‘Anger always comes from frustrated expectations’ – Elliott Larson
I think that it is really important to be clear of your expectations of both the relationship and the actions of your partner, which means being honest with yourself as well as your partner.
To start with you need to really think about what type of relationship you want. If you do not even know yourself, then you can not expect your partner to understand as well. This is where you think about things such as if you are looking for something serious, or do you just want someone to spend time with for dates. Maybe it is just a sexual type of relationship which you would like without any commitment. The choice is yours, but you need to be clear as to what you are looking for.
I am not suggesting that you tell your potential partner your expectations of the relationship on the first date! However, it is a conversation which you need to have early on in the relationship in order to avoid clashes and unhappiness.
How do you expect your partner to behave?
If you are already in a relationship and you have been finding things difficult and arguing, I would really recommend that you discuss what your expectations of the relationship are. Don’t forget to get them to also tell you how they feel and what they expect. It is also really important once in a serious relationship to think about and discuss what your expectations are of the other person.
Here is a prompt list to help you think about this;
- Do you expect your partner to spend a lot of their free time with you, or do you like to spend a lot of time by yourself or with your friends?
- Do you expect your partner to work?
- Are you expecting your partner to pay for certain things, such as date nights, or bills etc?
- Do you expect your partner to perform certain tasks? This could be anything from emptying the bins to doing all of the cooking.
- Do you want to have children one day?
- Would you want any pets?
- Do you expect to live together after a certain amount of time?
- Are you expecting to get married one day?
- Do you have any expectations around religion/culture?
- How much intimacy do you expect?
- Do you expect total honesty?
- Do you expect to be your partners top priority?
Talking about what you expect from each other can save so much heartache. There may be some things that you expect from each other which you are happy to compromise on. However, there are also likely to be some things which you need in order to feel happy and therefore you should not compromise on those.
A word of warning!
While it is good to be clear on what your expectations are, you do need to make sure that your expectations are realistic and fair. No one is perfect and it is important to make sure that you are living up to your partner’s expectations too, it can not all be one-sided. You can not expect your partner to be perfect or to do everything in the relationship, it is a two-way street.
If you align expectations with reality, you will never be disappointed – Terrell Owens
This post was part of my feature ‘The A-Z of a healthy and happy relationship‘. I would love to hear your thoughts on this post, what do you think?
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