Ever felt frustrated in a relationship? Aggravated that your needs are not being met? Perhaps the solution is not to blame your partner but to analyze your own assumptions. Do you hold reasonable expectations of the union? What are those expectations, and are you and your partner aligned on them? Taking time to better understand your needs and desires may be a vital part of establishing a successful partnership.
In romantic relationships, researchers have outlined four key areas in which people hold strong expectations. A recent study (Vannier & O’Sullivan, 2017) defined those areas as:
Connection refers to the level of intimacy you expect from a partner. What degree of understanding would you envision? Passion refers to your expectations about attraction. How vital is desire and attraction in your view of a relationship? In destiny, we can consider whether we expect relationships to take hard work or if we believe a partnership should be predestined to succeed. Immediacy refers to our expectations on the pace of love – do you expect to fall in love quickly, do you build a mutual attraction over time, or do you leap straight into full commitment?
These factors of romantic relationships may be issues to which you have given no prior thought. Perhaps you have launched into relationships in the past giving no consideration to whether your partner expects a similar level of connection. Maybe you enjoy a slow-burn love affair, but you keep finding partners keen to launch into full throttle commitment . . .
Assessing our expectations and ensuring we align these in a potential partner is crucial to the success of any relationship. When Vannier and O’Sullivan (2017) asked their research participants to compare their current relationship to an imagined alternative, those who believed they could find a more suitable partner who could better meet their expectations reported the highest dissatisfaction in their relationship. This might be an obvious outcome, but unless we give due consideration to what our expectations are at the outset, perhaps we will find ourselves disappointed further down the line. This may lead us to look outside of the partnership, hoping to find a place where our expectations may better coordinate. It goes without saying how damaging this could be.
How do I manage expectations and make my relationship work?
The answer is perhaps not to make drastic alterations to your expectations, but to find space to discuss your expectations with your partner in a supportive conversation where your needs can be openly discussed and analyzed. It might not be that your wants are too high or too low, but it is a valuable and time-worthy exercise to reflect on whether you hold reasonable expectations, to avoid potential disappointment in the future.
Furthermore, before you enter a relationship, it might be an idea to discuss your relationship expectations with a reliable and impartial outside influence, someone who can help you align your ideas. Our matchmakers at Maclynn International are available to assist with this. With expert knowledge, via a professional consultation, we can work with you to ensure we align your values in a match and that everyone is clear on their relationship expectations. These are the foundations that will help build a solid and rewarding relationship.
Contact us today and let our experienced matchmakers usher you along the path to true love.