Letting Go of Unreasonable Expectations in Your Relationship
posted on September 14, 2016 | by Amanda Holstein
Relationships are hard, we all know this, but there are some things we unknowingly do to ourselves that make things a lot harder than they need to be. I’m talking about setting unreasonable expectations. We should all have high standards for the type of man we want to be with, but when those expectations become unrealistic, we find ourselves disappointed. When I say unrealistic, I mean literally impossible. You should of course expect your partner to, for example, treat you well and communicate his feelings, but assuming your partner can read your mind is another story.
My unreasonable expectations
I’m admittedly a person who gets upset when something doesn’t go the way I had planned, or someone doesn’t do what I think they should. Typing this out makes me cringe, but it’s the truth. Even more embarrassing, I’ve known this about myself forever, but it took time to realize just how unreasonable those qualities were. Somehow—even with those shameful traits—I have a wonderful boyfriend. He’s charming, funny, and makes me feel loved everyday. Yet, I’ve expected him to be everything that I think makes a good partner. One that empties the dishwasher and knows what response I’m looking for—basically someone who lives life according to me and can also read minds. Crazy, right?!
Boyfriends are not mind-readers
I started reading about expectations, and it dawned on me that I was full of unfair ones. Of course he won’t know that I started the dishwasher while he was in bed and want him to unload it in the morning. Or exactly how he should reply to a casual text message. Or what to say when I’m feeling stressed about work. He shouldn’t have to be the Prince Charming of my imagination! And more importantly, it shouldn’t counteract the qualities that make him an amazing boyfriend. As long as his intentions are good and his heart is in the right place, then I’m happy.
How I changed my mindset
After realizing that I’ve been living off these expectations of him, I felt guilty but also relieved. I started asking for help with certain chores. I stopped creating the perfect text response in my mind and expecting him to communicate in that specific way. Arguments became rare—along with my resentment towards him—and our relationship has become significantly stronger. Now, I focus on the good and speak up when something important to me isn’t being fulfilled—no matter how big or small.
Do you have unfair expectations of your partner? How do you handle it?