As humans, we set expectations for everything. We wake up each morning and decide what we’re going to wear for the day and how we expect the day to turn out based on that small decision.
We do this with even bigger decisions, such as, our relationships with other people. Our biggest disappointments in life stem from a crush where expectations are made about their personality and how the relationship will develop. This can make things turn out badly, because people aren’t perfect like in our fantasies. People are very weird and terrible. We’re all awful in our own ways, but it’s much easier to accept a friend’s flaws than a lover’s.
Why is that?
Well, romantic interests are supposed to solve all of our problems like the media portrays. We’ve had friends our entire lives and have become accustomed to meeting people and then getting to know and accept them as friends for who they are. We’re usually not dating until our teenage years where we’ve played in our heads a million times what our perfect significant other will be like. Then we get our first crush and start fantasizing about all the perfect things they’ll say and do. We all begin constructing how this person will act in every scenario and begin planning our interactions before they happen.
Does this ever work? Not really. Sometimes you can predict little responses, but truth is we don’t know that person at all yet. We’ve already began creating moments with them before knowing their basic personality traits. It honestly takes getting your heart broken a few times before realizing how unrealistic and illogical all of our expectations had been.
So now, let’s think about the common break up line, “I think I loved the idea of you, but I didn’t truly love you as you are.” So many people have been told this line by someone they also truly believed they loved. They find themselves confused, hurt, and betrayed. They start to wonder, “am I not good enough?” And the answer doesn’t really lie within that question, because it’s never about how “good enough” a person was. The truth lies in the person they constructed in their head without truly knowing you and then how much they disappointed themselves by making these unrealistic expectations and desires.
We have all done it. In order to have true romantic relationships with others, we have to get to know the person before making any requirements of them. Only after spending extended periods of time with someone can we truly even have romantic interest in them. And I’m definitely not saying to just accept any person as they are and be with them. I’m saying find someone who you can accept for themselves and love them for what they truly are without setting expectations for who they should be. You would only be hurting yourself and them to be unrealistic.