What are expectations and why do we have them?
When we move out and begin college and a career on our own, these childhood experiences begin to shape our budding worldview. In the first example (from the previous post), a woman may feel a strong distrust of men. She may secretly desire a man because she never had a good father figure. However, while she throws herself into many relationships, she may find herself expecting failure and more significantly expecting men to break her trust.
In other words, while we often desperately search for what we do not have, we simultaneously expect to never find it. We want love, but if we’ve had failed relationships, we expect rejection.
A guy in that situation may react totally different. His ideals for relationships may express themselves in the strong desire never to be like his rather. He may also find himself valuing strong independent women who he can’t control because he saw the devastating effects of his mother’s apathy on his family. He may ultimately view women as weak and in some ways may end up emulating his father in that he will approach relationships with a dominant attitude (despite hating the way his father treated his mother).
In other words, we often become what we hate. We run away from it but in running away from it are forced to adapt some of its attributes.
Thus we create our ideals for each level of the relationship. At the dating level we may develop certain expectations that will vary widely from one person to another. A few examples:
- no flirting with other girls
- sexually excusive
- no sex because we aren’t married
- call me at least once a day
- flowers on valentine’s day
- no more lunch dates with guy friends
- tell me what you are doing before you do it
- yes we’re dating but I’m still open to a better option
I’m sure you can already see the challenge. If my mindset has been shaped to think that when you are dating me you are not allowed to flirt with anyone else and your belief system states that flirting is ok as long as you don’t get physical…we’re going to disagree and have a bit of conflict.
Now some people suggest that communication can solve this problem. Just communicate what you expect so that the other person knows how to act. However that is presuming that your expectations are valid and are the way the relationships should be run. Who’s right? Who has to sacrifice? Who gets the right of way when two ideals are in a collision course?…. [to be continued]
Author: Jesse Leake
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