Most of us go into a relationship not expecting much. But is that a good thing? There are healthy relationship expectations to keep in mind.
If you go into a relationship with no expectations, you won’t be treated with respect. Instead, you’ll be shocked when your partner does something nice for your birthday. In reality, this is what they should be doing. So, it’s not about lowering your standards, you just need healthy relationship expectations.
Healthy relationship expectations
When I was younger, meaning last year, I bounced from guy to guy. In other words, I was searching for a partner, but I just couldn’t seem to click with someone who understood me. I had removed all expectations. Honestly, I expected nothing from any date I went on. That wasn’t a good thing.
Instead of having some level of standard, I tried not to judge anyone and go with the flow. But what ended up happening is that I just ended up encountering a bunch of men that I didn’t like. I had no idea what I wanted, nor did I want to seem superficial for having specific standards. But here’s the reality, if you don’t have certain standards for the people you date, where’s your self-respect? [Read: Should you lower your expectations to find love?]
That’s right, where is your self-respect? This is your life and you know what you want. I know people tell you not to judge others and to expect nothing so that you won’t get hurt, but that’s serious crap. You should have healthy relationship expectations, that way, you choose a partner who respects and appreciates you. Healthy relationship expectations are not a bad thing.
#1 Know the difference between needs and desires. This is what most of us get confused about which is why we try not to expect anything. But there’s a clear difference between your needs and desires. You should have expectations which fulfill your needs. These are things that are necessary for living a healthy life.
#2 Sex is not absolutely necessary. Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be having sex. For most relationships, sex plays a crucial role in the relationship because it creates intimacy. However, a healthy relationship expectation doesn’t mean you need to have sex on a daily basis.
#3 Your partner will screw up. When we’re with someone, we sometimes assume that they always know how we feel or what we want in that specific moment. However, a healthy relationship consists of communication and expressing needs and desires. Your partner can’t read your mind and though they may know you pretty well, they’re not you. A healthy relationship realizes that and understands that no one is a mind reader.
#4 Knowing and accepting each other’s flaws. If you’re new in a relationship, right now everything may feel fine and dandy, but let’s be honest, we’re all flawed. Yes, that means you as well. But this isn’t about hiding your flaws from your partner. I mean, eventually, it’s going to show. A healthy expectation is knowing that your partner is going to be flawed, however, you accept their flaws for what they are.
#5 Accepting responsibility. No one likes admitting that they screwed up, but have you ever been in a relationship where your partner blames you for everything? Did that feel good? Did that feel healthy? Of course, it didn’t feel good. But that’s obviously a reason why you’re not with them anymore. See, a healthy relationship will have its ups and downs, but both people take responsibility for their actions and can admit and apologize for their mistakes. [Read: 15 signs of a healthy relationship you should always look for]
#6 Communicating. This is not only a healthy relationship expectation, but it’s a crucial one to have. You need to be able to communicate with your partner in a safe, open, and honest environment. If not, well, your relationship isn’t going to last. This is something you need to have in any relationship. Can you imagine not being able to talk to your partner about your feelings? What’s the point of having a partner then?
#7 Promises can be broken. We’ve all watched so many chick flicks that most of us have that narrative stuck in our heads. Lemme tell ya something, that isn’t healthy for anyone. First of all, it makes the guy have to act like prince charming, and secondly, it gives women the idea that we need to have a happily ever after.
#8 Priorities change. When we enter a relationship, at least during the honeymoon phase, we’re usually the highest priority on our partner’s list. Naturally, this will change with time. Of course, you will always be a priority and if you feel that you’re less important than a football game, well, then you need to evaluate your relationship.
However, you and your partner have obligations and relationships outside of your own, so, from time to time, your priorities will shift. Knowing and understanding that they’ll shift from time to time is a healthy expectation to have.
#9 They’re supportive. This is a healthy and needed expectation to have for your relationship. You should always feel that your partner is supportive of your decisions.
Even if they don’t agree with the choice you’re making, they’re by your side while you make it *unless it’s illegal*. You shouldn’t feel that you’re going through something alone when you have a boyfriend or girlfriend. If that’s the case then you’re better off single. [Read: 15 rules to be a good partner in the relationship]
#10 They learn through making mistakes. We all make mistakes, but what’s important is if we learn from them. This is a healthy expectation to have. Imagine being with someone who continues to make the same mistake over and over again? Of course, it’ll take a couple times for them to get it right, but you want them to understand and learn from their mistakes. If not, then you’re doomed to circle around the same old conflict again and again. It’ll drive you insane.
#11 You both like alone time. Some people become upset when they’re not around their partner every day and night. Now, I completely understand this feeling, however, it’s normal to want some time on your own to do things by yourself.
Your partner may not want to go to the gym but you want to, so go alone. Emotional dependency isn’t a sign of a strong relationship. The sign of a healthy relationship is when both partners enjoy doing things together and a part. [Read: How to stop the codependency for a healthy relationship]
#12 You can laugh together. If you can’t laugh with your partner then I don’t know why you’re with them. I’m being honest with you. A healthy relationship expectation is being able to sit down, watch a movie, and laugh with your partner. This is the person who brings joy and love into your life. Laughing shows that you are connected, so if you can’t laugh together, how will you be able to cry together?