Ladies and gentlemen, unrealistic expectations ruin relationships. When people set unrealistic expectations in their relationships, disappointment sets in and they start questioning the feelings of their partners.
Love is beautiful but building a relationship with the one you love is not easy. Forget what you read in romance novels and the things you watched in different romance movies, making a relationship work is not easy. Life is reality, not a movie.
If you are in a relationship, you should know that it is not always going to be lovey-dovey all the time. You will fight with your partner. You will disagree over minor things. You will be so angry with each other that you will avoid seeing each other or talking to each other.
But this is where effective communication comes into play. If you can communicate well with your partner, then you both can resolve your issues and go back to being the sweet, loving and playful couple that you once were.
Setting unrealistic expectations will only cause problems in your relationship. Couples break up because they were let down. They realized too little too late that the expectations they set were unrealistic and unachievable.
Both men and women are guilty of having unrealistic expectations from their partners. They set unrealistic goals and expect everything to work out well. Things don’t work that way. You have to know the kind of person you are dealing with. You have to know their strengths and weaknesses and how to manage them.
This doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be abused by another human being. If there is physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse in your relationship, leave immediately. Your life and sanity should come first before the need to hold on to any relationship.
Many people get into relationships thinking that they will come first in their partner’s lives. Constantly being number one is a myth you should discard from your head. This world is very demanding and it requires people to focus on many things at once.
As an adult, you have to make sure you are doing well at your job, you are building your business, creating personal time for rejuvenation, having time out with friends and family and getting through the daily grind.
Sometimes, after doing all these, there isn’t enough time in a day to please your partner. You have to realize that it’s okay to come in second sometimes. It doesn’t mean your partner loves you less. The same way you have things to do, your partner has responsibilities too.
When I hear some people say that they don’t fight with their partner, I start laughing. That’s not possible. You can’t be in a relationship with someone and agree with them all the time. One or both of you are lying to each other. People are different and the differences cause misunderstanding once in a while.
Thinking that fights are bad is another unrealistic expectation that could ruin your relationship. Disagreements give you the opportunity to discuss certain things which in the long run is healthy for your relationship. Daily fights are not good and neither are physical ones.
The idea that you don’t need anyone else in your life once you are in a relationship is not right. One person isn’t going to fulfill all your needs, and the sooner you realize it, the better. You need people around you who can offer support other than your partner. You are not an island, you need other people to go through life.
When you are in a relationship, you don’t have to neglect your friends. You don’t have to stay away from your family members. The more people you have in your life, the more enriched your relationships will be. You will a well-rounded life.
Your partner isn’t a mind reader, so don’t expect them to know what you are thinking and feeling. If you don’t express yourself, they will be left in the dark and won’t be able to fix whatever’s bothering you. If the channels of communication between the two of you aren’t open, it’s only a matter of time before your relationship starts to crumble.
Another unrealistic expectation is that you and your partner have to be together all the time. You will suffocate your partner with too much attention. There’s no need to be together with your partner all the time.
This doesn’t mean both of you shouldn’t spend quality time together but create time for other things too. Make time for yourself and invest in your friendships. If you smother each other and don’t spend time apart, you will eventually get tired and bored of each other.
Thinking that your relationship should be easy is an unrealistic expectation. Anyone who tells you that their relationship is easy is lying. Relationships are hard work and they are built on compromise, trust, and understanding. If you get into a relationship thinking that it’s going to be a walk in the park, you are in for some rude shocks.
It is unrealistic to expect your partner to make you happy all day and all the time. They have a life to live and don’t have time to cater to your every whim. 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.
In relationships, you don’t have to 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 how they deal with conflict to how they press a tooth paste may be different, so learn to embrace the differences and not criticize them.
You may have found a partner to have and to 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. Everything shouldn’t go your way. Embrace your differences, and revel in your diversity.
It is unrealistic to believe that you will be 100 percent satisfied in your relationship as relationships require nourishment, love and care. If you are not willing to put work on it, you won’t be satisfied. Rifts will grow between you, fights will escalate, and before you know it, you both will break up.
It’s a fallacy to believe that the sex between you and your partner will always be great. 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 will have to work harder at sexually satisfying each other. Spice things up.
Another unrealistic expectation that you need to watch out for is the belief that everyone is going to love who you are dating. On the contrary, there’s a chance that someone you care about isn’t going to 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.
In order for your relationship to stand the test of time, you have to let go of unrealistic expectations. They put too much pressure on you and your partner. These expectations spoil what you have and make you work towards false goals.
Re: how to know you are dating a man child
Kate, your write-ups are realities of life which many women are going through. Continue with these exposures, you will save many young ladies from making life mistake in marriage. -Joy, Lagos
Dear Kate, any time I read your write up, I learn a new thing about being in a relationship. Keep it up -Onyebuchi, Ebonyi
Coach Kate, there is a lot of adult men within and outside but you are scaring them away with your inciting and lopsided write ups about men. I advise you to resign from this your self-imposed coaching and retrace your perception and understanding about men then you will see adult men in your face. -Israel Onah, Calabar
When God said a woman should be a help meet to a man, it covers every aspect. Thereby, it is her responsibility to groom the man child to her taste. You are wrong by saying no sane women should have anything to do with them. -Sunny, Calabar
Kate, it is not correct for a real man to cook dinner for a lady since they are not married. The kitchen belongs to women not men. -James
Whenever I read your column, I sense a deep hatred for men. You are on a mission to poison the hearts of good women against their husbands. I am sorry for the young girls reading the things you write. You are teaching them how to be cold, heartless and unyielding. Is that what you should be doing as a columnist? You are too hardened. A woman shouldn’t have the kind of heart you have. I am sorry for you. A woman should babysit her man because that is what good women do. A man is always a baby. -Bright, Benin
I read your article on dating a man child and I can’t help but wonder if you know what it means to truly take care of a man. Men are babies and good women have the responsibility of caring for their men no matter how they misbehave. Do you have a man in your life to begin with? Is that how you treat him? -Obioma, Awka