Two weeks ago I had brunch with my close friends and our mothers. As usual we were chatting about life, career and love. My friend’s mama told me that she read my article about expectations killing relationships. She liked the article, and wanted further details about how does one actually get rid of these evil expectations? This week my dear friends and readers, I have compiled a list of how to get rid of these expectations. These things have really helped me in the past:
1. Concentrate on the “NOW” – I think that expectations have something to do with the future and not living in the present. Thoughts like, “When I get this and that, my life will be good, and I will be happy.” show that you are living with future expectations. The future and past do not really exist, because only the present moment does. Living fully and enjoying every second now helps us to be happy at this moment, and not rely on future fulfillment of expectations to make us happy!
2. Be satisfied with yourself – Choose to be happy and satisfied with yourself, and never rely on anyone else for your happiness. I have learned that being happy in my own choice. After falling on my face a few times, I don’t expect others to make me happy anymore. This satisfaction comes from me now, and everything else given to me by others is a “bonus”, and not an “expectation”. Funny thing though, the less I truly expect, the more I get.
3. Nobody owes us anything – I think that nobody owes us anything in this world. The nice things we get are bonuses, but never owed to us. I believe that expectations are the evil voice of our ego – the ego always wants more and more, and only me, me, me. The ego tells you, “I am so great, and I deserve everything because they owe it to me!” And if these expectations don’t get fulfilled then disappointment and sadness come, which causes harm to our happiness and balance in life.
4. Love others – The more love you give, the more love you get. You will notice that if you love your partner truly and freely, and without expectations of getting something in return, this love will be given back to you automatically! As soon as you start mixing it with expectations, for example “If I do this for him, then he will do this for me too.” Or “If I give her this present, then she will love me more.” That’s when the system starts to break down, and the expectations kill the positive flow. Give love freely and don’t think of what you get back in return. It’s not a business deal. You don’t give in order to get. You give because you want to.
5. Get rid of rose-tinted glasses – Accept others as they are and get rid of fairytale expectations. Most of us, including myself, have an ideal of how we want our partners to be, look like, behave, etc. We meet someone new, get into a relationship, and try to project these expectations on that person. Wrong. This is what gets us into trouble in the first place. I once made a mistake when I met my partner. I built in my head an image of this “Big strong almighty man”, and put him on a pedestal. The problem was that he was not at all like the man I created in my head! I was so blinded by my own rose-tinted glasses that I didn’t see the true man in front of me – who was not the wonderful, loving and caring man who I thought he was. You must see the person as they truly are, let them be themselves, and only then will you find out if s/he a good match for you or not! On the positive note, it can happen that you might be surprised that their “true self” is even better than what you had expected.
I know that it is hard to get rid of expectations in life and love. However, these expectations are what kill relationships. What we want and feel we deserve is not always what we get, and we must deal with that fact. The interesting thing that I noticed is that as soon as I dropped all expectations, the things I really wanted started coming into my life automatically! So my advise to you would be to make a little experiment and try to drop all expectations for a month, and see what happens… you will be very pleasantly surprised.