Realistic Romance – Are these on your list of expectations?


Lately I have run into an issue with men who have this grocery list of expectations. After a few recent failed attempts in trying to find a partner, I have come to the conclusion that having expectations going into a relationship confuses things and puts a strain on both people. Why do people feel they have to have these long lists of expectations?

~Cindy in Seattle

My Seattle friend,

When you go out on a date do you hope your date will be polite? Do you anticipate you will have a good time? Is there some enthusiasm the suitor is a potential mate? These are not trick questions but before you answer, I want you to know these are….expectations.

How so? Expectations simply are the outcomes we look forward to. It is those things we have contemplated on and can envision the potential for. It is the confidence that things are going to go well or that things will go horribly wrong. That’s right, expectations go both ways. For instance, in your current dating situation is your hope or your expectation rooted deeply in the awful things that could happen and you are hesitant to accept the positive? Do you anticipate or rather expect on your next date you will be filled with so much anxiety of what the other person is looking for from you that it scares you? Is your enthusiasm or expectation of meeting a new prospect faint and you feel like quitting? So you see, expectations are actually not a long list where you spell out your “must haves” and “can’t live with/with outs”. Expectations deal with a desire for a certain outcome.

Many have expressed expectations as this frivolous list of demands one wants from a relationship. So oftentimes when we hear someone’s relationship wish list we immediately translate it into this complicated list of ultimatums. We then think about the possibility of being alone and begin to think of ways we can compromise our own needs in order to either begin or sustain a relationship with that person.

romance photoYou should be excited your date is hopeful he has found a lifelong partner. He has anticipation you will possess the qualities he is looking for in a mate. This allows him to be enthusiastic about sharing his time with you while finding out more about your likes and dislikes. You should have expectations of your own as well when dating and not look at them as a setup for disappointment but the potential for something great. When we are always looking for the best possible outcome in everything we will get the outcome that is the best for us.

Has your view of expectations shifted? Read the first statement and then its counterpart. When you read the latter allow yourself to take on the new meaning.

  • I expect you to be a partner who I can share my most intimate experiences with
  • I hope you are the partner who I can share my most intimate experiences with.
  • I expect you to have a positive impact on our relationship.
  • I anticipate our relationship will have a positive impact on the both of us.
  • I expect my partner to be my lover, friend, and confidant.
  • I am enthusiastic to find a partner who will be my lover, friend, and confidant.
  • I expect to be in a blossoming union that supports the growth of both persons.
  • I look forward to being in a union that is supportive of the growth of both individuals.

The Dating Mechanic

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