What Are Your Expectations in a Relationship?


10671754984_e252b8ee02_zSometimes it feels as if you are completely in control of your life, but when it comes to relationships there is always the other person.

In a relationship, you cannot be the puppeteer. People have their own emotions, behaviors, actions, beliefs, scars, wounds, fears, dreams, and perspectives. They are their own person.

How often have you wanted a relationship to be something that it is not?

How many times have you said a certain word or phrase in order to spark a specific reaction?

How much do you expect from this person? Do they fail you each and every time?

In healthy relationships there are certain expectations, like being treated well or being respected. Yet sometimes we find ourselves in relationships that don’t mirror what we anticipate to happen. We may feel hurt or used.

We cannot expect other people to treat us as we would treat them. We cannot assume anything or force change upon someone who clearly demonstrates he or she is stuck in his or her own way.

images (11)There are scads of books available today about fixing relationships, how to catch the perfect man, why men love bitches, how to behave in a relationship, whether or not he’s just not that into you, how to tell if he is into you, that men are from Mars … well, you get the idea, and the list is endless. Point is, are you deriving what a relationship should be based on what Oprah, Dr. Phil, countless books and talk show hosts have to tell you? Or, are you allowing the person with whom you’re in a relationship to be who he or she is and learn to adjust your perspectives?

Granted, certain behaviors are disrespectful, and no one that I know of wakes up in the morning with an enthusiastic, “Oh, yippee, I sure hope I get treated like scum today!” Mutual respect in a relationship is paramount to make a partnership work.

What I have discovered is that we all have an ideal in the corner of our mind of what our interaction with our loved one “should” be. Whether this is derived from watching, Leave It to Beaver (June as the perfect wife in her pearls) or Married with Children (Al secretly loves Kate, but is very degrading to her) – or, as mentioned above, from the books and famous people that tell us what we should expect. If your relationship is falling short of the commandments that dictate the shoulds and should nots, are you expecting it to change? Better yet, can you discard what the powerful “they” say, and just learn to adjust to what your relationship is instead of what you think it should be?

More disagreements and squabbles between two people are born out of what others dictate to us; someone else who doesn’t have a clue about who you are or who your significant other is, insists on telling you that this is the way you should behave, resolve issues, and live happily ever after.

shutterstock_280362548Happily ever after only comes in books. Relationships are a continual work in progress, keeping your ego in check, accepting certain things, and learning to choose your battles. Leaving the cap off the toothpaste isn’t a battle worth the effort. Not telling you where he’s going when he suddenly decides to go out for the evening- that one is worth the pursuit.

To genuinely allow your relationship to work, you have to get into a space where you allow each other to simply be the person he or she is. No one needs “fixing.” Perceptions can be shifted. Behaviors can be altered. The key is to make sure that it’s what you want, and not what you’ve been told!