What were you expecting from me?

Inevitably when there are unresolved issues with dying relationships (whether marriages, romances, friendships, work relationships, family separation) we impose unrealistic expectations on others. Oftentimes, we walk away romanticizing the best characteristics of the lost partner. You know what I mean, right? That person is the measuring stick for every relationship that follows. Is it fair or equitable to do so? No! The reality is that people are different just as relationships are different. Now here is a nugget: you cannot escape brokenness if you choose not to look within yourself for self improvements.

Let’s dissect the issue of not accepting people for who they really are when we decide to immerse ourselves in a short or long-term relationship with them. Jane had long since moved on from a four-year relationship and felt she was ready to take on a “serious” relationship with her new partner Danny.  They’d been dating off and on throughout the four years. From the outside perspective, their relationship seemed happy and loving. What others were not aware of was that things were seriously unhealthy and unrealistic.  Jane had imagined that they had a perfect relationship, full of Phillip’s best characteristics: his charm, he dressed well and he was great about remembering the things that mattered to Jane. Danny on the other hand was a jock, and hardly remembered to comb his hair on work days. Jane set out change him, insisting that he wear designer clothing that she purchased. even buying self-help books to get Danny up to speed (with Phillip, that is).  Jane thought it was perfectly fine to “fix” Danny.  Now Danny on occasion mentioned he was never into designer anything nor did he feel that he was in any disrepair so “why the self-improvement books?” It was all just a waste of good money, he thought. Yet he was crazy in love with Jane and could never imagine hurting her. He gave in to her desires, her expectations.

Look at it this way:

The weather man forecast partly cloudy skies yet it rains profusely. Your clothing becomes soggy. Heck your hair is ruined and your shoes squeak every step you take because of the rain. It is still close to what you expected right? Not at all, so then why put unrealistic expectations on others. In doing so one should expect the results to be disastrous. sort of like the elderly couple who move to Florida expecting sunny days only to find that they have to shovel 12 inches of “sunny” snow from their driveway. So to will we have to deal with the unreasonableness of not accepting people for what and who they are.

This is the point I’m attempting to make here: we typically set unrealistic expectations when we fear disappointment. Negative surprises are tougher to deal with. I get it. It is perfectly fine to want the best of what a relationship can offer.  Here is some advice: its okay to shoot for the stars just start on a smaller scale.

And those of you on the other side of the unrealistic expectation, you need to speak up.  Speak your truth.  Compromise is healthy and so is celebrating what makes you unique. Adding value to another person’s life is always a goal worth striving for.

The more invested I am in my own ideas about reality, the more those experiences will feel like victimizations rather than the ups and downs of relating. Actually, I believe that the less I conceptualize things that way, the more likely it is that people will want to stay by me, because they will not feel burdened, consciously or unconsciously, by my projections, judgments, entitlements, or unrealistic expectations. David Richio

More importantly understanding that we all have unrealistic expectations from time to time in our lives.  It’s a pretty normal occurrence. We should recognize that doing so can breakdown our relationships, dismantle our goals, set us up for failure and send us in unhealthy directions.How do I manage my expectations?

  • while you are writing in your journal make a list of your unrealistic expectations
  • find the humour or what makes the expectation interesting (you are looking for the core of the issue)
  • remind your self that its okay to be human, and that you are working toward resolving the core issue
  • ask your self if that’s who you want to be or is that what you really want from the other person (am I open, compassionate or gentle?)
  • remain flexible to decrease any stress related to possible outcome

In the end, managing expectations surely decreases your disappointments while allowing both people to grow beyond their wildest dreams.

Thank you for taking me as I am.

Love and Light, Coach Cai