Ladies and gentlemen, what is the best way to kill a relationship? With expectations! – Especially the unreasonable ones. A few weeks ago I was having our usual Sunday brunch with the girls, and the topic of expectations in relationships came up. It was very interesting to see how the opinions in our group varied completely. One girl said that she has absolutely zero expectation towards her boyfriend – no holding doors, no cute texts before bed time, nothing at all. But the other girls did not agree with her. They expected their men to always be attentive, buy them presents, pay for most of their holidays, take them to restaurants and write them nice text messages at least once a day. However, the funny thing is that the only boyfriend who actually did all of these things was the one of the girl that had no expectations of him whatsoever! He did it from his own will, and not because he was “expected” to do so, and that shows his real love.
This made me think: Isn’t it better to expect less, and see all the nice things that come our way simply as “bonuses” in life? This reminds me of a story about my friend Carla. She met a really attractive guy a few months ago – let’s call him “The turtle”. He was almost 2 meters tall, had a body of a Greek God, bright blue eyes that an ocean would be jealous of, and chin-length thick blonde hair. Whenever she was around him, her body would automatically react to his masculine smell. He made her panties wet with just one strong, tight hug! Needless to say, she was head over heels in lust with him. They started seeing each other, and so the “expectations” had begun.
It all started with her complains to me that the turtle didn’t write her enough. He made little time to see her, and when they met, their time was limited. He didn’t introduce her to his friends and family, and they didn’t spend many weekends together. She was being very impatient with the turtle, and it seems like her expectations were building up more and more on top of each other. They dated for about a month but nothing really changed. Carla was getting fed up with the turtle’s lack of initiative and attention, and decided to drop her efforts as well. She didn’t write him anymore, and stopped the “chase” altogether. The crazy thing was that as soon as she cooled off about him, the slow turtle changed gears to the fast lane, and started chasing her! Since she didn’t care so much anymore, all of the expectations and pressure was dropped on her part. And without the expectations, she was surprised to see how much effort was coming from him now! However it was too late because chasing him for over a month was exhausting. Her passion for him burned out and she was not interested anymore.
Where do these relationship-killing expectations come from? The main reason for them is the evil ego of ours, and the bitch called “sense of entitlement”. We believe the things we expect are rightfully ours and we deserve them. “Me, me, me” the ego likes to scream out loud. But who is to say what we deserve or not, because nobody owes us anything in this world. If you get treated well and spoiled by your partner, be appreciative and see it as a kind virtue. The problem is that when these expectations – big or small – are not met, we feel disappointment, which leads to arguments and hurt pride. Here is a simple relationship formula: No expectations = no disappointments.
Of course I am not saying that you have to accept when your partner is being disrespectful, cheap or careless to you. I am referring to the superficial unreasonable expectations. Not only are you putting pressure on him, but on yourself as well. Take it easy, relax and allow him to show you his true colors. Most likely being the gentleman that he is, he will invite you to nice dinners and spoil you a bit, but don’t take that as a given and a must. After you let go of all the expectations, and you still have problems with your partner, you must ask yourself, “Maybe we don’t speak the same love language?” Meaning, maybe you don’t fit well together. At the end of the day, it’s your life, and you must do whatever is good for you. But keep in mind that expectations are a killer for relationships, so the more easy-going you are, the more you shall be open to wonderful and positive surprises. So far for my 33 years, I have learned that somehow life always delivers more when less is expected.