How Expectations Are Destroying Your Relationship

And are making you unhappy

Have you ever had a situation or an occasion that you expected to be great and then it was good but not as good as you thought it would be?

Especially as a kid, you expect something to be fun like your birthday party but then it’s just good. It’s good because you got presents and many people were there, but in the end, it wasn’t as much fun the whole time as you thought it would be.

Expecting too much of something or somebody can lead to being disappointed by a good thing or person. We expect too much.

Not every party or occasion has to be the funniest or the best. Not everything is great all the time. That’s how life is.

Wouldn’t it be better to expect nothing at all?

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”
― Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking got diagnosed with dying soon when he was 21. Since then he didn’t have any expectations. Everything was a bonus. He enjoyed life. He thrived. He was death sick his whole life but he managed to become one of the best physicists in the world.

Expectations Make You Unhappy

Expectations are only in your head. Wait, what? Does that mean we can change them? Yes!

You expect some moment in your future to be your happiest day ever. You will be unhappy if it isn’t.

One example:

I’m struggling with expecting too much from my boyfriend. He is at home, and I would expect him to have dinner prepared when I come home from work. Why? Because would do that.

But I get disappointed when I come home. I make myself unhappy, even though I could be happy by just seeing him and then spending a nice evening together.

Having no expectations will make you happier.

Expectations Can Destroy a Relationship

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
― Bruce Lee

Every person is different. So every person expects different things from their friends, family, or relationship.

Every person made different experiences with relationships.

For me, it’s clear that I can expect full support from my family for whatever it is that happens in my life. I know that and I appreciate it because I experienced this support and I will do the same for them.

But that’s not the case for everyone.

A lot of arguments in relationships are starting because one person expected the other person to do something.

For example, a girl expects her boyfriend to be there for her when she’s sick. If she’s sick, she can’t go to the pharmacy or grocery shopping and nobody else is near to help her, then for her, it’s totally normal that he will help her and take care of her.

For some guys, it wouldn’t even come to their minds to take care of her. Because she is a caring person and it would be totally normal for her to take care of a loved one when he is sick, but for him, it wouldn’t even come to his mind to do something like that.

And it’s not his fault that he isn’t thinking of that. He thinks that she can take care of herself, and she doesn’t want to show weakness,…

People Had Different Experiences

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Every person is different. You were raised differently than your friend, you experienced different cultures and groups of friends.

He never made this experience of caring for another person when she was sick. He maybe thinks she’ll be fine and doesn’t want to get sick either. Maybe his mother never wanted him to help her, so he is not helping now.

Then the girl is disappointed and doubts him, even though it wasn’t his fault. And it wasn’t the fault of the girl either to expect it because that’s what she experienced earlier in life.

This brings us to the most important wisdom for any kind of relationship:

Communication Is The Key

That’s why communication is so important in a relationship. The other person doesn’t know what you’re thinking.

You cannot read minds so you shouldn’t expect that the other person can.

So you have to tell him what you’re thinking, what you’re experiencing, and what you’re expecting.

You learned to say “thank you” as a child whenever you got something from someone. But some people didn’t.

Something totally normal for you could be something really strange and unusual for someone else.

Communicate with each other. What do you expect in a relationship? What do you expect from your colleague?

Expectations Aren’t Always Bad

Expectations are also a good thing because without them we would accept every mediocre or bad thing in the world and live with it.

But we expect our life to be great and don’t accept bad things and situations. We don’t accept bad food, bad movies, or bad relationships.

We expect good food, good movies, and good relationships. We expect good friends and a nice family. And we would do anything to achieve it.

Without expectations, we wouldn’t be motivated to do anything at all, because we would accept what we get and nothing better.

We expect that a Julia Roberts movie is great because she is a good actress. The filmmakers will try their best to meet your expectations, and they will make a good movie.

Attachment Is The Bad Thing

Expectations of a situation or a thing are a good thing because you’ll be motivated to fulfill those expectations. But being attached to a perfect picture in your mind of this situation or this thing is not motivating anymore, because it cannot be achieved.

Being attached to a picture in your mind about something being perfect can destroy the experience, and the mood of everybody around you, including you.

This attachment happens a lot at weddings. The bride wants it to be perfect; if it isn’t she is in a bad mood the weeks before, the day, and the weeks afterward. If it’s not 100% perfect, she will destroy the good mood.

But it doesn’t have to be exactly like the picture in your mind, because already more than 50% are great and every flaw will make the situation even better and more memorable or even more fun.

How Something Should Be

Everyone has a different picture in their mind of how something, the world, or a person should be. Because everybody thinks differently.

Let go of your narrow picture of the world and how it should be!

It’s much more fun without being attached to a perfect picture. The great thing about life and the world is, that it’s not perfect at all.


Expectations aren’t as bad as you think they are but the other person doesn’t know yours so tell them or don’t expect it from them.

Nobody is perfect. Neither is life nor the world. Don’t get attached to the perfect picture you have in your mind about how something should be.

Life doesn’t work like that. And you will just get disappointed by all the non-perfect things.

Take a look at your life without the expectations you or someone else has. Your life is great! Enjoy life how it is! Enjoy this moment!

Remove the perfect expectations from your mind. You will have a great day, a great life, and your achievements will be great! Enjoy every bit of it!

“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.”
― Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon

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