It is human nature to keep expectations from the people they are in love with. As a relationship grows, so do these expectations. But as so often happens, the expectations are not met, and we get disappointed. Sounds rough, but a reality.
Love is vastly different from what is represented in the romance novels like those written by Nicholas Sparks. With those steamy romantic couples on the covers and a damsel in distress story inside, the romance novels set unrealistic expectations towards real-life love and relationships.
Most of the popular entertainment media show love as a simple thing. From Disney stories and high school romance comedies to stories showing just the physical side of love, the media hides the struggle and work that goes into maintaining a happy relationship. Love is not a simple walk in the park.
According to statistics, in the United States, more than half the marriages end in divorce. Most do not even get to celebrate their 5th anniversary. Although several factors come into play for a divorce, the root cause remains to be broken expectations. It is often too late when the couples realize that the expectations, they have set from their partners are not achievable and unrealistic.
Most couples are not resilient enough to look past their initial failure and work on setting up realistic goals and expectations for their relationship and choose to break up. The fault is often shared by the couple equally. Both men and women see a relationship as simple and often do not put a serious thought before getting into one.
If you are willing to put work in your relationship and want it to last a lifetime, you must be wary of these 14 unrealistic expectations:
1. That You Come First in The Relationship:
There is a common misconception among people that they will come first in their partner’s life after getting into a relationship. However, the reality is not that simple. Today, to be successful and have a decent life, you need to focus on multiple things at once, be it work, friends, leisure, travel, or investments and business opportunities. Life is demanding and if your partner is passionate about being successful, you won’t always come first.
Both you and your partner cannot always make time for each other. There are various social, personal, and professional obligations that come into play. You have to realize that priority shifts from time to time. It is up to you and your partner to realize that coming first in other’s life is not necessary. The important thing is how they make you feel.
If your partner makes you feel secure, works for and with you, and envisions you in their future, then you should trust them and support them. Through trust, gratitude, and support can you bring out the best in you and your partner.
Plan small surprises for your partner whenever you or they get time. Do household chores and meals together. Go grocery shopping together. These are the small timeframes when you are open and free to talk about anything with your partner. Teasing and giggles while on a shopping spree are low-key romantic.
You must realize that everything that your partner is doing is for you and your life with them. There will be times when they would be busy in meetings and cannot pick your call, but there will also be a time when they would surprise you with a trip to your dream destination.
2. That There Would Be No Fighting:
If you know anything about human nature, you should know that we love conflict and are attracted to it. Thinking or hoping that there would be no conflict between you and your partner is unwise. Maybe not at the start, but there will be things that you and your partner will not necessarily agree upon. You will need a mature mindset when handling those situations.
Also, it is a misconception that conflicts are bad. When you start a relationship, you are focused on the good in your partner. People usually let things go easily at the start of the relationship. But as the relationship matures and there are disagreements on important topics, conflict arises.
Disagreements bring out the hidden aspects of people’s personalities. You get to see what they think about certain things and what their true ideology is. You also get to see their qualities like patience, composure, or vice versa. In short, disagreements and conflicts reveal a lot about people.
When you get into a conflict with your partner you get to realize and decide where do you want to take your relationship. If the disagreement and conflicts are constructive, it is good, and you start solidifying your bond with your partner. Else you get to decide if you want to work on improving the relationship or move on.
Refrain from making unrealistic expectations about no fights in a relationship as shown in T.V. series and movies. Conflicts happen, but it is how you handle them that matters.
Of course, you must also realize that not all conflicts are good and if you are fighting with your partner every day and on every little thing, things are not good.
3. That You and Your Partner Are Enough:
Every relationship has a honeymoon phase in which you forget about everything other than your partner. And it is indeed an important time where you grow closer to your partner. You may feel like you do not need anyone in your life besides your partner, but this is not true.
One person cannot cater to all your emotional, interpersonal, social, and professional needs. There will always be a time when you would need to reach out to your friends or family as they reach out to you. Humans are social beings and succeed when they are surrounded by people who support them and help them grow.
To succeed in life, build strong relationships with people around you. Help people out in their needs and keep a company that supports you and helps you grow. Later in life, you will need friends and family to plan trips with for your kids. We often realize it late, but people to go out with, people to talk to, and people to help you out are important in life.
Your partner is and will be the most important person in your life, but you also need to socialize with people. The more people are there in your life the more enriched your life’s experiences will be.
4. That Your Partner Will Implicitly Understand Your Feelings:
It is a common fantasy among lovers that their partners will understand their feelings and thoughts without any communication. Girls often fantasize about their favorite romance novel character and how he could exactly understand his beloved’s thoughts. And when their partner confuses their hints of gifting them a flower bouquet with something completely different, they get disappointed.
No person is a mind reader. Just as you cannot read what is on your partner’s mind, he cannot read your mind. A successful relationship relies on efficient communication and comprehension. Your partner will remain in dark and gradually get frustrated if you do not communicate with them and tell them what it is that you want. No one knows you better than you. And if you will not tell them what you like and do not like, would they just keep trying?
More than 90% of relationships fail due to gaps in communication and comprehension. Both are necessary to stabilize a relationship and move it forward. Make sure that you have good communication with your partner. Relay your thoughts clearly to them and help them comprehend what it is that you are aiming for.
5. That You and Your Partner Must Remain Together:
Although you will love being with each other 24×7 at the start of the relationship, things will change. It is possible maybe when you are on vacation, or in college, but as you move forward, your careers would demand more attention. It is unrealistic and even foolish to think that you get to be around your partner all the time.
Moreover, if you smother your partner and do not socialize and let them socialize, your relationship will soon turn sour. Social exposure is necessary for us, and several important relationships need to be catered to. If you do not spend some time by yourself, you will soon get bored of your partner and will start seeing them as an obstruction to your life.
If you do not like what I am saying, give your relationship some time and you will see the truth. You and your partner will soon miss going out with friends and on trips. You will realize that there are hobbies that you have left behind and should catch up on. Giving yourself time to grow is just as important as helping your partner grow with you.
6. That Your Relationship is Easy:
There can be no greater myth than a relationship being easy. Novels may show that everything eventually falls into place, real life is different. Anyone who says that their relationship is all sunshine and rainbows then either they are lying, or they haven’t yet seen the difficulties.
If you ask someone with a long-term relationship, they will tell you that maintaining a relationship is equal parts love and hard work. And sometimes it is more hard work than love and vice versa.
You will need to continuously work on yourself and your relationship along with your partner. You will need to tackle various problems and difficulties together. There will be times that you will need to become the support pillar for your partner.
A relationship is as beautiful as the effort that goes into making it beautiful.
7. That Your Relationship is like a Disney Fairy Tale:
We have grown up watching several Disney movies about a fairy tale of love. So, it is natural that we treat our first relationship to be something like a fairy tale, where a happy ending is guaranteed. Real-life, however, is completely different. Every person is flawed and makes mistakes. And every relationship has difficulties of its own.
The sooner you get rid of this unrealistic expectation, the better it would be for your love life. There is no damsel in distress and prince charming in real life. You are empowered to be your hero and make the life that you want for yourself.
8. That Your Partner Will Always Keep You Happy:
I am a big advocate of keeping yourself happy than relying on your partner for happiness. Most people I have seen rely on their partners to make them happy. And this puts unnecessary strain on your partner and subsequently on your relationship.
No person can cater to your every whim and keep you happy every moment of your life. Mind it, you are in a relationship with a person, not an entertainment box. Your partner has their own goals and problems to take care of. All they can do is provide for a better future with you the best that they can.
9. That Your Way of Doing Things is the Only Right Way:
A relationship is about two people building a life together. It is an equal partnership between two people with varying responsibilities and growth goals. If you are under a misconception that everything in your relationship will go according to you, things will go sour and soon.
You must respect the life and choices of your partner. Taking decisions together after calculating the impact on both your lives is the best way forward. Everything from the brand of toilet paper to the next job you will take will get affected and influenced by your partner in some way or the other.
Build your life while giving space to your partner so that they can comfortably voice their opinions and grievances.
10. That You and Your Partner Share One Mind and Thoughts:
This can never be true. You and your partner are different people who happen to fall in love with each other. There might be similarities in the way you think, work, and see the world, but to see that you both share one mind and thought is simply too much. You can change their political affiliations, their religious beliefs, or their choice of food. And things get more complicated with time. h
Restricting your partner according to your way of thinking can be categorized under emotional abuse and can leave long-term trauma on the person. To have similar views is good and shows that you can make a life together, but having different opinions is also equally important.
11. That You will Always be Satisfied:
Think about it, there are times when even you cannot satisfy yourself. How do you think your partner would be able to do it all the time?
It is foolish to believe that you will always be satisfied in your relationship. There will be times when you feel sad and disgruntled. But like you would water a plant, a relationship needs work and care. If you are dissatisfied, convey it to your partner in a way they can comprehend and work with you. Similarly, if you see that your partner is not happy, talk to them about what is in their mind.
12. That the Sex will Always be Great:
This is a misconception that ruins many relationships. There is no guarantee that sex would be good, but it is a fact that it will become more of a routine than an adventure with time.
Sex at the start of a relationship is fiery, but after a while becomes mundane. Instead of blaming it on your partner or yourself, set out to try new things with your partner. Exploring your sexuality within the boundaries of your relationship will help you get the fire back.
13. That Everyone is Going to Like Your Partner:
This is also a major unrealistic expectation people often hold about their partners. You might find your partner the best person you have met yet, other people in your life may not. The chances are there will be a person who might not like your partner at all. It can be your best friend, sibling, dad, or mom. And this is kind of natural.
People closest to you are often wary and feel threatened when you include someone new in your life. You need to work around the issue without alienating that person or your partner. With time, things do get normal.
14. That Power is Equally Shared
Nobody likes a power struggle in a relationship and most people believe that there won’t be any. But there is always a leader among the two that form a couple. Often, it is based on who earns more, but sometimes it is about moral fiber, the strength of will, and social conduct.
There are many cases where there is no power struggle but most of the time the balance is very delicate and tips in a different direction in different situations. The point is don’t keep any unnecessary expectations and live your life the way you feel comfortable. If you feel that your partner is abusing their power, confront them. Unrealistic expectations are a bane for any relationship. Steer clear through them by talking to your partner about their views on different topics. Set realistic goals for yourself and your relationship, work for them, and build your own happy life.