Big expectations in relationships are a greater problem in America than ever before.
If anyone would disagree, the fact that our country experiences more failed relationships than anywhere else in the world should be explored first.
One thing is constant for us—choices.
We have a baffling amount of choices at our fingertips. More books are being written than ever before. There are more services and products than there ever were. The option to live virtually anywhere is a real possibility and career choices abound.
Although we’ll explore this topic in light of a committed relationship, many of the principles are easily transferrable to other friendships.
Choices and Expectations
Due to the consumer mentality of our nation, we’re used to a myriad of choices. Near-perfect choices.
So, what happens when we take that consumer mentality into a committed relationship? The results are predictable if we’re not careful.
We secretly tell ourselves that if our mate doesn’t turn out to be darn-near perfect, somewhere out there, someone will fill that perfection void.
This often leads to virtually insurmountable expectations placed on a partner.
The Consequences of Big Expectations
The consequence of absurdly high expectations also has a predictable result.
Expectations go unmet. Surprised? Bet you’re not.
When expectations aren’t met, disappointment ensues. Ongoing disappointment leads to an increasing desire to want out of a relationship.
We also should mention that the person who receives unrealistic expectations loses trust, becomes bitter and feels powerless to measure up. Many rebel and become emotionally detached under these circumstances.
When the person with high expectations doesn’t get what they want, they’re prone to pick out the smallest faults in their partner.
Because of the many faults, those with high expectations justify there are now grounds for the relationship to end.
There’s just one problem: No one can meet unrealistic expectations for long. There is no Mr. or Mrs. Perfect. It’s a lie, a mirage.
And so, in time, the next relationship is not what was hoped for. In fact, none of them will be. Too high of expectations will kill any and every friendship and romantic relationship.
A Better Focus
Most people don’t begin a relationship focused on how they can make someone else happy. They seek their own fulfillment and pleasure above everything else.
That is also the goal of unrealistic expectations. The problem is that these desires, taken too far, become selfish and destructive.
It’s not bad to desire pleasure and happiness in a relationship. Things can disintegrate when one’s desire for happiness comes at the expense of a partner, though.
The best thing you can do is set high expectations for yourself instead of for others. After all, you can only control you.
Instead of setting high expectations for your partner, consistently encourage them knowing that you still have a long way to go yourself. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.