Relationships: managing expectations

I've been in two really meaningful romantic relationships in my life. One failed in a miserable cry-fest which involved cheating, lying, yelling, and other unpleasantness. And now I'm in an amazing relationship with someone who I like (fine, I'm lame, and love him) so much that I might even be obsessed with him. But beyond being in happy and unhappy long term relationships I've also been single, dated a guy who delivered pizzas, and made myself look like a desperate fool. In the last 10 years that I've been dealing with boys (some, maybe, can be called men) I've learned a thing or two.

For me, the biggest thing that keeps me sane in my relationship is managing expectations and my insecurities. I had (and at times still have) these impossible standards and ideals about the way my partner should act. Undeniably, they are completely unreasonable. Keep in mind that Chris is amazing, and I honestly can't imagine a better boyfriend (gag. mush-fest). But in the beginning I had to work on my own expectations. Not because he was doing anything wrong but because I was wanting too much (an impossible amount) from him. And I let my imagination get away from me many many times. Chris and I call this "Hypothetical Evil Chris". Hypothetical Evil Chris is a cheating asshole who likes to put me down and sleep with strippers or any other lady he can find. When he goes away on boys weekends and I'm worried about what might happen I like to think to myself, "are these ideas about what Chris might do and think really something I know about his character? Or is this just Hypothetical Evil Chris who I am thinking about?"

So, when managing expectations I think you need to figure out what is {insert boyfriend's name} honestly capable of giving you? And what is an absolute need for you? I need lots of physical attention: I need kisses and hugs all day long. I need to be listened to and respected. I need to feel sexually attractive (I would hate for my boyfriend to like me just for my personality-- no seriously, that would suck). I need a partner who will dream big with me. I need someone who will be there for me on the great days but also on the days when I can't stop crying.

In the first 6 months or so of my relationship with Chris, our (okay, really my) biggest challenge was realizing how completely amazing our relationship was (and still is!) and to bask in that without letting some sort of crazy "ideal" or letting my overactive and insecure imagination get in the way.

So, the big question is what do you need, what do you want, and can someone balance them?

Ef... now that I've written this I'm going to be really embarrassed if Chris dumps my ass. But if that happens at least I'll have something to blog about...

3 comments- my fav!:

Mojito Maven said...

Oh man, I totally have to manage my own expectations. I know I have these ridiculously high standards for Mr. M and tend to get upset when he doesn't meet them. Yet, he never does this to me. It's one of my constant struggles that i have to actively try to work on and avoid. UGH.

missris said...

I struggle with "well you should just magically KNOW what I want you to say/the perfect thing to do." Basically just be a mind reader and we're all set.

Courtney said...

you dated a pizza delivery guy? seriously, who does that..? ;) you give great advice when it comes to managing expectations and figuring out needs vs wants. love you xx

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