Expectations ruin good things in relationships.

expectations_6One other problem with expectations:

Expectations ruin good things in relationships.

For example, if you expect your significant other to take out the trash when it is full and he doesn’t what happens? You get angry and frustrated and tell him off or at least ask him to do. If he doesn’t agree with your expectation (maybe it’s his roommates trash or whatever) he may resent you. If he does take it out, you are simply getting your expectation met with nothing greater or better in the mix.

However, let’s suppose you had no such expectation. Let’s suppose you knew he might be busy, or its not his trash, or he’s not that responsible with things like that so you put that expectation aside. Now when he doesn’t take out the trash you will most likely have no emotional response to the situation. You may do it yourself, you may ask him nicely if he could help you with cleaning up, or you may just leave it and not worry about it.

But what if he does take it out? You will be surprised. You will be thankful. You will think more highly of him. In other words you will be blessed by his actions because they were not expected.

Expectations take the blessing out of relationships. Expectations remove the joy and pleasure that can be had when someone surprises you and blesses you with something that you enjoy without you having to prompt them.

I personally hate Valentine’s Day. I think it is a commercial, fake holiday where men are forced to suck up to women by buying them flowers and chocolate to keep the relationship from getting rocky. What if women stopped expecting something on Valentine’s Day? What if they simply saw it as another day?

Now when their man saw that he really valued his woman and one day came across a gift of some sort that he knew she would love he would buy it for her. And when she received it she would be surprised and happy and thankful. It was not expected of him, it was simply done from the heart.

It’s the same with so many things: Why do some men expect women to cook? Why can’t they cook for themselves and if the woman cooks something amazing it will be and enjoyable surprise?

Why do some women expect large diamonds and fancy rings? Why can’t they just accept the love of the person they are with and enjoy their lives together?

This takes conscious effort to overcome (strange isn’t it? There are no easy fixes in relationships). But one thing that will help is to constantly remind yourself of the blessing you are missing out on when everything becomes an expectation.


12 thoughts on “Expectations ruin good things in relationships.

  1. i agree with the general idea but i think it should be about unrealistic expectations – such as huge diamond rings, or someone being perfect, etc. there do need to be some expectations – such as expecting there to be honesty and respect. i personally expect that anyone i’m with isn’t going to solve his anger issues by taking it out on my face (hitting, etc). the thing about the trash, depending on what stage you are in a relationship, some of those things should be expected. it should be expected that certain house/apartment cleaning responsibilities be shared – as you discussed with the cooking. if you co-habitat why is one person supposed to be the designated cleaner? (unless of course that was pre-arranged by the couple). expectations can be hurtful as you stated in your previous post, but if there are no expectations – don’t you at some point just settle for things you’re not really happy with either? i definitely agree with the idea of expecting someone to change – that’s ridiculous. no one can afford to expect that. as for valentine’s day – well i see nothing wrong with setting aside a day to show love/appreciation(it’s not about sucking up unless you landed yourself in the doghouse for some reason haha) for another person and it’s not just about men to women; women are expected to show the same – that said – does it have to be on that day? no. is unexpected more valuable- absolutely. i would also, and this is a different topic i suppose, argue that part of why v-day has become what it has because consumers gave advertisers, etc., the notion to do that. just some thoughts. i always enjoy the thought you put into these. 🙂

    1. It depends….if you meet a messy guy and fall in love and marry him he’s not going to stop being messy just because he’s not married. He will likely always be that way. And domesticating him with cause him to be someone he is not and probably create some resistance. Just saying.

  2. This reminds me of the advice my Mom gave me when I got married. She said “there are 3 words that will fix everything, and they aren’t ‘I love you’, they are ‘lower your expectations'”. I’ve learned to not expect more than what my husband normally provides, therefore I am rarely disappointed and often happily surprised when he does something out of the ordinary 🙂

  3. What is also always fascinating to me is thinking about the expectations I might have for others without taking a look at myself and thinking about what if anything I should expect from me and what do I do when I don’t live up to them.

  4. Great post! I agree that expectations can be damaging in relationships (any relationships). I agree with one of the comments above in that there should be some expectations in the relationship, the kind you generally should have in any relationship. However, the expectations that are far out there, unrealistic, can’t be reached, get in the way, or we think this person must/has to fulfill for our happiness are just wrong. There are some things that person cannot or will never be able to fulfill. Those are usually the only things God can anyway! No relationship or person needs that added pressure to measure up to something they’ll never be able to. So, yes, I agree expectations can get in the way and kill or stifle a blessing!

  5. A good point. Beyond expecting to be treated with basic human dignity and kindness, we should not have any preconceived notions about our significant other. We also need to be ready to accept them at face value and not think of them as raw material to be changed or manipulated. People are who they are and are not likely to be changed.

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