I didn’t expect I would ever complete a “Part 2” post but I am realizing some topics of worth revisiting. The topic of expectations is one that I don’t think will ever stop. I actually have been compelled to write about expectations again exactly a full year after I wrote about them the first time. (You’ll read it a a bit later). The universe can be funny, but let’s dive in!
We live in a world that is filled to the brim with expectations. We are taught to have expectations of ourselves, of society and those we surround ourselves with. I covered this specific generalization last year, but after the year I’ve had I’m ready to dig in a bit more.
First off, no matter how clear you think your expectations are, think again! I know the best rule of thumb is to not have any expectations, well…. it is a goal I have, does that count?! Really though, everyday for almost four months I have had to re-evaluate the expectations I have of the other human being currently in my life, aka Sam aka my boyfriend aka not someone who I’ve ever lived with.
We lived in two different households, raised two different ways, and live life in two different ways. We each have things that in our relationship and within our home life that matters more than some. For instance, I grew up with you make dishes in the kitchen you clean them (ask my mom and dad though, definitely not perfect there!) Not saying Sam was not but it simply doesn’t bother him to have dishes piled in the sink (for me it is like nails on a chalk board.)
Silly right?! Me being me, I had the expectation that he would just adjust to “my ways” (first no no) and pick up after himself and not leave dishes everywhere.
Instead I just would do them or get irritated, frustrated, upset and take it as a sign he didn’t care (second no no). When I got really fed up I would finally make a passive aggressive comment, get snarky, or..well really just those two (third no no).
We hadn’t communicated the expectations of the roles we held within our new relationship of living together. There it is the fun C word.
This is one small instance and example of how our predetermined expectations and habits can influence the encounters we have with our significant others or just people in our life. Sam does help with the dishes and one of my biggest lessons was learning that I can expect Sam will do the dishes when he wants to, not always when I ask him too. Is that okay? HELL YES!
We hear people say, “pick your battles, figure out what you can live with”. It’s a true saying and it doesn’t even apply to just the actions people take. It also applies to how people speak to us.
I was recently conversing with a friend about relationships. They shared (towards the end of the conversation) the realization they had of their partner expressing love to them. This friend told me they expected their partner to say something to make them feel supported and loved in a specific way. Their partner wasn’t doing it the way they expected but was showing up in their relationship differently that still spoke of love.
Sometimes we wish to hear our partner say something to help lift us up the 5 cm to stand a little taller that day and it doesn’t happen.
One day, I had taken a shower and was feeling a little down. After I got out of the shower I had asked Sam if he thought I was beautiful, he looked at me and said “Not when you look like a wet dog” I pouted and laughed at the same time, I was a little hurt but later on I thought about it and said what else could I have expected him to say?
Let’s be honest we never look 100%, we never act 100% and we are never 100% lovable. How can we expect others to speak how we want them to, act how we want them to, or do what we want them to without first understanding our expectations set us and them up for failure.
I can’t promise there won’t be a part three to writing about expectations but I can promise you I’m human and I’m working every day to acknowledge mine.