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Our romantic relationships might fall apart for many reasons.
We can’t possibly fathom out the reason behind every breakup, divorce, or separation. Even if we think that our marriage (or relationship) is strong, at the core, it’s extremely flimsy.
What makes our relationships even harder to navigate and manage is having unreal and unfair expectations—which could eventually cause our relationships to fail.
Realistically, I think it’s impossible to totally eradicate this creative part of our minds. Because let’s be honest, we can get really creative when it comes to having expectations. Our minds are designed to draw images that are vivid enough to make us believe them and pursue them.
However, when another person is involved (especially romantically), bringing our expectations to life might not always work. Don’t get me wrong. Having healthy expectations is desirable and needed—such as expecting our partner to respect us, treat us with kindness, or trust us. These kinds of expectations help us set the right boundaries and strengthen our values and self-worth.
However, having unhealthy expectations that aren’t rooted in reality could seriously damage our relationships. Getting too attached to the image we have of our partner in our minds might eventually lead us to disappointment; it might even push our partner away. We might feel let down and maybe even think that our partner is not the right person for us.
Adopting the right mindset and managing our expectations might be what we all need to protect our romantic relationships from failure.
There are many things we shouldn’t expect from our partner, but first, let’s ditch these seven extremely destructive ones:
1. Expecting your partner to have the same reactions as you. The most important thing we need to understand in our relationships is that we each have a different (and unique) emotional makeup. We shouldn’t expect our partner to react to different situations the same way we do. The tools we use to get through a challenging matter might not make any sense to our partner. Their emotional and mental tools, skills, and techniques are different than ours, and we need to respect that.
2. Expecting your partner to be the same every day. Many a time we get attached to the “good” side of our partner—the happy, laid-back, outgoing, or humorous one. But the good side only makes up 30 percent of our day. The rest is the result of stress, pressure, responsibilities, worries, problems, and so on. That said, expecting our partner to constantly have a joyful or nonchalant attitude is irrational. We should create a safe space for them to be exactly who they are at this moment—without any judgments.
3. Expecting your partner to be flawless. Whatever “flawless” image we have of our partner, we need to ditch it right away. No one (I mean it…no one) is perfect. When we genuinely love someone, we don’t look for perfection; we look for compatibility. We look for someone who’s willing to dance with our own flaws as well, and together we create something that works for both of us.
4. Expecting your partner to never hurt you. This one is a definite relationship killer. When we get into a new relationship, most of us might expect to never be hurt or disappointed. We seek continuous happiness that will last for years and a partner who will never put our love at stake. Unfortunately, it can’t and won’t happen. If we truly seek a happy relationship, we must be open and ready to face challenges from time to time.
5. Expecting your partner to heal you. We all have an emotional baggage that might affect our relationships. However, expecting our partner to fix us or heal our traumatic past is absolutely unreal and puts a lot of pressure on our partner. Our partner can only support us and show us the way to healing. Therefore, our romantic relationships are an opportunity for growth that we should never take for granted.
6. Expecting your partner to have no ego. Our ego can ruin relationships (I think we’re all aware of this). If we want a happier, healthier relationship, we should be on top of our spiritual practice. We should lessen the power of our ego and not let it control our actions, reactions, and behaviors. Nevertheless, in moments of anger or sadness, our partner’s ego might make an appearance, and we need to understand that it’s okay. As long as our partner chooses goodness and kindness and doesn’t let their ego go unchecked, our relationships should be perfectly okay.
7. Expecting your partner to fully know you. Partners are expected to know each other. If we don’t understand how the other person operates, how can we build a relationship with them? However, our partner won’t “get us” at all times. No matter how much you think your partner knows you, they can’t possibly know what’s really going on inside your head or heart. That’s why effective communication is essential, and most importantly, the openness to welcome and love our partner as they are—right here, right now.