Let’s talk about the nature of expectations and how they contribute to unnecessary upheavals in relationships! Even if you are just dating, how many times have you decided not to pursue someone because they failed to fulfill some of your expectations? I know I have. We’ll also be discussing ways to massively improve your relationship, so you can focus on enjoying the time with your partner instead of arguing.
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EXPECTATIONS – Don’t Let Them Sabotage Your Relationship!
Why do we have expectations in the first place? For one, we tend to think that other people think and act the way that we do. We also believe that if my expectations are being fulfilled, I am loved. That’s where motivation comes in that we’ll be talking about in just a moment. Sometimes we also have an unhealthy sense of entitlement where we believe it is owed to us.
One of the things that caused troubles when I look at my past relationships is the unrealistic expectations I had towards my partner. To be honest, it was not only towards my partners but towards people in general. Could be a close friend of mine, a colleague, or a family member. This is one of my shortcomings. I tend to think that people are the way I am and so I expect them to behave the way I would, which is complete BS.The Moment We Tap Into The Energy Of Expectation, Failure Follows. Click To Tweet
It almost felt jinxed, like the moment I tapped into that energy of expectation, failure would follow. I’d go to a supermarket and bought a bottle of wine because I expected that my on and off boyfriend would come for dinner and we would have the most amazing evening. However, he did not even know about my plans and about what I was hoping to happen. So I packed my groceries into the bag and boom. The wine, fell to the floor, breaking into a thousand pieces. At that moment, I realized that I am in the energy of unrealistic expectations and I knew right then and there, that this magical evening, will never happen and of course it didn’t.
The problem is not expectations as such, the problem is unrealistic expectations. That goes hand in hand with magical thinking and the idea that give and take must be in balance at all time. It’s the silent contracts or stories, we create in our minds without actually verbalizing them to the people we expect these things from. If these contracts do not get fulfilled or the story does not add up, we feel violated and we get upset.
Expectations as such aren’t causing much harm if they are based on something that has mostly worked in the past. Let’s say you and your partner have agreed to a dedicated date night each Wednesday that you both alternately take care of. So every second week, you get to go on a great date night that your partner carefully organizes. In such a case these expectations are okay. They don’t cause troubles because they have proven themselves to become a reality.
Unrealistic and unspoken expectations, on the other hand, are almost guaranteed to go unfulfilled. Not only do we have them, but we even expect that the important people in our life know about them without us actually ever voicing them. “But he should know that that’s important to me” is what I often hear from my clients. No, he should not. Most people are so busy with their own world that there is not much space to think outside of it. Most people don’t walk around thinking “what is my partner expecting of me today and how can I fulfill it?”.
Usually, the cycle goes as such: I have an unrealistic expectation based on a motivation that I am either aware of or unaware of. But I’ll get to that in a moment. Then my partner fails to meet my expectation. I get annoyed and resentment kicks in. The more this cycle repeats itself, the bigger the resentment and the bigger the chances of relationship failure.
The Motivation Behind Our Expectations
Let’s talk about the motivation behind an expectation. Most people are not aware of that motivation. That motivation will hold valuable insight for you. On the surface, it seems that what matters to me is that my partner fulfills my expectation. But what do I really want? If I say: I expect you to bring me flowers from time to time or to say I love you more or to touch me more, be more intimate, then what am I really saying? I might be saying: I do not feel loved enough. Now that’s all just an example but do you understand what I am saying? Behind your expectation might be the need to be loved more. When you know that, then you can find out a way together to get that specific need fulfilled more positively.
Let’s say you are on a date and you expect the guy to open the car door, to pay for the drinks, to ask you interesting questions. All these expectations have an underlying motivation. For you to manage and deal with your expectations in a better way, you need to understand that motivation. Because if you do, then you come from a place that is true. The expectation is often merely a cover-up for your true motivation.Our Expectations Are Often Merely A Cover-Up For Our True Motivation. Click To Tweet
Key Number One To Deal With Expectations
If expectations are something that creates challenges in your relationship, here is how to make it work: First, you work with the topic on your own. You want to understand where you are coming from. You want to understand what your true motivation is behind your expectations. For this to happen, you have to drop into the feelings that come up when your partner does not fulfill your expectations. Let’s say you were hoping to spend quality time with your partner but then again, he calls and says he has to work late.
Instead of screaming at him and blaming him, dive right into the pain that comes up if you don’t do that. If you don’t yell at him, don’t blame him, but just tune into your heart and allow the sadness and disappointment and frustration that comes up about him – once again – choosing work over you. I understand that that’s challenging. But don’t worry, I have got you covered!
You know that this show is all about creating a healthy love life. And if you only just listened to this single episode, I encourage you to listen to episode no 1-17 , where I cover some fundamental basics on how to do all of that. You’ll learn about the incredible power of triggers and the value of feeling our feelings instead of acting our pain out in unconscious ways.
At least episode no 15 -17 , where I’ll talk about this in detail. So make sure to at least listen to them for starters.
And you also know that I offer a Membership where you can get support with that. How to drop into your feelings instead of acting out.
Also, do some inquiry: Do you maybe have to adjust your reality a little bit? Are you caught in magical thinking? Are your expectations too high, so no one can really fulfill them anyways? Is there maybe an unhelpful believe attached to it? “I will get disappointed, I know I will.” These beliefs can be sneaky. Inquire about them. Because as you probably know, what we believe becomes a reality. Our brain is wired in such a way that it has to match reality with what we believe. Otherwise the brain experiences kind of structural tension.
Key Number Two
The second key for how to work through it is about managing your expectations. Once you know your motivation, you will also know what you need. You might need more quality time with your partner, so you feel loved and cared for. When you realize that you have an expectation, understand your need and share it with your partner. Then just ask about your chances of getting that need fulfilled. Maybe he’ll tell you that he won’t be able to do that.
A typical example would be. He has been away for a 3-day trip and is exhausted. All you want is cuddle up and make love or have a great night out. But he comes home and puts on the TV. That’s a given for troubles because you do not have the same need at this very moment. He might just want to be alone because he exhausted himself on the 3-day trip. You have been longing to see him again. So check in with each other, where are you at? Have a short conversation, find a win-win situation. He might say: Listen honey. If you give me tonight, where I get to just be me and do whatever the heck I want to do. I promise you, I ‘ll take you out to a new place for a lovely dinner tomorrow night. We dress up and we go home and I’ll be making the sweetest love to you.
Win-Win! You know what to expect tomorrow and he will get time to recharge his batteries. It’s a Win-Win!
A Couple of Extra Tips For You
If both partners want different things and you can’t find an agreement, then ask yourself this: Who has a need and for who is it just a wish or a nice to have. Because for me, the need always wins. The need is what is way stronger than a wish and in this way, you’ll each have experiences where your needs count. That’s a wonderful feeling that creates trust, intimacy and connection.Never have a conversation when you are being triggered. Go feel first! Click To Tweet
Cut your partner some slacks, no one is perfect! Practice gratitude instead of focusing on what is missing. If you are only caught up in your expectations, you will miss a lot of the fun. We can get hooked on it and once we do, resentment will soon poison our relationship big time. Come back to the now. Find pleasure in the things that are available to you right now. Practice acceptance – “Okay, this did not work out the way I wanted to”, feel the disappointment, feel the hurt instead of blaming your mate. And last but not least, only have a conversation when you are not being triggered. Work through the triggers first and then look for a conversation.
Bring your triggers to us! We can work through them together. Sign up for the Membership and you will be able to share what’s happening for you with a group of trusted members who help each other in achieving the best love life possible.
Try this all out and let me know how it went for you. If you have a question, go to my page and leave me your question. You can either write or speak it and I might answer it in a future episode. Thank you for reading and have a great day!