Keeping Expectations Real

A change in perspective can prevent disappointments and enhance satisfaction in love relationships


Mona: Why are you crying, Shalu?

Shalu: I just had a fight with Sumit.

Mona: But why? Didn’t he just take you out for a holiday for your birthday? 

Shalu: Yes, the holiday was nice but I was hoping he would take me out for a candlelight dinner but he didn’t. He doesn’t understand me at all.

Mona: Did you tell him that you wanted a candlelight dinner?

Shalu: I hinted at it, plus I had mentioned it once before the holiday. He should have remembered. He doesn’t love me at all.”


When we get into a romantic relationship, it is natural for us to want the relationship to fulfill certain needs. For example, when we are in a relationship, we would like our partner to take care of our need for love, care and intimacy.

Problems arise when we expect those needs to be met in very specific ways. When that doesn’t happen we feel disappointed and hurt. For example, you might want your partner to show you that he/she loves you by saying “I love you” every day or by spending every moment in their day with you, although your partner might have very different ways of expressing their love.

Although it is next to impossible to not have any expectations, it is possible to keep your expectations realistic. Here are some common situations where most of our expectations miss the reality mark:


Unrealistic expectation: I should be my partner’s top and only priority; my partner’s world should revolve around me.

The real deal: When we get into a relationship, we often forget that our partner is also an individual. As an individual, he/she will have personal interests, work, and people in their life, which are separate from us and the relationship. Instead of wanting to be “the only priority,” it might be more reasonable to want to be “one of the most important” parts of your partner’s life.


Unrealistic expectation: My partner should go out of his/her way to make me feel special frequently otherwise he/she doesn’t love me.

The real deal: There are various ways in which people show their love and most of them do not involve grand gestures. Love is often visible in small acts. Maybe your partner’s way of expressing love is by being there for you when you need support. Or by watching a movie that he/she doesn’t like but you do. Or by taking care to not do things that upset you. Instead of expecting “special” acts of love, be grateful for the little gestures of care and affection that together can mean a great deal.


Unrealistic expectation: My partner should know what I want without me telling him.

The real deal: With time, most couples begin to have a fair idea of their partner’s likes and dislikes. However, it is humanly impossible for anyone to mind read or know with absolute certainty what another person is thinking of feeling. Instead of expecting your partner to magically understand you, talk them and share what is on your mind. This can help prevent misunderstanding and disappointment.


Unrealistic expectation: My partner should never hurt me

The real deal: Even in the most compatible of relationships and despite the best intentions, there will be times when one or both partners might end of saying or doing something to hurt the other. That’s because relationships are complex and each person comes with their own set of emotions, insecurities and flaws. Instead of expecting your partner to be perfect and never, ever hurt you, agree to disagree on certain matters and move beyond the hurt to resolve your differences with love.


Unrealistic expectation: Our relationship should be happy and exciting all the time

The real deal: Relationships. like most things in life, are dynamic. They go through various phases with ebbs and flows. There will be moments of excitement, but for the most part, relationships are usually made up everyday mundane moments. Intimate conversations, shared meals and chores, arguments and discussions, family gatherings, silent drives or walks, plans for the future…all of these (and more) together make up a relationship. While these moments might not be very intense in nature, they help strengthen the relationship bond over time. Instead of seeking short-term excitement, strive to create a relationship that’s has healthy mix of emotions and experiences.


Each relationship is different and that’s what makes it special. Find time to explore what makes your relationship unique and nurture it with your very own style of love and affection.