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Giving Up the Unnecessary Expectations

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


  1. I understand that you are trying to minimize misunderstandings and giving relationship a chance. I agree that in the initial stages, it is vital. However, there is also something to be said about a good fit. A lot of times, we expand our horizons and try to go far from our core thinking in order to accomodate the new person you are dating. Especially, when you are young, you have a certain spirit of adventure, of exploration, curiosity, etc. However, as you age, you realize that you are now rebounding towards the way you were raised. You kinda mentally settle down, become risk averse and start associating yourself with the way things were when you first started learning new philosophies, new logic – basically the period when your belief system, values, habits, vision of life was initially formed. The best relationships worth living for are the ones when your partner completes some of your sentences, or something happens and the same thought flows through both your minds. I agree that to get to that stage, you need to give the individual enough time and attention and communicate who you are. Hopefully, they will like what they see.

    I also think that no two people are equal in a relationship. People have a hard time accepting that fact. What I mean is that one person will be the giver, other the taker; one person can handle emotional ups and downs better than the other; one person will be more in love than the other person. I don't mean equality in a socio-political way. But people seem to waste a lot of time in measuring how much the other person is putting in a relationship. It sounds more like a partnership than a relationship. In a relationship, you want to do more and not wait for the other person to do more. It could also mean cleaning up after your partner, it could mean eating inedible food while your partner is just trying to learn how to cook, accepting your partner's shortcomings and being proud that you complement him/her with your strengths in the same domain instead of cribbing about his/her weaknesses.

    Lastly, I believe that you should have your cup empty. You can't pour new water in a cup that is already filled to the brim. So, if you are not happy with what you have, purge it, let go of all the emotions associated with it, memories from the past and have the courage to believe that the future is going to be better than the past and that you are going to create it with somebody you want to spend the rest of your life with. You need to be open to love, if it is again…or the 15th time! 🙂

  2. Firstly, thanks for the comment. I appreciate your insight and can even say that I agree that people will turn to their roots to identify themselves, but we all want to be greater than the last generation so we will always seek change. We can only hope to be accepted for the changes we've chosen, as well as the traditions, but most importantly we have to accept ourselves for them. Equality in a relationship can mean many things, and doesn't have to look equal to anyone except the people in the relationship as long as they are willing to communicate their expectations. I also happen to agree that people need to be their own hero, empty the cup, renew themselves, and that it comes through self-inspection and it takes time. Being open to love is hard, but being open to being your best self can be even harder as we all like to make excuses– I feel it's a goal most people forget over time.


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