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20 Realistic and Unrealistic Relationship Expectations You Must Know About 

20 Realistic and Unrealistic Relationship Expectations You Must Know About 

Updated on Sep 13, 2023

Reviewed by Katina Tarver, MA (Mental Health and Wellness Counseling) , Life & Relationship Coach

20 Realistic and Unrealistic Relationship Expectations You Must Know About 

When you start dating someone, you automatically form a set of relationship expectations in your mind.

How will you know if you’re asking too much or too little from your partner? What will you do if your partner doesn’t love you as much as you’d expected them to? All these things will shape the future dynamics of your relationship.

In this think piece, I shall tell you all about relationship expectations and how to distinguish reasonable expectations from unreasonable ones. So come on, let’s get started!

What are relationship expectations?

Relationship expectations are a set of rules or guidelines to make sure that both partners are contributing to the relationship and helping each other grow.

Many people believe that it’s best to not harbor any kind of expectations at all because it avoids the pain of being disappointed. But in reality, having a certain set of healthy expectations can help both of you to cultivate a healthy relationship. You just need to know the line between realistic and unrealistic expectations.

By definition, relationship expectations are what you expect from each other in a romantic relationship. It helps form the baseline of treatment of what’s appropriate and not appropriate.

Let me tell you, it’s perfectly normal for your expectations to be different from that of your partner. After all, none of us are clones of each other. In fact, different expectations, if handled well, will actually benefit both of you. You just have to communicate it effectively and be accepting of their point of opinion. 

What is the difference between standards and relationship expectations?

Relationship standards are what you want from your partner presently. However, relationship expectations are what you want from your partner in the future.

Relationship standards represent a set of qualities that you want in your partner presently, such as a good sense of humor, similar beliefs, a positive attitude, etc. When your partner fails to fulfill relationship standards, you may take extreme actions like divorce or a breakup.

However, relationship expectations represent what you want from your partner in the future, such as romantic date nights, absolute honesty, some me-time, etc. In fact, when your partner is unable to meet your expectations, you’ll probably get angry or disappointed.

People tend to have standards that are based on who they interact with. For example, if you’re surrounded by people who have high goals and aspirations, you’ll also want to work hard and achieve a lot of things.

There’s nothing wrong with having high standards. That’s a good thing, as your partner may be able to fulfill them all and still fall short in meeting your expectations. That’s when the problem begins.

What are realistic expectations in a relationship?

Sensible expectations in a relationship, like trust, loyalty, love, support, open communication, etc that are possible to achieve are called realistic or reasonable expectations.

We all know that mismatched expectations can lead to a lot of problems in your relationship, but that doesn’t mean you should not expect anything from your partner. You can expect things from your partner, but you also need to make sure that your expectations are reasonable.

So, now what are reasonable expectations?

The right to be treated with dignity and respect, love and support. Intimacy in the bedroom and passion in your daily life, open communication outside the bedroom, and absolute loyalty – all these contribute to reasonable or realistic expectations.

However, these expectations can take a negative turn if you obsess over them. For example, you can’t expect your partner to be the only source of your happiness and spend every waking moment with you.

Moreover, if you expect them to change all their values and beliefs for you, that’s when reasonable expectations turn unreasonable. Also, never expect perfection because that simply doesn’t exist!

20 Realistic relationship expectations

Even though you now know the definition of realistic expectations, it is very easy to step on the other side of the line and become unrealistic or unreasonable.

To avoid this, here’s a list of 20+ realistic expectations that you must have in a relationship.

1. Your partner should be completely honest

No matter what, you deserve to hear the truth and truth only from your partner. The foundation of your relationship should never be built on wobbly lies and hidden secrets.

Make it a point to tell your partner that you want them to be as honest as possible and that you’ll be equally honest with them too. Of all the relationship expectations, this one is probably the most important.

2. Trust is the foundation of every relationship

The next most important thing is the ability to trust each other. If you’re not able to build a relationship based on trust, then it won’t be long-lasting.

You wouldn’t want to suspect your partner all the time and suffer from insecurity, right? So along with honesty comes the expectation of learning to trust your partner and asking them to trust you in return.

You should feel physically, mentally, and emotionally safe with them. There must not be any question of doubting their whereabouts.

3. Balance is the key!

In any healthy partnership, the contribution from both partners should be equal (or as equal as possible).

If you’re a guy and you’ve recently started seeing a girl, you can’t expect her to do all the household chores and manage her job (because this isn’t the 1950s anymore!). When one person is having a tough time, the other needs to pick up the slack, and vice versa.

Or if you’re a girl who just started dating a guy, you can’t expect him to pay all your expenses while you spend the day on a couch… you both must equally contribute to your living.

4. They must support you mentally

If you’re having a bad day at work or you’re going through tons of family drama, your partner should be the first person to give you a hug and tell you everything’s okay.

Expecting your partner to be there for you both emotionally and mentally is an important point. Not only are you both dating each other, but you’re also a team. And a team can only be strong if both players pick each other up on the bad days and make sure the other is ready to fight another day!

5. There’s no harm in some alone-time

Contrary to what popular movies and TV shows have taught us, it’s not a healthy relationship if two people are constantly sticking to each other. You need to expect your partner to give you a bit of space.

It doesn’t matter how much you both are in love; a real couple will always understand when and where to stop being clingy. Not only will the distance make your love stronger but it will also give you the time and space to pursue your hobbies.

6. Lots of sex! 😉

No, sex isn’t everything but it’s an important aspect of any relationship. Therefore, you should expect your partner to be open and honest about their sexual fantasies. In return, you should also let them know what moves turn you on and how you’d want them to treat you in bed (without any judgements!).

Active sex life can be a great advantage not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. It will also allow you both to discover fun things about each other!

7. A bit of physical affection

Did you know that non-sexual forms of physical intimacy are just as important as sexual ones? Things like cuddling on movie nights, holding hands, or giving each other soft kisses keep the spark in a relationship alive. 

So, make sure to tell your partner that you’d expect them to show you these forms of intimacy even outside the bed. These little forms of affection release oxytocin, or “love hormone” that can strengthen your bond immensely.

8. Unconditional respect. Always.

Wait, this one goes without saying. In fact, you shouldn’t just expect your partner to respect you – you should demand it as boldly as possible. Whenever you’re out in public, or you’re indoors, make it a point to respect each other’s wishes and opinions.

Even if you don’t agree with your partner’s views at times, say it in a respectful manner and make sure they do the same with you.

This point goes hand-in-hand with respect. When your partner truly respects you, they will understand the importance of consent.

If you’re a woman, you’ll know how important it is for your boyfriend to understand when you’re not in the mood to have sex or cuddle with him. And consent goes way beyond that too.

Even when you don’t wish to go out somewhere or do a particular activity, he should never keep pressing the matter or force you against your will.

10. Alone time with your partner

If you have the right to expect a bit of alone time away from your mate, then you also have the right to spend some private time with them!

Yes, watching movies or eating dinner together is fine but it’s always best to define separate days of the week that will be reserved only and only for you both. For example, set up a weekly date night where you both can go out for a romantic moonlit walk or a candlelight dinner.

11. A healthy amount of understanding

Both love and relationships are complicated things. In today’s era, people have different ways of loving each other and expressing it.

Also, depending on where you’ve grown up or who you’ve surrounded yourself with, your idea of love can be vastly different from your partner’s. Because of this, a happy relationship can only stand the test of time if both of you are willing to understand each other and hear each other out.

You must learn to accept, embrace and understand each other.

12. The ability to communicate freely

Of all the things one can expect in a relationship, communication is surely a big one. And if they’re unwilling to offer you that, then be ready to face a whole list of problems.

Further, you can’t always expect your partner to read your mind. So, share what you feel, speak what you desire, and talk about what you want. If you feel that your partner is somehow struggling to express themselves, try to be calm and understanding.

13. Loads of laughter and fun

Neither you, nor your partner needs to be a professional comedian to make the relationship thrive. But a bit of laughter and fun will take you both a long way. You should be able to laugh at yourselves and each other.

Make silly mistakes, joke around, and imagine ridiculous scenarios together. Life is often serious and boring, so expecting your partner to lighten up the mood by cracking a lame joke will give you the comic relief you deserve.

14. Effort for the relationship

Nobody wants to feel that they’re holding up the relationship alone, and it’s not wrong to expect your partner to put in equal effort.

 That doesn’t mean your relationship will become a part of daily chores that require constant effort and hard work. All I’m saying is that both of you need to be there for each other and show each other that you care. Your partner should never leave you during the tough moments and let you figure out things alone.

15. Acceptance and Support

So you’re not that great at calculating finances while your partner is an accounts whiz. Even if you do feel a little bad about it at times, it’s your partner’s responsibility to turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Instead of making fun of you or insulting you, they should instead teach you the things you aren’t good at. Even in public, if someone’s being unkind to you, it’s normal to expect your partner to have your back and support you unconditionally.

16. A beautiful friendship

In all healthy relationships, the partners are friends first, lovers second. This friendship gives them a kind of comfort that relationships don’t. 

So, when you’re dating someone, expect them to be your best friend and take all possible measures to be one yourself. Remember, friendship always wins in the race of friendship and love.

17. A bit of hygiene goes a long way

This may not sound that important, but little habits can make or break a relationship. Your partner doesn’t have to be obsessively clean, but it doesn’t hurt to expect them to be tidy and hygienic, right?

So, if you find them super dirty and it disgusts you, make it a point to tell them that it bothers you. Trust me, a partner who understands the importance of keeping themselves clean and fresh is a boon!

18. Punctuality is also important

So, whenever you plan a lovely date night, you show up right on time but your lover takes nearly an hour to reach the spot… worse, they give half-hearted excuses that seem to make no sense.

If you want your relationship to be free of all this, then communicate to your partner that you expect them to show up on time and value punctuality. There’s nothing wrong in expecting your partner to respect your time.

19. Kindness for your social circle

Your boyfriend or girlfriend might love you to bits but when you take them out to meet your co-workers or friends, they always seem to come up with an unpleasant opinion about everyone. If that’s the case, I’m sorry, but your relationship will be short-lived.

When you date someone, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect them to be kind and respectful toward your friends and family. Yes, they might dislike a few people but if they keep dissing everyone you know, then it’s a deal-breaker for sure.

20. They should prioritize you

As a romantic partner, it’s normal to expect your partner to prioritize you. However, in reality, sometimes work obligations or family matters can often become a top priority. However, don’t let these temporary distractions make you feel blue.

If at the end of that day, your partner loves you unconditionally and showers you with lots of affection and care, then you have no reason to worry! What’s important for both of you is to find a way to circle back to each other.

20 Unrealistic expectations in relationships

Now that I’ve told you about reasonable expectations, let’s look at some of the unrealistic ones. For most people, distinguishing between these two can become difficult. But don’t worry, for as long as I’m here. 😉

So, here’s a list of expectations that will ultimately make your partner say, “Nope, you’re expecting the wrong things!”.

1. No arguments equal a healthy relationship

No, no, and no! No healthy relationship is free of arguments. Yes, too many arguments can impact your mental peace but engaging in productive arguments will give both of you a taste of each other’s viewpoints.

Couples who avoid conflict might feel that they’re walking on eggshells all the time and are afraid to express themselves out loud. This kind of behavior will only build up negative emotions and cause a whole lot of problems later.

2. “You should know my mind!”

Most partners expect their better half to know everything without them saying. Well, that’s absolutely wrong.  

No matter how close you both are, your partner is only human, and you can’t expect them to read your mind 24*7. This will only inhibit honest communication.

Instead of arguing about things your partner doesn’t know, express yourself boldly and make sure there’s no room for confusion.

3. 24*7 Comfort

Yes, your partner should be your biggest support system, but you can’t expect them to dismiss everything else and stay with you in times of distress. This holds true, especially for day-to-day problems.

If you want your partner to be with you every time you’re having a bad day, you can try self-coping mechanisms to soothe yourself. Consider using therapy or pursuing a hobby that will make you less stressed.

4. They shouldn’t be friends with opposite gender

So, you’ve just been dating for a few weeks or months, and you’re already obsessing over how many male friends your girlfriend has. Things have reached a point where you’ve asked her to unfriend all her male friends so that you’re the only MAN in her social circle.

…or vice versa. Then you’re doing it all wrong.

Buddy, healthy relationships thrive only when you build trust… not when you try to keep them away from others.

5. Always wanting them to spend time with you

This might sound weird but expecting your partner to spend all their free time with you can be detrimental to your relationship. Not only is this expectation unreasonable but it will also give you both no space to breathe.

The phrase, “distance makes the heart grow fonder” is quite true! When you both spend some time away, doing the things that you love individually, you’ll realize that there’s a world outside of your relationship that’s equally important and vast.

6. Expecting them to find solutions for you

You might not like to hear this but your partner isn’t a know-it-all. They can’t always give you the solution that you want or need. So always expecting your boyfriend/girlfriend to provide an amazing solution to a major problem in your life is definitely unreasonable.

You have to understand that, at times, it’s more than enough if your partner simply sits with you and listens to your problems. They might not be able to solve them but they can make things easier for you.

7. “Follow me!”

I get it, you always want the best for your boyfriend so you give him advice and tips on how to do well in a particular paper or how to crack that job interview. But when he seems to follow his heart and not do exactly what you say, you bring the roof down.

Even though you’re acting out of your best interests, your partner might have their own opinions and perspectives on something. You can’t always expect them to follow your advice blindly.

8. Forcing them to change

At times, your significant other can unintentionally behave in a way that can be emotionally triggering but you shouldn’t ask them to change. It’s not fair.

Remember, you fell in love with them because of who they are. It’s fine to expect your partner to get rid of bad habits but if you constantly nag them to change every single thing about themselves, right from their sense of clothing to the kind of food they like, then it’s definitely wrong.

9. Sex is the only form of intimacy

Of course, you want sex. Your partner wants it too. But it’s not always necessary for you both to be on the same page about it. On tough days allow your partner to just cuddle and sleep. On happy days, kiss each other passionately.

Remember sex isn’t the only form of intimacy, and it shouldn’t be.

10. Expecting your partner to never change

If you’re prepared to stay in a long-term relationship, then you must accept that, like every other human, your partner will also change with time. The way they look, the way they see the world, and their hobbies – everything will see an evolution.  

So, you can’t expect them to stay the same forever because this will eventually lead to body-shaming issues that might make your partner feel bad about themselves. If you want more clarity, it’s best to talk to them about this.

11. Wanting your partner to be more emotional

This expectation is common, especially among women, when their boyfriends aren’t emotional or vulnerable enough. Look, ladies, I get you. Men can be a little insensitive about matters of the heart but don’t expect them to change overnight.

You can’t expect him to have the same amount of empathy or emotions as you. In fact, constantly nagging him about his inability to express himself might just shut him out even further!

12. Your partner is your only source of happiness

Trust me, your partner is not the only source of your happiness! Yes, they might make you laugh on certain occasions, but that doesn’t mean your sanity is their responsibility.

Your partner or fiance should never be your only source of happiness because this means that you’ve no life outside of your relationship. And a relationship like that is sure to fizzle out after a while.

13. You expect them to want the same things in life

As I’ve said, no two people are the same. Therefore, one person’s life goals won’t always be the same as their partner’s.

Yes, it’s important for your life goals to align and reach a middle ground but if you expect them to shift their visions, career, and everything just to match with yours, then you definitely need to re-evaluate your own goals in life.

Instead, discuss and communicate your individual life goals with each other so that both of you can work together.

14. Expecting them to pay for everything

Gone are the days when men used to pay for fancy dinners and open car doors for their women. In today’s world, most couples believe in equal partnerships, especially when it comes to financial matters.

If your partner earns more than you, then they might wish to spend more but always expecting your significant other to pay the bills while you don’t contribute anything is unrealistic.

15. You want them to apologize first

It’s unreasonable to expect the other person to say sorry “first” every single time, irrespective of the nature of the conflict. It can be quite easy to slip into the pattern of retreating and waiting for your significant other to come to you and apologize but that’s simply unfair to both of you.

The harsh truth is that neither of you knows when the relationship is going to end. And maybe when you do realize that you were expecting too much, it might be too late.

16. Expecting them to take your side in every conflict

There’s a lot of difference between your partner having your back and blindly agreeing to whatever you’re saying. The former is a matter of support, while the latter is simply an agreement.

In any healthy relationship, your partner should be able to realize when you’re wrong and point it out to you politely. If you expect them to not criticize you at all or correct you when you’re wrong, then that relationship will never stand the test of time.

17. Your problems are always bigger than your partner’s

How many times have you said things like, “You won’t get it anyway, you will not understand what I’m going through” or “You know nothing about my problems because you don’t have to face them!”?

Well, it’s easy to spill things in the heat of the moment but always believing that your partner is going through absolutely nothing while the weight of the world is only upon your shoulders makes no sense.

So don’t be disrespectful to your partner because they aren’t fighting the same battle that you are.

18. They are always supposed to take care of the house and/or kids

When you start living together, then it’s best for both parties to share the household work. This way, there’s no room left for conflicts.

So, if you expect your partner to always do the dishes, and laundry, and keep the rooms clean while you’ll do the bare minimum, then you’ve got to change your views. This problem is a pretty common one among men who believe that women are supposed to keep the house clean and take care of the children.

19. Sending gifts is the only love language

The problem with rom coms and TV series is that they’ve all taught us that love needs to be shown only through grand gestures (such as playing a boombox outside your lover’s house or planning an entire theme party to cheer them up).

But in reality, you can’t always wish for your partner to rent a hall for your birthday or bring you the moon. All you need to do is believe that they’re trying the best they can!

20. Always wanting your partner to tell you everything

Sure, being honest is a very important part of any relationship. But do you need to know every little detail about your partner’s life? Absolutely not.

If they find a safe haven in you, they’ll naturally come to you looking for comfort. But forcing them to tell you everything that’s going on in their life- right from where they went with their bestie to what they had for lunch- will only make your relationship boring after some time. Moreover, even your partner might get tired of the constant questions!

Signs your expectations are unreasonable

By now, you must have identified the major differences between expectations that are valid and aren’t. It’s much easier to distinguish the two when you’re reading an article or blog. But in real life, it’s that much harder.

So how do you actually figure out that your expectations are becoming more and more unreasonable? I have a few ways for you to figure that out!

1. You can’t accept the other person’s visions

This is one of the strongest signs that your expectations in your relationship are not reasonable. You find it impossible to understand or agree with your partner’s viewpoints, even though you subconsciously know that they’re right.

2. You get irritated when they don’t agree with you

If the smallest of disagreements makes you feel extremely irritated or upset, then it might be time to revisit your expectations and see where you can change them. It’s fine to feel a little upset once or twice but if this is a recurring problem, then you have to watch out.

3. You constantly criticize your relationship

Do you keep seeing only the bad in your partner or relationship? Do you find it hard to focus on how amazing your partner is or how much they love you? If the answer is yes, then maybe you’re expecting too much from your relationship. Constantly criticizing yourself or your partner is not a good sign.

4. You fixate too much on small issues

Being a perfectionist is harder than you might think. And if every little thing sets you off or makes you panic, then it probably means that you want your relationship to be perfect to the point that it becomes too-good to be true. Fixating on small issues and obsessing over them are also clear signs that your expectations are unreasonable.

5. You or your partner never feel good enough

If your partner has recently been having self-esteem issues and feels inadequate, then it’s time that you self-reflect. It may be because your expectations are too high for anyone to reach them.

How do you set relationship expectations?

Even though relationship expectations are demonized and shown as the root cause of problems, the truth is very different.

Whether you’re getting into a new relationship or you’re trying to make an existing one better, expectations will fuel all your decisions. This is why I have 5 great tips for you on how to set realistic and valid expectations.

1. Be subtle

No matter how much you want, you can’t just hand out a list to your boyfriend or girlfriend and tell them, “This is exactly how I want things to go”. Instead, emphasize the things that are important to you. Be subtle but clear.

This way, your partner will understand which values are important to you. For example, if you want them to be more punctual, then say, “I would really appreciate it if you could come on time.”

2. And be clear too

Most people confuse subtlety with vagueness. Even though you have to be discreet, you shouldn’t keep dropping vague or baseless hints because that won’t do you any good.

Phrases like “I wish you were here” don’t work in today’s era. Try saying phrases like “Would it be possible for you to free up a bit of time so that we could meet?”. Clear communication always helps set right expectations for you and your partner.

3. Do things together

Expectations are a two-way street and both of you need to contribute equally (or as equally as possible) to make sure the bond is long-lasting.

Find out how much you both are willing to compromise, and make other decisions based on that. Working together through thick and thin will prevent you from unloading unreasonable expectations and having miscommunications.

4. Don’t obsess over small things

This might be easier said than done, but if you really wish to set reasonable expectations in your relationship, then you have to stop sweating at the small stuff.

If you keep picking at insignificant things that happened ages ago, then not only will you get mentally tired after a while but you’ll also lose out on seeing the charm of your relationship.

So, think long and hard about what’s negotiable for you and what isn’t.

5. Be open

When discussing standards and benchmarks in your relationship, both of you need to keep an open mind. You and your partner are two different individuals with different tastes and personalities.

So, if you really wish to reach a midpoint, you have to consider listening to your partner and vice versa.

As I’ve already told you, mismatched expectations will always lead to a tragic relationship, so make sure you are open and honest right from the beginning.

Why relationship expectations can cause problems?

Every person has their own expectations from a relationship, and when they fail to align with the other, that’s when the problems start.

Before I tell you why having expectations can cause a whole lot of problems, let me first tell you why couples bicker and fight in the first place.

Expectations in a relationship are subjective, meaning each person will have their own set of expectations. For example, you might expect your husband to do the dishes every day while you take the responsibility of washing clothes. All that’s fine but if you automatically assume this is how things will be without ever discussing your roles, then it will cause problems.

Further, each partner thinks that their expectations are reasonable and dismisses the other’s. This is how conflicts start and then lead to a full-fledged fight.

Now, in a healthy relationship, both partners are ready to let go of their egos and forgive each other. They think of how to not repeat their mistakes and how to make the other one happier. But in most cases, partners fall out due to a lack of honest communication and eventually break up. Not only does this lead to a lot of heartbreak but it also induces trauma in future relationships.

How to communicate expectations in a relationship?

Communicate about your expectations honestly and also be empathetic and accepting of your partner’s expectations.

As I’ve already told you earlier, lack of proper communication between two lovers is what causes problems in relationship expectations. In a romantic partnership, both you and your partner have to muster up the courage to speak freely and openly.

Also, both of you should be prepared to listen to the other one without harboring any kind of judgment. If you’re someone who’s shy to speak up or be bold, now is the time to shed your inhibitions and be honest with your significant other.

Communicate your needs and expectations in all walks of life- household chores, jobs, taking care of children, family members, everything. And ask your partner to do the same. Even if you’re not used to certain expectations, don’t hold any grudge over them. Ask your partner to clarify and see how you both can find a common ground.

Lastly, understand that your partner might also feel awkward or weird while pouring their heart out to you. Remember to be kind and empathetic because these two qualities are very important. Put yourself in their shoes and see whether their expectations are valid or not.

Communicating might seem impossible at first but with time and patience, you both will be able to trust and love each other deeply.

How to manage expectations in your relationship?

Just because you know that unrealistic expectations can be detrimental to your relationship but it’s not always possible to prevent them. After all, we’re all human, right?

To help you deal with it, I’ve enlisted a few ways to help you manage them instead.  

1. Identify boundaries

Take some time to discuss what you want and what your partner wants. Do you want them to reply to your texts regularly? Do you feel that having sex before marriage is a big problem? Whatever your concerns are, tell them out loud to your mate. Only when you do this can you really identify your boundaries and see what makes you uncomfortable.

2. Give your partner time

Secondly, give your partner the time and space to consider your expectations. You can’t expect them to understand and embrace your needs and desires overnight.

For example, if you wish to marry your partner before turning 30 for you but your partner doesn’t seem to be interested anytime soon, it might not be easy for them to push their timeline. So, give them time to think and then make a final decision.

3. Respect conflicts

Conflicts may seem hurtful temporarily but they eventually help you understand each other on a deeper-level. Respecting conflicts is a great way to manage your expectations.

If you’ve grown up in an environment where conflicts were a big no, or if your family members kept arguing all the time, then make it a point to push past that trauma. Instead of being scared of conflicts, embrace them and respect them.

4. Don’t bottle up your feelings

Don’t ever deny or ignore your feelings. Remember, you’re a human being, and you deserve to experience all the emotions.

If you keep suppressing your frustration, anger, or any other negative feelings, one day, it is bound to burst in the form of a disaster. So, instead, let out whatever you’re feeling just at the time. Not only will a loving partner appreciate it but will also respect your feelings.

5. Don’t compare your relationship to others

There are endless movies and shows that can make even the strongest of couples feel that they lack love. But instead of getting demotivated, it’s your responsibility to take inspiration from them.

Don’t compare your relationship to that of someone else’s, even if it’s a close friend or family member. Every couple is unique and beautiful in its own way!

What to do when your expectations don’t align?

When expectations are vastly different, they can lead to unending problems. Seeking compromise or trying to understand your partner can provide a bit of relief here but the most effective way to work things out is to go for couple’s therapy.

Even if you’re not ready for therapy, you can try out activities such as asking each other important questions or taking notes from self-help books. A bit of self-introspection will also make you realize the parts where you’ve gone wrong and how to rectify your mistakes.

How to ensure your relationship expectations are met?

When you sit down and analyze your expectations, you might feel that not everything is measuring up exactly how you’d wanted them to. But don’t worry, that’s quite alright!

If you want to know how to ensure that your relationship expectations are met, read these five tips.

1. Identify your expectations

As with anything else, the path to ensure change is to change things within yourself. Identifying your expectations is the first step toward meeting them.

Whether you’re planning on setting new expectations or modifying the old ones, you have to first be clear about what you want. Take inspiration from someone else or ask others and then build your own standards.

2. Be truthful

Let me tell you, being truthful and forthright is extremely important. For example, if your wife has disappointed you in some way, then don’t simply brood over the issue and be quiet.

If you really want your expectations to be met, then you have to tell her everything clearly. I’m not asking you to be rude or assertive, but make sure your voice is heard.

3. Don’t let others influence your choices

Taking inspiration from others and being influenced by them are two very different things. If you keep viewing your relationship from the perspective of a third person, then you’ll always see shortcomings here or there.

So, instead look at your relationship with your own eyes and then find out the loopholes. Even if a friend or coworker tells you something, don’t take it too seriously until you analyze it yourself.

4. Don’t run after perfection

Don’t expect your relationship to be perfect. I’m sorry but there isn’t a knight in shining armor waiting to rescue you or a princess in a castle waiting for your kiss.

What you see in movies is simply a distorted reality. In real life, relationships are messy and rough. Similarly, you need to accept that your expectations won’t be met every single time.

5. Don’t ignore red flags

Just as it’s important to compromise, it’s also important to not lose your self-worth by ignoring red flags.

If your partner is constantly failing to meet your reasonable expectations, then you have every right to call them out. Ignoring their toxic traits will only make it worse when you finally call it quits.


If you’re in this part of the think-piece, you already know a lot about relationship expectations. Other than that, here are a few more commonly asked questions (with answers) for some more clarity.

1. What is a relationship without expectations?

Being in a relationship without expecting anything from your partner is quite impossible. After all, we’re all humans. No matter how much we don’t want to, each of us naturally builds certain expectations.

Many people seem to believe that a relationship without any expectations is “true love”. Well, that’s not really the truth.

A relationship with reasonable expectations is what is true love.

2. How do you love someone with no expectations?

Loving someone else without having any expectations from them is pretty difficult. But it’s not impossible.

Experts believe that in order to unconditionally love someone, you have to love yourself first. Secondly, you need to believe in the power of your love and have only good faith. Thirdly, accepting the person just as they are is also a sign that you might love them without any expectations whatsoever.

3. What are men’s expectations in a relationship?

People may think that men wish to get into a relationship solely for being physical but that isn’t true!

The two most important things that men crave in a relationship are friendship and communication. When a man starts dating someone, he will inevitably expect his girlfriend to be honest and open with him.

4. What are women’s expectations in a relationship?

Women, on the other hand, have slightly different expectations. They wish to be treated with love and respect by their boyfriends.

A man who truly loves his woman will always have her back and understand her. He won’t ever mistreat her physically, emotionally, or mentally. A strong woman knows that it’s her right to expect kindness and compassion from her man.

5. Should I lower my expectations in a relationship?

Reducing your expectations might be the key to being in a healthy relationship! Even though you can’t have zero expectations, it’s always best to tone things down when you’re confused.

Expectations are normal in any relationship, especially romantic ones but you must be able to identify the line between reasonable and unreasonable expectations.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

So dear reader, your mind must be boggling with so many tidbits after reading this article! Well, don’t get overwhelmed.

Your expectations might seem unmanageable or too much in the beginning, but if you understand yourself and your partner properly, then you can easily figure out the healthy expectations and put them to good use.

…and if you find yourself struggling, come back to this piece and borrow some tips! 😉

Are you interested to know more about ‘First Relationship After Divorce’ then click here?