Tuesday, February 15, 2011

High Expectations Can End A Relationship.

The difficulty with expectations is that there centred on what ‘YOU’ think the person should do. Hence the problem it’s about you, not us/we. My expectations have caused problems in previous relationships. I don’t know what it is but as soon as we've crossed the friendship zone my outlook changes. The friendship formula which was clearly working suddenly adjusts due to my perception of how a relationship ‘should’ be. Some of my thoughts have been that he should now act a certain way. He should up the ante with the phone calls. We’re in a relationship so she should be more open with his feelings. The recurring word here is should and there lies the problem.

Society, culture and the media contribute to people’s expectations within relationships. They indirectly alter our views and shape our way of thinking. I find it hard to not be influenced by all these outside sources. Don't get me wrong I'm not one of these women who have a long list of criteria but my expectations have been high at times. One of my exes even threw this statement at me during a disagreement.  

I don't think there's anything wrong with expectations. I guess the problem lies with finding the balance between healthy and unrealistic ones. I.e. I expect my partner to not be physically abusive. Compared to I expect my partner to ring me every day during my lunch break. High/ unrealistic expectations can really damage relationships. I can’t speak for men but I think women are sometimes more guilty of setting these high standards that men simply can’t attain. We then get frustrated and don’t communicate properly which leads to resentment and a lot of anger.

I think some of the reasons for these impractical expectations are that we get into relationships for the wrong reasons (loneliness, feeling of fulfilment). If you don’t know what you want, are unhappy with life. How can someone else help you? Our partners aren’t there to fix us or make us happy. I’ve been guilty of this way of thinking. Little wonder our expectations can’t be met.

Sometimes we have this checklist of requirements that need to be updated as we all grow and change throughout life. What you may have wanted in a partner 4 years ago has probably changed. Experiences, your outlook on life, where you’re at are all factors that will change what you thought you wanted from your other half.

We hear it but probably still haven’t grasped that men love differently. Women thrive of being wooed, honoured, and loved. We know what we would do for a man but feel miffed when it’s no reciprocated the way we’d expect. The amounts of times I’ve sulked when previous partners haven’t done what I’ve perceived as show me they care in the way I wanted.

Every body has expectations. Isn’t it better to set them too high than too low? Are men’s expectations as high as women’s? Or is that different things hold different meanings too either sex?

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