Expectations Hurt Your /love LifeAre Expectations Hurting Your Love Life?


Many of us spend a vast amount of our time contemplating this. Married people even let their mind wander down the path of questioning if they have chosen the right mate. Very often whom we think of as Mr. or Ms. Right is more or less perfect. They are perfectly thoughtful, perfectly handsome, perfectly funny, great in bed, and sensitive to our feelings. They have good jobs and are motivated to succeed in all the ways that are important to us individually. These perfect versions of Mr. or Ms. Right are usually a derivative of roles we have seen in the movies or in books we have read. To show the real ups and downs of being in a relationship and all the small ways that a partner is not perfect does not make for a great movie. So, as a therapist who has over 25 years relationship counseling experience, I need to tell you something. If you are looking for love or are unhappy with the love you have, you need to change your expectations. Love isn’t about finding a “soulmate” that will complement you in every way. It is about sharing a life with someone you find agreeable for the long term. Studies show that income and good looks do not have any relevance in lasting relationships.

To begin the process of setting realistic expectations, write and answer the following five questions:

  1. Who am I looking for in a partner? What qualities should he/she possess? Move on past good looks and income, writing down qualities you like about yourself or friends that you value.
  2. What are the values that I possess?
  3. Do I imagine this person saving me, rescuing me, changing my life, possessing values I do not?
  4. What are the health values that I believe?
  5. What are the love values that I believe?

The process of finding a good partner begins with understanding your own values and what you are bringing with you into a relationship. You want someone that is nice and nurtures what is already amazing about you. Don’t look for perfect. If a possible partner or your partner has done something that hurts your feelings or you don’t like, open the door of conversation before you jet out looking for Mr./ Mrs. Perfect again. Psychologists have shown it takes between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide if you fancy someone- and that this decision is based mostly on their body language and the tone and speed of their voice. You may be missing out on a perfectly complimentary partner based on the way they said hello and then all the other expectations piled on top of that. Change your expectations and see if there is a more attractive selection of mates in your vicinity.