themselves right now, or it could be that they disagree with you. Either way, you can't bridge the gap without first acknowledging itand noting where you might need to take a leap (a.k.a. compromise), too.
When two people are able to compromise and come together with matched expectations, nothing short of magic happens.