By Brandon Jamil
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Currently the social norm around expectations is that we simply don’t need them. In an interview on the OWN network in 2017, American author, life coach, and philanthropist Tony Robbins stated that expectations in relationships are the cause of so much unhappiness. This stance primarily speaks to our innate feelings of disappointment and to avoid disappointment we should allow our partners to make their own set of choices. Some people who take this stance also believe that single people miss out on love, because their expectations limit their ability to form true intimacy.
While this philopshpy can work for some, the philosophy misses the importance of creating meaningful relationships by cultivating awareness, boundaries, care, tenderness within our relationships. In-oder to ground stable and healthy relationships we must have a healthy concept of expectations. We understand that we have basic needs within our relationships, and to get those needs met we depend on our partner to meet those needs. We expect them to show up and meet them.
Every day we go to work or run our companies, etc and we expect to get paid for what we do. The same applies for almost anything that do as human beings. Having expectations for ourselves and our partners is not different. It can only become dangerous to have high expectations for our partner when they’re incapable of meeting those expectations, and when simply refuse to. That is the time when we can choose to let the relationship go. If we remain in a relationship where our expectations aren’t being met, we then take on the burden of being in an unfulfilled relationship.
In an article from Dr. John Gottman, Ph.D website, he states that according to Dr. Donald Baucom psychology professor at University of North Carolina has studied expectations for nearly a decade. He has discovered that people get what they expect. Baucom goes go to state that people with low expectations get into relationships where they’re often treated poorly, and people with high expectations tend to get into relationships where they are treated well. Which means that you will get what you want out of a relationship when you have high expectations.
Gottman inserts in the article, that we shouldn’t expect our relationship to be problem or conflict free, but instead both individuals understand that it’s not realistic to expect the relationship to solve our childhood wounds, serve as a gateway to spiritual path or self actualization. Gottman says that we must not allow ourselves to get treated poorly.
In a healthy relationship where expectations are reasonable and managed, we can expect to have shared beliefs, values, loving and caring treatment, loyalty, and friendship with a satisfying sex life. Couples that truly embrace this mindset understand that this allows them to create the ideal home life that is mutually beneficial. Gottman concludes the article by stating that we should in-fact expect to be treated well, because we continuously do the work for ourselves to deserve it.
You see, by omitting that expectations make us miserable, we communicate to our subconscious mind that we’ll be miserable with a partnership that consist of expectations. Our subconscious mind takes that data and emits that same signal into every fabric of our life. This is to say, we attract partners who will never meet our expectations. We will accept poor treatment in our relationships. It’s okay to ask for what we want. It’s self loving to actually walk in the direction of we want.
My entire dating and relationship sector changed the moment I accepted love. Allow me to elaborate; I slowly understood that money and love can exist. I began to understand that I am worthy of love and loving is a risk, but when I looked at how miracles took place in my life by taking risks—I knew that love was no different. When I realized that it was okay to expect the best for myself (IN MY LOVE LIFE) I grew to accept that conflict and challenge was apart of intimacy. In-fact conflict and challenge was another door to intimacy, and I opened this door and I haven’t looked back.
The moment that we take the leap into learning what to expect of ourself and others, we will begin to notice how our life is changing. We’ll be able to see a difference within our relationship and dating dynamics. We will begin to only attract men who expect for their partners to meet them with love, care, tenderness, shared beliefs, values.
Alas, social norms and gurus don’t hold the keys to our hearts—we do. If anything, social norms and gurus point us to the door (thank you Toni Robbins for pointing me to my own door). It’s our job to open the door and be willing to stand in our own truth along the way. If we’re willing to accept that we’re worthy of expecting the love we desire, we can give ourselves permission to enter into a union that is built on a healthy foundation. As we walk one step closer to love, we shed the false belief systems that for some reason or another a loving relationship is unattainable.
“When you know better, you do better.” -Maya Angelou