Many times people enter into relationships with unrealistic expectations from their partners and from the relationship itself, idealising it to be perfect. This often leads to a lot of struggle and eventually to disappointment causing unhealthy behaviours and this turns their fairytale into a nightmare overnight. A healthy relationship requires trust, honesty, equality and most of all mutual respect and these are the exact things that we often find missing in a relationship.
So what are the realistic expectations?
Let’s dive in:
- Where two people begin to spend a lot of time together, disagreements and arguments are bound to take place. It is normal for your partner to feel angry at you or unintentionally hurt you sometimes. There will be fights so when things are getting heated, a more sensible thing would be to be mindful about the words you choose to communicate any issues to your partner.
- Your partner will feel irritable and at times be emotionally unavailable for you when you need them. Your partner can have bad days when he/she is going through a rough patch, probably at work or with some friend that would cause them to be in a bad mood. You should give your partner space to recuperate and also find your own coping strategies; have hobbies and friends of your own with whom you can spend time.
- People who are in relationships also have lives outside the relationship and depending upon the circumstances their priorities can change. You can expect your partner to spend quality time with other people also or at times miss an important event that you had planned with them. For example, your partner may have to skip a lunch date because their mother fell sick and they had to go to visit them. As much as it is unhealthy to spend little time together it is also unhealthy to be spending too much time together.
- Partners in a relationship are human beings and humans make mistakes. To accept that your partner is as human as you are and that they may have their own weaknesses and flaws will help you to forgive your partner’s mistakes. You will be able to move past it and live a harmonious life with your partner.
- Sometimes you have to express your feelings to your partner verbally so that they know what you are expecting from them. Feelings and expectations can be best understood by another person if they are communicated to them clearly. At the same time, It is also realistic to expect that your partner won’t be able to read your mind.
- Your partner’s opinions and views will differ from your own and sometimes if you alter or change your opinion about something because of your partner, it does not make you small or less of a person. You can, in turn, express your views or your logic to your partner respectfully if you disagree with them. Active listening, compassion, understanding and kindness are more important to sustain a long lasting healthy relationship.
- Expect that ‘change is constant’ in relationships. Your partner can express love and feelings of affection to you in a different way which will be a new experience for you. With time and age, every person grows and changes along with their feelings. However, that does not mean that the love and concern for you has fade away. It only means that your partner has become comfortable with you and doesn’t feel the need to please you.
- Every relationship goes through ups and downs. Expect your relationship to be imperfectly perfect. You have not to compare your partner with others and think how happy they are in their relationship. Your partner may have certain qualities which others may not have. The comparison will only make you feel worse about your own partner and find all sorts of flaws in him/her. Remember, the grass always seems to be greener on the other side.
Problems arise because we assume the other person shares our expectations. But when something doesn’t go the way we think it should, we feel frustrated, disappointed and even angry. A marriage counsellor or relationship expert can help you understand your own expectations, as well as your partner’s, and showing a willingness to reach a common ground. A marriage counsellor can help you explore effective ways to avoid the frustrations and pain of unmet expectations and build a stronger connection.