Giving Up the Unnecessary Expectations
When dating we generally come in with an idea of what we’re looking for. From hair color and height to the type of music they might like and hobbies, sometimes even job description and income level! There’s nothing wrong with having a standard, but when you’re meeting a new person, and you’re already expecting something from them, you might not give them a chance to show you who they are. We often decide that people aren’t worth our time too quickly because we have a picture of what we want in our lives, but life changes all the time and what you want today might not be what you want tomorrow. It’s not easy to set aside the stubborn mentality, but in the dating world it’s sometimes necessary because you never know who’s going to walk through that door.
Expectation and Frustration. These words go hand in hand. When we are constantly in a state of expectation we find ourselves in a perpetual state of pending dissatisfaction. My last article talked about letting go of your personal expectations, and to some degree the expectations that we have when we’re first dating. We should have standards that are mutual with the person we want to relate to, but to expect can be one of the most destructive ideas in a relationship.
In my past relationships I found myself deep in the root of these destructive expectations. Traditionally, when a man and woman are together, the man is expected to some degree to be the provider, while the woman is the nurturer. He works all day while she cooks and cleans. My past relationships, though unsatisfying, taught me a valuable lesson. Without communication a relationship can take the worst of turns. An expectation can only be satisfied if it’s communicated.
Today, we face people coming from so many different backgrounds that having a traditional view can often get you into trouble. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with a traditional relationship, as long as it’s mutually satisfying. If you’ve found yourself stuck in an unsatisfying role, don’t be distressed, it happens to everyone, and it happens in many relationships, platonic and otherwise. Take a moment and realize your expectations. Are your expectations communicated? Are your partner’s expectations communicated? What from these known expectations are mutual, what are compromise-able, and what are obstacles to having a satisfying relationship? If we can’t communicate with our partners who can we communicate with?
By Sona Sanghvi