Do we expect too much of relationships?

December 3rd, 2014, 8pm

It was 21°C with few clouds. The breeze was gentle.

I think we do… I think I do…

We expect that our partner will be caring, attentive and dependable. Our partner becomes the ‘other half’ of our soul and our living experience, as if we alone are not enough. We are not complete and we need a person to fill that void.

I don’t like that concept at all. Dependence creates misery. Expectation more often than not leads to disappointment. An article I came across a while back mentions that we should not expect. Expecting is the key to unhappiness - and instead, we should anticipate and accept. Expectation creates that reliability on something to happen and when that fails, it ruins our mood and it ruins our day.

Expecting our partner to be a certain way and then them failing to live up to our expectation causes resentment in relationship, like a bug gnawing away a healthy body. These bugs multiply and accumulate because the more we spend time thinking about it, the bigger the issue becomes. We also imprint these undelivered expectations in our memory. So the bugs are here to stay. And then when we fight with our partner, we dig up these bad memories and throw the bugs at each other, like a contest about who can bring up more examples to prove the other wrong.

Bad, very bad.

I’d say: don’t sweat the small stuff, look at a bigger picture, don’t bring up bad past experiences, look forward to solving the issue together and how to move forward. And even if from time to time, the partner fails to live up to your expectation, evaluate it, is it really important, what was his/her intention, does he/she love you, can you let it go? And most important of all, did you really have to put that expectation on them? Rid yourself of this nasty burden of relying on someone to bring you that happiness or sense of satisfaction. You are in full control of your own mood. Choose wisely. Don’t let the petty stuff ruin your day.

PS: I like to think that we ourselves are complete on our own. The other person, instead of completing us, complements us. Relationship is about two (or more if you like that kind of arrangement) people going on a journey together, each bringing their complete self and their happiness to the equation, multiplying the joys, halving the sorrows, sharing the stories.

PS #2: yup, that’s a snapshot of a half eaten pretzel chip)

Carlos said thanks.

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