Managing Relationship Expectations

Do you ever wonder why your relationships are never quite what you imagined they would be? Have you ever dated a guy who seemed great at first, but turned out to be less than perfect? Or maybe you had an amazing connection with a beautiful woman and then found out the two of you really didn’t have anything in common. The reality behind many of these situations has nothing to do with the person you are dating -- and everything to do with your relationship expectations.

Believe.com is a faith-based content destination serving the Christian community, dedicated to helping Christians deepen their walk with the Lord as well as fellowship with other believers. The site also exists as a resource for the Seeker looking for hope and answers.

What are relationship expectations?

Relationship expectations are simply what you expect from the people in your personal relationships. From your co-worker to your best friend to your spouse, you have expectations of everyone in your life. You expect your boss or your human resources representative to hand you a paycheck on pay day. You expect your parents to remember to call on your birthday. You expect the new person you’re dating to call, or text, within a certain timeframe after a date. If you set your expectations too high however, and the person does not meet your standards, you are the one who winds up feeling sad or angry.

How do I manage my relationship expectations?

Managing your expectations is the key to keeping your relationship (and yourself) healthy and happy. Here are three easy ways to manage your expectations of those around you in order to live a better life.

1. Be open to those who don’t fit your “ideal”

We do not advise lowering your standards; you should only date those who truly inspire you to become the best person possible. If faith is the cornerstone of your life, you should be with someone who shares your love for Jesus. With that being said, it’s also important to be open to people who may not look quite as you expected them to look. For example, think about the amazing people around you that you may have dismissed as a potential date because they are too young, too tall or too introverted. If there’s just one small reason that’s holding you back, see if you can get past that reason and find a real connection with this potentially great person!

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2. Leave your relationship room to grow

The best relationships happen organically. Think about your best friend from childhood. We’re guessing you didn’t build up a huge expectation for this relationship when you met in gym class in the third grade. Instead, you just enjoyed it for what it really was, a new friendship with someone who you liked being around. Only later on did it blossom into something greater. Remember this the next time you meet someone new that gets you excited for the future, and try not to fantasize about your new relationship before it has room to grow on its own.

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