How would you describe the relationship you have with your partner? Was it love at first sight? Are you partners in crime or two peas in a pod? Are they the peanut butter to your jelly?
No matter what your relationship may be, there’s a good chance that you built it up from scratch. You started dating one another. It involved a lot of conversations, talking, asking questions, and sharing your thoughts, opinions, and feelings about different topics.
There’s a good chance that you and your partner aren’t psychics and aren’t able to read each other's minds. That’s why you need to communicate openly and effectively in order to make sure you’re on the same page. Let’s learn more about setting reasonable expectations in your relationship and why this is important.
What are Expectations in a Relationship?
First things first, let’s make sure you’re understanding what we mean when we say “setting reasonable expectations in your relationship.” This might seem like a harsh ask, but it’s actually what can help protect you and your own overall health and wellness, as well as your partner’s.
Let’s dive into some reasonable expectation examples.
Appreciating One Another
Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages? Everyone has their own way of giving and receiving love. Work with your partner to see if they prefer words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, or physical touch. Make sure you’re showing up for them in whatever way they prefer. They’ll want to do the same for you. These small gestures can make your partner feel heard and validated.
Willing to Compromise
Your relationship won’t be picture-perfect all of the time, and that’s okay too. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine. In reality, sometimes disagreements and arguments can actually help strengthen a relationship. Make sure you’re trying to come to a mutually beneficial resolution to any disagreement instead of fighting to win.
It can be easy to get caught up in your daily routine of waking up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, and going to bed only to repeat it all the next day. Make sure you’re planning and dedicating time to one another. Yes, your career is important too, but you need to be able to find a balance with everything in your life. Plan date nights with one another. When you’re together, make sure you’re giving each other your full and undivided attention. Put away any distractions like your phone and be fully present in the moment.
Why Setting Expectations Is Important
Expectations are a great way to make sure you and your partner are aligned in terms of each of your wants and needs. Your partner may have different expectations from you, and that’s okay too. In fact, that’s normal and expected. Communicating your expectations can lead to healthier, happier, and more fulfilling relationships. It ensures that you and your partner and listening to and understand one another and what’s required to make the relationship work in a more effective way.
If you feel like you need a little extra help setting expectations in your relationship, don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little extra support from time to time. You’re not expected to know all of the answers.
Asking for a little extra help or support doesn’t mean your relationship is failing. It just means exactly how it sounds. You just need an outside third party or a fresh perspective to help you and your partner out. A therapist can help you and your partner communicate in a safe and stable environment.
The fact that you’re considering therapy actually shows how strong your relationship already is and how much stronger you’d like it to be. Whether you’re interested in individual therapy, couples, therapy, or a combination of the two, we’re here to help you. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation.