I am the first to admit that I said out loud in my last two relationships that I had no desired outcome anticipated. I honestly thought I went in both of them with zero expectation and boy, was I wrong.
I figured I had learned some lessons from the past, and I went in wanting nothing from these men, as is the fad now-a-days. All that has to be done is a quick google search to see this trend in fine form. With quotes such as following posted on social media timelines and discussed over drinks with the girls, it’s easy to get swept up in this thinking.
“I actually like not talking to anyone seriously. No expectations, no disappointments, no drama.”
“Expectation is the root of all heartache. Therefore, no expectations, no disappointments.”
Now I could go on with these quotes—no seriously I really could as there were well over 32 million results when I typed in “relationship expectations” into the almighty Google search bar!
As much as you don’t want the disappointment or drama in your life of placing these demands on others, I am here to tell you, this line of thinking is bullshit, and we all surmise certain outcomes. Some of us have gotten good at disguising these pesky things and refer to them as little wants. Nothing too big, just something that if our partners could perhaps provide, we would be ok with. Again, I call bullshit. These are not wants folks. These things are the cement that hold our relationships together. They should not be wants. Not in the least.
Even though I spoke the words right out loud, telling both potential suitors that I was bringing no assumptions into whatever we were building, I can see now that I indeed had expectations.
As Aretha belted out, “All I’m askin’ is for a little respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T” You tell ‘em Aretha! How many of us know the meaning of that word? Mr. Webster says that it is an “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” Now as two people just starting out in a relationship, I question that deep admiration. Keep in mind you are still wearing the rose colored glasses at this point. So rather than deep, how about just admiration. I expect the man that has caught my attention would have some level of admiration for me and treat me accordingly. I firmly believe Lewis Carroll was onto something when he wrote “Then you should say what you mean.”
Both of these traits are a given, right? So if we say we have zero expectations, why do people get bent out of shape on this item? I’ll tell you why. We expect others to be honest with us. We don’t want to walk around questioning everything everyone says to us! Talk about anxiety issues! I’m sure there are those out there that do look at us through questioning eyes because of trust issues, I sure as hell don’t want to do that with a significant other. I do indeed expect honesty from my man.
This one is a big one for me and the reason it is in this list. I expect the person I am forming a relationship with to be as real as they come. I understand that he might leave the toothpaste lid off or the toilet seat up. I understand that he will have flaws in his personality or past baggage that he carries in (hopefully) a carry-on bag and not one of those U-Haul vans. We all have hurts we are dealing with. We all have things that we carry forward from our last relationship. If you don’t, well congratulations, you are a much better person than I am. I just want the person that stares into my eyes to understand that I bring some baggage to the table. I am not perfect, and I don’t expect you to be either, but I do want to know that you are going to hide those flaws and one day I will turn around and see some ugly dragon rear its head. Be authentic from the beginning.
Those are my big three. There are many subcategories that could fall under each one. There are layers that will be built up over time of the expectations that people have in relationships and not just in romantic affairs but in ways we interact with all people.
My point on all this is that we are kidding ourselves if we think that we can go into any relationships with no expectations of what our desired outcome is. I believe that anyone that has an ounce of self-respect should have some calculations in their dealings with others and in healthy affiliations, the items I listed above are just a given, or at the very least should be. It is when we place unrealistic presumptions on others that we run into problems but how do we decide what is realistic or not. Only you can decide what that will look like for yourself.
I see now that I was delusional thinking that I could interact with others and not have certain criteria met. My bad, and you can bet your bottom dollar I will be correcting that oversight in any future ties I look at making.
I’m curious about your thoughts on this topic and would love to hear ideas on relationship expectations. Do we have different notions for different people? Do you treat your ties with your significant other the same as your friends? Is the fundamental issues all the same or are they varying degrees we except from those we are involved with. Please, enlighten me with your comments.