She’s not one to generally make profound statements. But last weekend, while ravenously gobbling her pasta, my friend said something so deep, it almost made me fall off the chair.
“Going through life with expectations is like having sex with an ex. No matter how it was, you’ll almost, always feel like crap!”
She isn’t a subtle one, of course.
We’re living in times when all is indeed well with the world. What’s not well however are our relationships. And the reason for it isn’t another person, it’s our own expectations from them.
Remember when you first fell in love? What made that first time so special was nothing but a certain innocence, a particular naivety. You didn’t fully understand love. You couldn’t comprehend what was happening. You were just in it. Wanting the person just the way he/she was. No alterations, no changes. No expectations. Happy times, right?
Unfortunately, the older we get, the more expectations we have.
We’ve been through experiences, learnt our lessons. We know what we want. From life. From family and friends. From relationships.
And that’s exactly what’s messing our minds. And messing our relationships.
It’d be fair if we weren’t waiting for those expectations to be met. It’d be fine if the longevity of our relationships wasn’t directly proportional to our partners meeting our expectations.
However, our relationships are saddled with expectations.
No one is happy and no one is in love. Almost everyone is dissapointed. Most of us are cynical.
Is there something wrong with having expectations? Not really.
But are our expectations realistic?
You’re having a crap day at work. When your partner calls, you’re not in the best of moods. Naturally, you don’t sound particularly chirpy on the phone. Your partner has an issue and you’re wondering why he/she can’t be more understanding.
Who’s at fault here? No one in particular.
Just that your expectations clashed with those of your partners’.
In relationships, it isn’t about right or wrong. It’s about living up to expectations. And sometimes, that’s the toughest thing to do.
We’re all designed differently. And just like different personalities, we’ve all got different minds.
We look at relationships in our own way. When we’ve found someone who matches our sensibilities, we get into a relationship.
But then, how much and how well can someone truly match our sensibilities?
At the end of the day, aren’t we just the only one who truly, completely understands us?
Before this starts sounding way too melancholic, it’s not like having expectations always destroys relationships.
It’s fine to have them. Sometimes, it’s also important to have expectations. From partners, friends, family, everyone. How else can you decipher if there’s compatibility? If the person understands you, cares for you?
But think about it. Wouldn’t it be better instead to not expect?
Anything you get would be a pleasant surprise. And if you get nothing, you’d be prepared for it too.
Life is a journey with its fair share of highs and lows.
Try as hard as you may, there’s no escaping heartbreaks, disappointments and loss. It’s in everybody’s life, part of everyone’s karma.
Can we do anything about it? I wish we could!
But if not having expectations keeps us away from certain disappointments, isn’t it a fantastic bargain?
Let life take you by surprise. Let your partner make you smile when you least expected it. Celebrate one birthday without expecting your best friend to do something special.