Don’t let these expectations ruin what you have.
When we’re falling in love, we all have expectations and relationship goals.
Do you remember that falling in love feeling when hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin get flooded in your body and you feel like you’re walking on air and it feels amazing?
This feeling is so consuming and feels like it will last forever.
As a teenager, I expected that feeling of being in love to last a lifetime. When the reality of relationships and everyday life started to set in, I thought my husband didn’t love me anymore.
Did you ever feel like that? That is, waking up to the reality of what a relationship really is.
Some people might know this and might move from relationship to relationship, looking for this emotional high. It can be another form of addiction. It doesn’t mean the love will end but rather, it gets more stable, deeper, and more deliberate.
And if you want a healthy relationship that lasts a lifetime, you need to wake up these realities.
These days of social media, you think everyone is all polished and happy when you look at the pictures they are posting. The reality might be a different story altogether.
It is your appreciation that makes a relationship thrive, not your expectation of what it’s supposed to be.
If you find you’re always having relationship problems and issues that can’t seem to be resolved, maybe it is time to look at your expectations and see if they are in line with the reality in your relationship.
Here are 6 unrealistic expectations that can kill a relationship before it gets the chance to thrive.
1. You Must Be the Center of His Universe
When a man is pursuing a woman, he will put all his focus on winning her.
He will dine her, take her to the movies, go on hikes with her, or do whatever she wants to maintain closeness. Once he has achieved that objective, he moves on to other important things. For example, earning money to provide for her.
This is great for him but you might feel like he’s neglecting you or doesn’t care anymore. If you spend your time complaining to him about it, he will feel like you don’t appreciate him.
Can you see how this can be difficult? It is helpful to remember we all have obligations that we need to meet including other friends and family. All those people are important to enrich our lives.
Instead, find things that will occupy your time and drive your passion. That is just the reality of life.
While my husband was studying for a Ph.D. and I was studying for my Masters, we made a pact that Saturday was our day. We spent it together.
We did grocery shopping and ran all the errands we needed to run. We would also catch with each other about some of the things that happened during the week, plans, challenges, and everything we needed to say to each other.
This became our favorite time to be together — we valued it and used it wisely.
2. If He Loves You, He Should Be Able to Read Your Mind
I have heard this one from many different women and it’s a common thought in unhealthy relationships.
“If he can’t tell what I am thinking or how I am feeling, then he doesn’t love me.”
Can you see how crazy that sounds? Can you tell what your girlfriends or even your children are thinking? Don’t you love them?
Expecting him to read your mind is very unrealistic and very damaging to any relationship.
Communication is key, so get in the habit of asking for what you need. Explain in detail what that would look like and what that would mean to you if you could put it into words.
When I woke up to this reality, my marriage transformed from the brink of divorce to blissful connection.
If you love him, you should give him the opportunity to win with you. He can only do that if he knows what makes you happy and what is important to you.
The best way to be with each other is to be intentional and conscious as well as providing feedback so that he knows if he’s doing something right. This will make resentments fly out of your union.
3. You Agree With Each Other All the Time
The romantic expectation is that you will agree with each other all the time. As we have evolved to hate confrontation, we think if someone disagrees with us, we’re going to be ostracized.
The reality is we all have different backgrounds, beliefs, and weird thoughts and it’s okay if someone doesn’t agree with you.
I believe it is more loving to accept and appreciate a person who doesn’t agree with you than one who does because it is harder. You can agree to disagree and not feel you have to convince them otherwise.
There are couples who don’t see eye to eye on religion, family, political ideology, and even language. Yet, they agree that they want to be together and they have thrived.
They have given up the right to be right and the other to be wrong which is the reason why you want to be surrounded by people who agree with them all the time.
Please note, however, that it is not healthy to be around a person you disagree with on your fundamental values.
Knowing your values will help you choose what matters and what doesn’t and you can compromise on.
4. Your Relationship Will Be Easy
I wish someone had told me about the dynamics of change when I first got married.
Even though I loved my husband deeply, I resisted being with him so much. Anything he suggested, I considered to be wrong and, in the end, we were both miserable. I wanted to do things the way that was familiar with me.
His way just seemed weird and wrong. I never considered how doing things my way would feel for him.
Love alone doesn’t make a relationship easy. I expected it to ease the transition but it didn’t. I was so confused and I took it to mean it was my husband who didn’t love me enough or had stopped loving me.
Most people have no clue what happens after “I do” and that is the reason why I am a relationship coach. I wish someone would’ve held my hand and told me what to expect and what I could do to ease the strife.
Fortunately, we woke up to reality and started to communicate better.
Slowly, things started to get better and they transformed into something fantastic because we figured out that we had to choose how we wanted our communication, connection, and interaction to be.
5. He Should Change for You
This one is huge. Many men are afraid to commit because of the expectation for them to change that most women have.
My clients have this belief that men are just a misbehaving version of a woman. When I started doing research, I found that men and women are very different. The way we view the world and solve our problems is so different too.
Men carry most of their burdens alone and women always have a confidant or friends.
Did you know that expecting a man to change is disrespecting who he is? I am not saying some men won’t change for a woman. The truth is, he only changes if he wants to change.
Do you agree that it is not fair to expect anyone to change who they are for you?
The reality is, many people don’t change. It takes a lot of patience and work to change lifetime habits. If you meet a person who has qualities you don’t like, don’t settle.
Instead, find someone else whose values align with yours. Did you know that if you accept a man for who he is, he will treasure you forever?
6. He Will Take Care of Your Financial Needs
I think I might cause some controversy with this one but we can agree to disagree.
Many women were raised to think a man will come from somewhere and provide them with financial security she can’t provide for herself.
My dad told me that I should always have my own money. He said the reality is that a man can leave you, die, or not be able to provide financial security for you. I took this to heart and I believe true freedom for women can only be attained when she has her own money.
To me, that is reality.
These days some women work in jobs that enable them to earn much more than the man. This should be okay.
If you have this expectation, you might stop respecting your man because he earns less or he might stop respecting himself. Once he doesn’t value himself then he can’t love you.
This expectation has caused so much pain to so many couples but it shouldn’t be like that at all.
Healthy relationships are not always perfect. But, once you stop expecting these 6 things, you increase the chances of your relationship lasting and thriving for the years to come.
This guest article was originally published on YourTango.com: 6 Unrealistic Relationship Goals You Have That Are Low-Key Killing Your Love Life.