The nature of relationships solicits expecting the unexpected. At the onset of a relationship, when there are no expectations, the unexpected happens, leaving one pleasantly surprised. A newly courting girlfriend may not be expecting her boyfriend to go out of his way to plan a special surprise on her birthday. She may also be surprised by a celebration to mark their first month of romance. So, when a boyfriend does something special for his girlfriend on her birthday, she would expect him to do that every year. And when it doesn’t happen, she’s disappointed and the relationship satisfaction graph takes a beating. A relationship gives rise to expectations. Once things start happening beyond the expected, expectations follow suit. The age of relationship and fulfilment of expectations are inversely proportionate. Ironical indeed!
‘No expectations, no disappointments’ goes the age-old adage. But is it really possible to keep one’s expectations under check in a relationship? Even if it’s possible, what is the point of a relationship where expectations must take a back seat? Every relationship should nurture the expectations of one’s partner as long as they are not unreasonable, unreal and too many.
Similarly, in a marriage, initially a couple would do anything and everything for each other. Although it doesn’t continue for long, it is expected to continue. With time, the special things a couple did for each other dwindle and that couple may start feeling things have changed. Also, if one of the partners is more expressive in terms of celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, important occasions, he or she would expect to be reciprocated with the same for theirs. When their spouse fails to level scales, they end up feeling distressed. But unless it is not verbalized, the partner may not know at all.
Marriage is all about meeting each other’s needs but it’s also about meeting your own needs. Marital expectations are a part of your own needs. Communicating your expectations with your partner is essential to keep the relationship ticking. Your expectations can help you achieve the kind of relationship you want rather than compromising on your expectations and letting them slide by. Expect, provided you feel you deserve it, it’s not unreasonable and its achievable. Make your spouse understand that to take care of your expectations is expected. Someone very rightly said, “It is not love that disappoints us. Expecting it won’t is what does.”