As humans, we’re often told that unmet expectations are the root cause of discontentment in any relationship. So, we shouldn’t expect too much out of a relationship. Is it humanly possible to completely stop expecting from others? And, how much expectation is too much expectation?
What is the difference between standards and expectations in relationships?
How to set the standards and what to expect in a relationship, you might ask? These two terms are often used interchangeably in a relationship. However, this should not be the case. Standards and expectations are not synonyms for each other. If we talk about the difference between standards and expectations, a lot of you will be shocked as to how you had misunderstood the concept till now.
A relationship standard can be called a benchmark. Standards are generally factual, which is why they are used as a basis of judgment. Good decision-making and effective actions in a relationship largely depend upon the high standards set for the relationship.
What does expectations mean? Expectations often lead to discontent and discomfort when they’re not met. Relationship expectations must never be unrealistic. Keep reasonable expectations from a relationship and see how the roads to contentment begin to open, one after the other. Although it is important to show love and you can hit pick up lines or go on a date.
How to manage expectations in a relationship
What are expectations? Expectations in relationships can make or break the bond that both partners share. There is no toll for measuring levels of relationship satisfaction or relationship standards. However, there are certain parameters that, if kept in mind, can come in handy while meeting the expected relationship satisfaction.
Express compassion and respect
Compassion and respect are two of the most non-negotiable aspects of a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with expecting your partner to respect you and be compassionate with you. A relationship cannot survive if these two aspects are missing.
Your love for your partner should be beyond any expectation. Isn’t it? That doesn’t mean you should start being hard on yourself to express your love to your partner. You must try to find a way out to strike the right amount of balance between expecting from your partner and being compassionate towards them.
Whether romantic or not, no relationship can grow without respect. You must respect your partner under all circumstances. A real relationship is bound to have disagreements but, in moments like these, how you continue to respect your partner shows how much you love them.
If you ever argue with your partner, avoid correcting them immediately. This might make them feel disrespected at the moment. Instead, try to find a more empathetic way of communicating your difference in opinion to your partner. This way, they’ll not only understand your point of view but there are also chances of fewer disagreements in the future.
I’m sure you would agree with me about every relationship having a set of unsaid rules, right? There are certain things that everybody needs to understand and do if they want a healthy relationship. Being considerate with your partner helps you create a deep bond with them.
In a relationship, you must always keep your partner above every unsaid rule. Your partner’s happiness should remain your topmost priority. However, you must not forget your happiness in the process. If you won’t be happy, there’s no way you’ll be able to keep your partner happy. Spend quality time with them to make your bond even stronger.
A meaningful relationship demands both partners to be considerate. Committed relationships might look all rosy from the outside but it takes a lot of effort to build such an unbreakable bond. You have to value your partner if you want healthy romantic relationships.
Relationship rules don’t always lead to unrealistic expectations. One of the ways of having healthy expectations in marriage/relationship is being considerate towards your partner. The more you show consideration, the more you value them, the more they’ll value you back. Doing so will not only satisfy both of you but will exceed your current satisfaction scores.
Devote time to your partner
If you don’t give time to your relationship, no matter what expectations you have, you’ll always be let down. You have to take time out for your partner. From household chores to amazing sex life, all aspects of a relationship demand time.
You would love it if your partner spares time for you from their busy schedule. Isn’t it? Similarly, they would also appreciate it if you devote your time to them. Time is one of the most basic and realistic expectations in a relationship. When you’re going through hard phases in your relationship, giving each other time becomes all the more necessary.
When you give time to your partner, you’re sitting down and talking with them about various things. This communication is very important for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship. Until you talk to your partner, you wouldn’t come to know about the things that are bothering them.
Romantic relationships demand time in the present so that both of you can enjoy future relationship satisfaction. Time is one of the best current relationship rewards you and your partner can give each other. Spare time for your loved ones, make them feel that they are valued and see your levels of relationship satisfaction touch skies in no time.
Mistakes are a part of actual relationships. Aren’t they? You or your partner will certainly make mistakes, disagree, and even annoy each other a lot of times. But, you must keep in mind that you don’t repeat your mistakes.
In a relationship, both partners want to enjoy a significant level of independence. When one of the two makes a mistake and annoys the other, they should say sorry and make it a point to never repeat the same mistake. You should always focus on learning from your mistake so that it doesn’t get repeated because it’ll then create a loop and you’ll get stuck into it badly.
Making mistakes is only human but, what needs to be taken care of is the fact that we don’t let our mistakes take the form of loops. If you or your partner lets their mistakes form a circular loop, both of you will keep feeling defeated after every disagreement.
The two of you can certainly have contemporary perspectives about a lot of things but these individual differences should not become the reason you both keep arguing over, time and again. Give your partner a chance to speak, carefully listen to what they have to say about your mistake, and then take necessary steps to avoid repeating the same mistake in the future.
Never threaten your relationship
Expecting a give and take kind of relationship from your partner isn’t necessarily wrong but you need to understand that this would always not be the case. There would be instances wherein you would have to give and give, without expecting to receive anything in return.
Give-and-take does count in reasonable expectations but you should never threaten your relationship if you feel you’re not getting enough out of it. You can sit and talk things out with your partner. Threatening will never be a solution. You’ll only end up making situations worse if you follow this approach in a relationship.
You must have heard from a lot of people that communication is the key to every relationship. Let me tell you, it certainly is. If you don’t communicate enough with your partner, you’ll not be able to enjoy a happy relationship. Threatening means directly shutting up conversations.
You can’t shut conversations up and expect to have a healthy relationship with your partner. It is the most uncomfortable conversations that increase the comfort level between a couple. A romantic partner would never shy away from or avoid conversations. Never threaten your relationship because it is with communication that the roads to contentment begin.
Don’t compare your relationship to others’ relationships
When the five fingers of a hand are not of the same size, how can you expect all relationships to be the same? Since every relationship is different and unique in its way, you must never compare your relationship with that of somebody else.
You and your partner certainly have some unique qualities, as an individual and as a couple. You should focus on building a happy relationship with the qualities that you both possess, rather than comparing the qualities that you don’t have with somebody else that has them. Their quality is unique for them, just how yours is unique about you.
When you’ll start appreciating each other’s qualities and attributes, it is only then that you’ll feel like you’re having realistic expectations from marriage or your relationship. Value your partner over and above everything else, respect their opinion but never compare them with someone they’re not.
Comparing your partner with somebody else might make your partner feel inferior about themselves. This inferiority complex can take a very bad shape which can even include self-harm. They might feel that they’re not enough for you, or not enough as a person. Comparing your relationship with others’ relationships will do more harm than good to the bond you share with your partner.
Prioritize appreciation over expectations
When was the last time you appreciated an effort your partner made for you? If you can remember, that’s great! If you can’t, take this as a sign that you need to practice gratitude more often than you do.
If you have a loving partner, you should be thankful because not everybody gets lucky to have a romantic partner in their life. Rather than always expecting something from your partner, appreciate them for the little things they do for you. Practising gratitude will not only make you a better person but will also help the both of you build a better bond.
You’ll always have a choice in life. Everyone does. When you choose something for yourself, make sure you’re including your partner equally in the decision. You can’t neglect them while deciding something that pertains to the relationship.
If your partner makes a mistake, forgive them because you understand rather than stretching the matter because you want to prove yourself right. Make them your priority and appreciate them for all that they do for you. Make practising gratitude a habit so that when you look back at life, you feel proud of the relationship you built.
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Expectations are an inevitable part of human nature. Whether willingly or not, you are likely to expect something or the other in a relationship. However, you need to keep in mind that you should not have unreasonable expectations from your partner because such expectations are often seen to bring declines in relationship satisfaction.
Be honest with your partner, be compassionate towards them, respect them, give them adequate time, and understand your partner rather than arguing with them over disagreements. Realistic expectations like these aren’t wrong to have. You can expect as much as you want to, in a relationship, till the time your expectations don’t become unreasonable and unrealistic.
Why expectations in a relationship can cause problems?
Unrealistic expectations can certainly cause problems due to a lack of communication and contemporary perspectives of partners.
How do you set relationship expectations?
Based on loyalty, intimacy, trust, honesty, affection, respect, and demand for personal space in a relationship, you can set your expectations.
How to communicate expectations in a relationship?
During an argument, avoid trying to prove your partner wrong and try understanding their point. Take time out for talking to them.