Should You Let Go of Expectations in Dating?
Do you believe in having expectations in dating? In this video, learn 2 types of expectations and several ways to manage them while dating.
Many experts say you should let go of expectations in dating if you want to find love. I disagree. In this video, I share the two types of expectations in dating, and several ways to manage expectations so you don’t get disappointed or hurt.
Should You Let Go of Expectations in Dating?
Two types of expectations:
1. Expectations of others
2. Expectations people place on you
It’s also important to define the difference between standards and expectations.
Our standards signify our core vales. It’s important to identify our standards and expect them to be met in relationships. In a healthy relationship, both partners communicate their standards and set boundaries around them.
But there’s a big difference between having agreed-upon standards and expectations.
An expectation is not an agreement between people; it is a belief that a certain outcome or event will happen.
Expectations are purely conjecture about what the future might hold, based upon our strongly held assumptions.
Knowing how to avoid expectations is a life skill that will serve you well in all parts of your life. When you begin to recognize the difference between standards and expectations, you’ll be surprised at how often they surface throughout your day.
Once we understand our own expectations are nothing more than our best guesses built into a belief about someone or something, we can begin to manage them. These best guesses are based on our deeply held opinions mixed with a big dash of hope.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Three Ways to Manage Your Expectations
1. Never assume.
When in doubt, get curious. Ask for clarity. Ask what the other person needs or wants instead of assuming. For example, you might assume the man you’re dating wants to go out to eat after a long day at work, when he may just want to stay in and cuddle. Save yourself from disappointment by asking, not assuming.
2. Removing expectations from all your relationships is smart AND kind.
It never feels good to be misunderstood. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting people to be who YOU want them to be. Instead, stay present and open to who they are. You’ll have far fewer misunderstandings and disappointments.
3. Stop comparing your life to others.
When we compare ourselves to others, we usually fall short in some way. On top of the comparisons, we also have fantasies about our lives that will happen as soon as all our ducks are in a row. For example, “When I get that raise, I’ll be happy.” “Once I lose ten pounds, or my kids leave home, or I get that degree, I’ll be fulfilled, find love, get that dream job.“ Those dreams are expectations in disguise.
Don’t mistake expectations for goals. Goals are very important, and as a life coach I encourage them. But, expectations just make people feel bad. They don’t move your life forward.
That’s how we can manage our own expectations. It’s a little harder to manage other people’s expectations of us. But it’s definitely doable, and it’s worth investing your time and energy into being proactive in three key areas.
3 Ways to Manage Other’s Expectations of Us
Communicate how you want others to treat you. Repeat yourself if you have to, and you will probably have to with many people. Let others know your boundaries; such as when you’re available, what you will and won’t do, what’s negotiable and what isn’t.
In dating, if a man knows you’re an on-time person in advance of the date, he will probably make an effort to be on time. If you both share what you need in advance of a vacation, such as downtime to recharge, you’ll both have more ease and joy.
2. Anticipate problems.
It’s healthy to anticipate and speak about the worst-case scenarios in dating and relationships so you can be prepared for whatever comes up. That way, you can insure there are less big surprises and upset, and things will go much better.
3. Know your partner’s biases.
If you know your romantic partner’s core beliefs and where they stand on hot button issues, it can help you have compassion for their differences, which helps you connect and communicate better with them.
Master Your Expectations
Understanding the role of expectations in your love life will help you begin to raise your consciousness about expectations, so you recognize them when they show up, and you can nip expectations in the bud.
You’ll feel empowered when you begin implementing the strategies I’ve shared with you, for eliminating expectations of others, and for minimizing others’ expectations of you.
Having this understanding will enable you to manage expectations so they don’t manage you.
How have you seen unrealistic expectations hurt your relationships?
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