Defining Expectations

When it comes to relationships, it can be easy to want the best, but it is also important to remember that everyone is human. Although not intended, mistakes are made. If you are like me, those mistakes happen too often for comfort. Through getting to know myself, I have realized that I can be a perfectionist when it comes to things I care about. This can be good at times, but it also makes it difficult when I get down on myself when things don't go as expected. It is unfair to think relationships can be any different or completely perfect. This is because of the fact that they are filled with mistakes too. I asked several close friends what they thought was fair or unreasonable to expect in a special one, and received some wise feedback.

"What is reasonable/unreasonable for someone to expect out of their special one?"

Reasonable: It's reasonable to expect respect from your special one, and respect comes in a lot of forms. Your partner could show you respect by listening to your story all the way through, or taking out the trash the first time you ask. It's unreasonable though, to expect them to cut ties with people who have been there for everything just because you don't like them.

-Sam, 21

Reasonable: Expect honesty, loyalty, to be treated in a way that you feel honored, to be loved, to be cared for as long as you care for them as well, to be able to share your feelings with each other, being comfortable around each other, learning about each other!

Unreasonable: Expecting them to give up important things for you, expecting them to stop hanging out with their friends, expecting them to ONLY spend time with you, expecting them to talk to you 24/7 and getting mad when they don't, expecting them to pay for everything, expecting them to give you things all the time and never giving them anything in return, expecting them to always agree with you and never argue (arguing is a healthy part of a relationship, its supposed to bring you guys together).

-Haley, 19

I think it's reasonable to expect a special one to have the same values as you. I think it is also healthy to want someone who will make you happy, and someone that you enjoy spending time with and are attracted to. I think it's unreasonable to expect your special one to have specific qualities.

-Sammy, 18

Through the multiple responses received, it can be concluded that we are all called to be forgiving in relationships, but we also must hold our standards so that respect can be given and received. Although mistakes can be made on both sides, forgiveness is always an option and it is a healthier alternative to holding grudges, which prevent growth. To allow for an expansion of trust in a relationship, you need to let go of everything holding you back in accepting your partner and their entirety. It is likely that they already know their flaws and are harder on themselves than you could ever be. Just reaching out and letting them know that their imperfections do not define them could help initiate self-love.

Acceptance is the one thing everyone is subconsciously looking for (either in the workplace, school, life, or self). Wouldn't it be great if you could provide that for your partner and help them grow as an individual? Because honestly, more likely than not they are trying their best, and it really is the thought that counts.

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