Some people will go to bed tonight feeling loved and happy. Their partner will have met their expectations and done all the right things to make them feel special.
Others will go to bed tonight feeling sad and alone. Their expectations will not have been met and they will feel more unloved and unwanted than ever.
The common thread in these two examples is that both of these groups are determining how they feel, based on the actions of another.
When we have expectations in a relationship, when we feel we need our partner to do specific things in order for us to feel good, we set ourselves up for heartache.
No one can meet all of our needs. Even if our partner gets really good at it, inevitably there will come a time when they are unable to meet our needs and when that happens it feels really painful. And because it all hinges on what someone else does, we are powerless to change it or feel better.
And when our partner has expectations of us (spoken or unspoken), we start to feel pressure. Pretty soon we find ourselves feeling self-consciousness and monitoring what we do, we begin to walk on eggshells and stop being who we really are. Expectation can really set us up for heartache and resentment in a relationship.
So, what do we do?
We begin by being aware of our expectations. When we can identify and understand what we are expecting from others, we can begin to meet our needs on our own. We release our partner from expectation and allow a feeling of ease to come into our relationship.
If you give or receive one gift this Valentine’s Day, choose to feel good about yourself, whether anyone else does anything for you or not.
Come back to the site this week for further discussion, personal examples of this and exercises to help you implement this in your own life.
Love this opening post! My friend has a saying, “Hope for the best, expect the worst. When you get so-so, you’re happy.” ;~)
For me, letting go of expectations (esp. in what my husband should be doing and what he should know about me) has been the beginning of great happiness. Thank you for this reminder.
Thank you for being here! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your experience.
This is something I still struggle with even though I feel like understand this intellectually. I want to be in charge of my own happiness, but wouldn’t it be so much easier if he would just fulfill me so I don’t have to?
I guess not.
Thanks, Hillary! I write about this, think about it, practice it and implement it as often as I can…and sometimes my old defaults surface so easily. It’s clearly a work in progress.
Wow, what a GREAT post and so important on Valentine’s Day! You’re wonderful, LJ! Everyone could benefit from reading this. (I’m so excited about your new blog!)
Thanks for your support! I’m excited about my blog too!
This is excellent! I’m going to get all my buddies to read it!
Thanks. I appreciate your support!
Yes, an excellent post and reminder, and like Andrea noted, I also struggle with this. I’ve come to a place where I have pretty much let go of most “reacting” and lashing out that comes from those feelings of disappointment…
So now, I’m more in the space of wanting to know where to go with the disappointment, and more importantly, how to get in the space of having no expectation in the first place, just love.
Thank you for sharing your experiences too. You may want to check today’s post. It is an exercise that may help you start to turn those expectations into something more positive!