Unrealistic expectations are biased notions of how one should behave, or how an extreme measure of acceptability in couple behavior. These are usually blanket statements that impose stress on anyone trying to adhere to them. Common clues include words “should,” “always,” and “never” in your statements (of course, not talking about issues of security or respect); these instill pressure in yourself and others around you. Here are examples of beliefs that can dismantle love in relationships:
Disagreement is always destructive: Do you think that partners should agree on all matters, getting extremely upset if your partner disagrees with you on even casual beliefs? Can you not let an idea go until you both agree (or your partner agrees with you) even if it means you are up half the night arguing? Do you feel that the relationship (or your feelings) is falling apart if you have a disagreement? You might have an unrealistic belief about conflict in your relationship. When couples can address their negative feelings is a safe and constructive way, it can actually help a relationship grow stronger.
Relationship partners should sense each other’s thoughts and feelings without having to verbalize them: This is tantamount to mind-reading. Do you expect your partner to understand your moods simply by the huff in your voice? Do you think people really in love should be attuned to each other at all times? While partners should be empathetic to one another, super powers are for comic book heroes. You are expecting too much from nonverbal communication. While it’s risky to pipe up and talk about vulnerable feelings, it’s the only way to true intimacy with the one you love.
Are there some ‘rules for a relationship’ that you just can’t give up? Have you fallen victim to unrealistic expectations in the past? Read about three more, and tell us your own- here.