Nicholas Sparks has singlehandedly given everyone unrealistic expectations when it comes to falling in love.
Stop right there and realize that every word encapsulated within those glossy covers depicting lovey-dovey couples is a figment of a romantic novelist’s imagination. We live in the real world, and it isn’t always a pretty place.
The media plays a huge role in making us believe that love is a simple thing. Romantic comedies, chick flicks, and even Disney cartoons portray love and relationships in a very different light than real life does. We are led to believe that falling in love and maintaining a relationship is as easy as ABC. Even fairytales from long ago tell us that everything will fall into place once you meet a handsome stranger.
But those unrealistic expectations are part of what leads to more than half the marriages in the United States ending in divorce.
Many factors come into play, but more often than not, couples break up because they were let down. Things turned out the opposite of how they expected it to be.
Failure is tough to swallow, and most couples choose to end things instead of setting more realistic goals from the start. [Read: 15 strange and unknown facts about divorce you had no idea about]
Having expectations in love just doesn’t work. Whether you expect things to work out or to fail, that just sets you up for a bad ending.
Essentially, all expectations are unrealistic ones. Sure, you shouldn’t settle for disrespect or lying. But, having expectations for a future is a lot like planning. Things rarely go as planned. You can hope for a certain outcome, but things get in the way.
Having any expectations about love is unrealistic. You need to accept that anything that can happen will, and deal with those things as they come. [Read: How to manage expectations in a relationship]
Both men and women are guilty of associating relationships with simplicity. They have unrealistic expectations that everything will work out beautifully. Don’t be naïve and fall into that trap.
By remaining realistic and open when it comes to love, you can actually expect much more. So, fight the urge to expect these things and make your love life worthwhile again.
[Read: 12 healthy relationship expectations that are actually good for love]
Many people get into relationships thinking that they will come first in their partner’s lives. But, constantly being number one is a myth.
We live in a demanding world that requires us to focus on multiple things at once, namely keeping our jobs, making time for ourselves, investing time in friends and family, and getting through the daily grind.
You have to realize that it’s okay to come in second, and every so often, maybe third. In the same way, you have other priorities in life, so does your partner.
Another unrealistic expectation that could ruin your relationship is thinking that all fights are a bad thing. You have to change your mindset and realize that conflict isn’t the worst thing.
All healthy couples fight, only it may not seem like fighting because it is handled with respect.
Disagreements allow you to discuss certain things, which in the long run is healthy for your relationship. You need to be able to share your disagreements so you can work through them. Not fighting leads to resentment.
Of course, you must know when to draw the line. Daily fights are never good, and neither are physical ones. [Read: The art of fighting fair and growing closer in a relationship]
The idea that you don’t need anyone else in your life once you’re in a relationship is a silly and even dangerous myth. One person will not fulfill all your social needs, and the sooner you realize it, the better.
You need people around you who can offer support that your partner can’t.
You need friends, family, even acquaintances. There should be people you can vent to, have fun with, and bond over shared hobbies. Don’t be the person that neglects their friends for their partner. The more people you have in your life, the more enriched your relationship will be. [Read: Am I codependent? 14 signs you’re clingy and overstepping boundaries]
Your partner isn’t a mind reader, so don’t expect them to know what you’re thinking and feeling.
If you don’t express yourself, they’ll be left in the dark, and what is bothering you will keep bothering you. If the communication channels between the two of you aren’t solid, it’s only a matter of time before your relationship fails.
You should never expect your partner to just understand you, and your wants and needs. No matter how much you seem to vibe with each other, you need to talk. [Read: 12 real reasons why most couples drift apart over time]
There’s no need to be together 24-7. Make time for yourself and invest in your friendships. If you smother each other and don’t spend a sliver of time apart, you will eventually get tired and bored and even angry or tense. Too much time together is no good.
You wouldn’t want to spend all your time with your mom or sister, so why do that with your partner? You need to be individuals who come together.
Thinking that your relationship should be easy is an unrealistic expectation. Anyone who tells you that their relationship is easy is bullshitting you or in denial.
Longtime lovers will tell you that relationships are hard work and that they’re built on compromise, trust, and understanding. If you get into a relationship thinking it will be a walk in the park, you’re in for some nasty surprises. [Read: 9 reasons relationships are such hard work]
Critics have written countless papers on how flawed Disney’s way of projecting relationships is. To some extent, they’re all right. Real-life is nothing like Disney. Princes and princesses don’t just fall in love and live happily ever after.
Everyone is flawed, and you have to understand that we live in the real world and not a 2-D cartoon world. The sooner you let go of Disneyesque expectations, the sooner you can start working on your real-life relationship. [Read: 16 commonly accepted relationship tips that ruin your love life]
It is an unrealistic expectation for your partner to be the one thing that makes you happy. They have their own life to live. They can’t cater to your every need, just as you can’t for them.
You should be happy and fulfilled in all aspects of your life. If you rely on your partner for complete and total happiness, you will put an unfair amount of pressure on them and strain the relationship.
Don’t forget that it’s a two-way street, so if you want your partner to make you happy, you have to work hard to do the same.
Don’t think that your way is the right and only way. You got into a relationship with another human being and not with yourself, so it’s common sense that they have their own way of doing things.
Everything from dealing with conflict to cleaning the toilets may be different, so learn to embrace the differences and not criticize them. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship without losing]
You may have found a partner to have and hold, but you don’t share one mind. Understand and accept that your partner has different opinions and beliefs.
Being with you is not going to change their political preference. It’s not going to make them convert out of their religion, and it’s certainly not going to get them to forgo their friends and hobbies.
If you wanted everything your way, you should just clone and date yourself. Embrace your differences, and revel in how we live in a world of diversity. [Read: The 9 unspoken relationship rules all couples have to follow]
It is unrealistic to believe that you will be 100 percent satisfied in your relationship, especially if you don’t work on it. Like a houseplant, relationships require nourishment, love, and care.
If you’re not willing to put the time and work into it, you won’t be satisfied for very long. Rifts will grow between you, fights will escalate, and before you know it, you’ll be alone.
It’s a fallacy to believe that sex will be awesome till the end of time. As explosive as it is now, it’s only a matter of time before both of you run out of sexual tricks to impress each other. Sex will become routine, and you’ll get jaded. That’s the thing about monogamy.
So what do you do? You make an effort to spice things up. There are a lot of ways here, so get cracking! [Read: Top 50 kinky ideas that’ll keep your relationship exciting for a long time]
Another unrealistic expectation you need to watch out for is the belief that everyone will love who you’re dating. On the contrary, there’s a chance that someone you care about will not think very highly of your lover.
Whether it’s your dad, best friend, colleagues, or worst of all, everyone you know, you need to know how to handle this without alienating your partner and those you care about.
Everyone assumes that there won’t be a power struggle in their relationship. They’re absolutely wrong because, just like everything else, a leader is needed. More often than not, the power lies in the person who earns more money in the relationship.
This is very subjective and, thankfully, isn’t true in some cases. Many couples have managed to maintain the delicate balance of power between them despite their income differences.
For your relationship to stand the test of time, you have to let go of unrealistic expectations. They put way too much unnecessary pressure on you and your partner; they taint what you have and then set you on a mission working toward false goals. [Read: 14 ways to overcome power struggles in a relationship]
There is this unrealistic expectation that you need to pick up the pace before things go south if things are good. Now, you shouldn’t back off if you like someone, but jumping in just because there isn’t a problem yet is a risky thing to do.
Just because you met someone and things are going great doesn’t mean you should jump into a serious relationship right off the bat. There is so much to still know about each other, and taking your time can really strengthen your commitment. Jumping into something before you’re ready because you’re afraid of losing it won’t help.
You might meet someone you adore. You have great sex, wonderful conversation, and everything is perfect. There is a problem, though. Maybe they don’t want kids, but you do. Maybe they want to travel the world while you want to stay close to home.
An unrealistic expectation in a relationship is believing that if your partner wants it to work and wants to be with you, they will change their core values.
These things are dealbreakers no matter what. Expecting your partner to give in for you is unrealistic and damaging. Would you do it for them? [Read: Why won’t he change? Your man says he will but never does]
Whether it is to avoid arguments, project a flawless partnership, or just because you don’t like uncomfortable moments, you bite your tongue. You expect that things will work themselves out.
So many couples think that they are together and neither of them will leave, so whatever comes their way will be fine. You need to put the work in, not just hope the universe finds a way to make things okay.
As unromantic as this is, it is also an unrealistic expectation of love. Love is not all-powerful and is not always enough.
If it was, there wouldn’t be divorces or breakups. So many couples love each other but break up for other reasons. Love does not conquer all, and expecting this feeling to fix deeper problems will not make anything better. [Read: Why love fails – 25 reasons why love can fall apart completely]
The dream and unrealistic expectation of a happily ever after will haunt us for the rest of our lives. And it isn’t that it is impossible, but not what we’ve been exposed to. A couple doesn’t get married and just live happily ever after. You don’t kiss the person you’ve been crushing on and expect everything to just work out.
Happily ever afters have ups and downs. They have fights and moments of doubt. They are full of anger and exhaustion. But coming through all of that and still being happy with someone is happily ever after.
[Read: 30 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]
If you truly want your relationship to be successful, be aware of what’s going on in the real world and stop with the unrealistic expectations. You’ll be happier, and your relationship will blossom when you do!
Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.
LOVEPANKY IN YOUR INBOX
Get the very best of LovePanky straight to your inbox!