What you know about love and dating likely stems from a variety of sources: your parents, your own experiences, romantic-comedy films, and the prevalence and consumerism around Valentine’s Day. Whichever valuable sources you have, it’s likely that you know how setting expectations for you and your partner – or your expectations for a partner – paints a much better depiction of a fairy tale ending than otherwise possible.
To prove it, here and some do’s and don’ts regarding love and expectations:
- Ensure your expectations for your relationship are in alignment with your partner’s habits, values, and lifestyle as opposed to your friends’ relationships, parent’s, or relationships portrayed in the media.
- Start planned or impromptu discussions about the list of goals or expectations you both want to put into practice. All too often these are not discussed and lead to incidental frustrations. It’s likely that many of your expectations will overlap, and maybe some can offer fresh or healthier habits into your relationship. (For example, it turns out you both want to go out on more date nights, you both just don’t feel like you have the time or energy).
- Revise your expectations after major milestones are made. Whether the milestone is temporal (i.e. we’ve been together for a year), environmental (i.e. you just moved in together or lived through lockdown), or life related (i.e. one partner got a new job) – relationships are always growing and changing. Evolving is important in making sure you both continue to get first-date jitters much further down the line.
- Look back, on other relationships, that is. Surely, it’s healthy to avoid mistakes made in past relationships, but don’t group your exes into categories with your current partner. Comparisons can lead to slip-ups, which leads to unwanted turbulence in this flight called love.
- Hold on too tightly to traditional standards of relationships. Think with a modern mindset about dating. This way, you avoid the expired gender roles, rules of courting, etc.
- Make your partner accountable without holding accountability yourself. If you have varied cultural, religious, or plain lifestyle norms, don’t expect your partner to adopt habits of yours without making an effort to try habits of theirs, too. “Give and take” leads to a better balance than “take and take”.
While not an exhaustive list, these helpful do’s and don’ts can go a long way in supporting your mental and relational well-being.
*If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, request an appointment with one of our professional mental health providers at Diversus Health today. If you need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255.