Expectations and Relationships: Final Thoughts
I've gone over a lot of ground with expectations over the past few weeks. Inevitably, there have been points I've missed, so thank you to those who commented to add to the discussion.
To review, basically, any ideas you have about your relationship or your partner that even begin to resemble 'All or Nothing' is a good sign that you are bringing unrealistic expectations into the relationship. Some examples include (and this is by no means exhaustive):
- I no longer have to take care of myself, or
- I no longer have to strive to be my best self,
- I can take it easy now,
- I have nothing to worry about,
- I am secure forever,
- I will be accepted no matter what…
- I should be getting more of what I want now that we're together/engaged/married...
- She should now be more sexual…
- She should now not be so sexual…
Don't get me wrong. Women have PLENTY of expectations that change once you are in a relationship, but my goal thus far has been to cultivate self-awareness. If you are getting into a relationship, or trying to decide whether or not to, look for these signs or ask your potential mate about her view on these topics:
- Does she think can change you into something you are not? (ie: a 'Bad Boy' into a well-mannered man ready to settle down and be homebody)
- Does she expect the man to be the provider (pay the bills, even if she works. It's also possible that she might not want to work, and that by committing to her you are putting the rubber stamp on this)
- Is she expecting you to deal with her dysfunctional family for her? Or has she been able to address any problems or conflict she has or had with her family?
Sure, some of these are indicative of stereotypes… but the fact is people DO play out stereotypes, no matter how cliche.
Getting into a relationship with the expectation that you will have more influence to change your partner is a dead end road, and almost certainly signals the end to the relationship down the road. The main question to ask yourself, or to feel out with any potential partner, is this: Can you comfortably be yourself? If so, then does that continue AFTER you take the next step in your relationship?
Photo courtesy of ralphbijker (http://www.flickr.com/photos/17258892@N05/2588342742/in/photolist-4WHW81-gHRG8-3tiDvT-6z3342-4NC226-dqTT3U-7TwHkM-7TzXby-97MPXF-bXT4Yq-93ssKL-bXT52o-uktra-8MYETG-9iFPwq-bKPvLi-dv9PsN-ecYQ69-93yAs7-dbqRMC-egZw9N-8R8b8r-93yBa7-93ybqY-93vP4r-93yYQm-8cdvvH-dtab16-93xFhY-FV7fb-ayDE9H-c8MWn7-GDLFJ-86rjQk-86ugJf-86qUPD-86r65k-86umDA-86rdYP-86uqcE-86tNC5-86qVrX-86tXib-86rgiX-86tTuC-86uf1Q-86ufhf-86qKkX-86r6eP-86rgd4-86ujQf)