Unrealistic expectations are held by almost all of us, myself included. This sharing by a reader may help anyone else who is experiencing the same issues with unrealistic expectations.
The background story
“One of my highest priorities has been finding the person who would make me happiest and to share my life with. Now I have found someone who is beginning to fulfill this want. It has become (scarily) my highest priority to nurture and preserve this relationship.
My boyfriend is very much an individual who has his own goals and dreams. He enjoys his alone time and hobbies as much as time with friends, family, and myself. That’s why he intrigues me so deeply, because we are so vastly different. He is so much his own person, whereas I feel like I am beginning to depend on this relationship in an unhealthy way.
Unrealistic expectations creep in
Even a month into this, I am beginning to set unrealistic relationship goals. I often talk about the future and give commitment hints. He tells me this is beginning to scare him, even though he tells me constantly that he wants to move to the city so that he can be closer to me. He also tells me that he would look forward to us moving in together at some point in the future.
Over the past two weeks, we have been arguing at least once per day about where we both want this relationship to go. He tells me he loves me deeply and I make him happy. But he doesn’t know if he can give me the happiness I so desperately seek. He says that he doesn’t want to be the only thing that makes me happy. His mother told him he is not responsible for my happiness, and that perhaps we are taking things too fast.
When we are together and not arguing, we connect so deeply and have such great fun. I love his personality, how good of a person he is, and just the way he looks at me in general. I don’t want my unrealistic expectations and wants to get in the way of what could be a wonderful relationship. What should I do? Please respond and help me if you can.”
1) Try to live in the moment. Not everyone has the blessing of being with a person who loves them. Those of us who do are very fortunate. TThe future is uncertain and we cannot know for sure that we’ll have this moment tomorrow, so enjoy it while it’s here. Whenever you find your mind wandering into the future, bring it back into the moment. Enjoy the present, whether you’re with him or doing something else in your life. If tomorrow never comes, you would have had today.
2) Be grateful for what you have. It’s very human to desire certain outcomes. Only those who learn to be grateful can escape the never-ending spiral of wanting more rather than being happy with what we have. And we have so much, if only we had eyes to see. Whenever you find yourself wishing for more in the relationship, shift your focus instead to what you already have, and count your blessings. Doing this will enrich not only your relationship but your life, as your entire attitude changes.
Here’s the reader’s reply to my response:
“Thank you so much for the advice! It helped immensely, and after also speaking with a close family member, I’ve decided to try my hardest to reduce my expectations and see where that takes us. I’ve also decided to live in the moment and I’m going to show my boyfriend just how much I love and care about him. You have helped me see just how much I stand to lose, and that I should be so grateful as to have a boyfriend who loves me unconditionally.”
We hope this story of how a reader dealt with unrealistic expectations will help you to identify and deal with your own.