The last four entries have been dealing with relationships and dealing with the problems that might come up in them. Which I included families and how they form the basis of a support network. I want to round out the series with discussing expectations. For it seems to me that rigidity and flawed expectations seem to be a cause of our own inability to adjust to what life and relationships throw at us. I have stressed that in order for relationships to be successful and long lasting it needs to be based on trust, communication, friendship, open mindedness and the flexibility to adjust to change. Keep in mind that when two people come together, they have their own ideas, habits and customs that they are used to. By adjusting and lowering your expectations can make living with another person so much easier.
What I am trying to say here is that if you have preset or preconceived notions about how a relationship should be like, there is nothing but disappointment and pain in your future. You may find someone that you care about but how long will it last when you are constantly fighting, criticizing, and nitpicking your partner. Another thing you need to think about is your happiness and that of your partner. If you both set your goals so high that they are unattainable and have expectations that are unreasonable, I don't see how you two are possibly going to get anywhere and you are going to start to have regrets and before you know it you are going to be going at each other trying to assign whose to blame for failing to reach your common goals.
I believe that each relationship has to have reachable and realistic goals in order for contentment and happiness to be attained and maintained. I also maintain that if you have inflexible and rigid expectations you are never going to be satisfied with anything that you have or will gain, it is further going to push your goals into the realm of unreachable. It is important to understand that your expectations on a situation, affect the way you plan and reach for your goals. Often you have a preconceived notion that you base your feelings on and when a person doesn't live up to those expectations, you come down hard on that person. Your expectations are how you perceive something, it is the mental guide on which you judge everything. When your expectations are set so high, and you have an idea of how things should go, and they don't go that way, your reaction is going to be one of disappointment and anger.
We all go into a relationship with a preconceived notion of how it should be. When things don't live up to those expectation, the disappointment grows, and if your partner continues to fail to live up to your expectation, you start building resentments, and before you know it every little thing starts to irritate you. Your relationship becomes unstable and forward movement toward your mutual goals grinds to a halt. If you don't address it quickly and efficiently the everyday becomes routine and mundane, lethargy sets in and depression. The next thing you know you two are fighting all the time and the relationship crashes in a bitter and dreadful manner with feelings getting hurt on both sides.
In the entry I wrote about handling problems I stressed over and over again that you need to keep an open mind about things, you need to be flexible, adaptable and willing to change. You must be adventurous and willing to explore new options. It is important that your expectations be realistic so that you can set reasonable and achievable goals. I guess in a way I am trying to say that your goals and expectations must be aligned inside the relationship and without. You need to work together and accept each other for who you are. How can you say that you love someone in one breathe and then in the next try to change them, into what you think they should be. Because if you think about it, if the person does end up changing then they are not the person you were in love with any longer and in all actuality everything will have to change. Expectations can be brutal things that can tear a relationship apart.
Have you ever felt that for every one step forward, you take five steps back? If so that means that your expectations and goals are unrealistic and might actually be impossible to attain. You must adjust them accordingly before you finally give in to depression and throw in the towel. If you are a person that continually compares where you are at and who you are with to your past you are going to find that neither the place or the person live up to what you think they should. Memories are things that we polish up and idolize, and nobody can compete with a memory, so you constantly find yourself disappointed. No relationship can possibly withstand constant comparison to the past, further no goal can be reached if you keep living in the past and not moving forward.
I believe you that you need to take each person that you have a relationship with on their own merits. I do realize how hard it is to keep from comparing them to your exes, but if you continue to do it, your current partner is going to get the impression that you aren't over your ex and start to feel insecure, and if that happens there is no way possible for them to live up to the ideal that you have in your mind of the perfect companion. I think you may also find after several failed relationships that what you had once thought of as the ideal relationship doesn't actually exist at all. That you have been fooling yourself, and pushing people away from you because of your constant comparisons to your past, and because you are so set in your ways that you can't share your life with another person. I also think that your current partner is going to begin to feel a certain way about themselves and you. They are going to begin to feel that nothing they do is good enough for you, and that you just want more and more. They begin to feel stress and anxiety about this because they are doing their best and apparently in your eyes it is not enough.
Any goal that you are trying to reach is going to be always just out of reach because you haven't learned how to appreciate what you have. If you don't learn how to be content with where you are at in life and appreciate what you have achieved then how can you truly be happy, and if you aren't happy with yourself how can you be happy with anyone else. All because of your preconceived notions and expectations you are going to drive yourself and others crazy, and before you know it you are going to be all alone wondering what you did.
I hope you understand that all I am trying to tell you that we each have certain expectations and ideas about how things should be done, and if we don't adjust our way of thinking we are going to continue to drive others away from us. Any goal we might possibly achieve is going to be disappointing and we are never going to be happy with what we have accomplished because in our minds we haven't ever achieved the place or thing that we truly wanted. You must let go of the past to move on to the future, you cannot have a successful relationship if you continually compare them to your ex, and you are never going to be able to keep anyone with you if your expectations are so high that they couldn't possibly live up to them.
I hope you can understand how I have been trying to relate how expectations and goals are tied together, and how one can damage the other, and how when not dealt with together can result in constant disappointment and loneliness.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,