’To be loved. To be understood.
I expect you to be my everything and my reason to exist’.
Gentle words, often spoken by lovers, aimed to be endearing but silently releasing heavy burdens that may become fear packed loads, too heavy to carry for some.
How often do you get disappointed by a lack of fulfillment (on an unshared expectation) from your person? For instance, you’ve had a bad week and want a romantic date, get home and the love of your life is home; one sock on, ripped underwear, messily eating Cheetos on the couch – with no thought of a date visible on their orange crusted mouth. Or your long distance self proclaimed ’knight in shining armor’ fails to send you a tub of redvines, KNOWING your period is 3 days away, and everyone sucks. (This one is personal).
Expectations are a struggle and undesirable form of survival we all should probably work our way out of. I’m qualified to say this because it would be insanely difficult for me to remember a moment my expectations didn’t lead me to some kind of failed declaration of happiness. Ask my boyfriend, I’m sure his petty self will tell it. I used to believe there was no way we could exist, in a loving, progressively, supportive relationship without at least expecting the other person to meet in the same realm of… what ’needs’ to be done?
As flowery as I would like to make this sound, the reality is, not having ridiculous expectations would mean no heart wrenching disappointments. To expect things, reactions or even promises from your partner is basically a form of control headed for unnecessary resentments. Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I condoning settling. We shouldn’t have to simmer our desires of love, but wouldn’t it be a little easier to allow the love to flow through in the natural form that it is given? If the love given has all the qualities of being treated with respect, love, kindness and emotional support, then why be so adamant that these gifts be given in a package of your own making? Isn’t loving someone appreciating them whole; flaws and all?
I’ll probably be 6,978 years old before I get flowers from my boyfriend. Expecting flowers would be setting myself up for a let down over and over again. That’s just not the man I fell in love with. The man who has my heart, however, is consistent in the ways he knows. This might be small to some, but I see his love in the simple gestures like getting a text first thing almost every morning and 98% of nights (even when I’m in super pouty mode). He’s patient and no longer runs away when things get uncomfortable. My man talks to me about life and allows me in to parts of him I never imagined I would get access to. So while my expectation could easily be ‘show me its real with a dozen roses’, my reality is ’feel this love through my respectful actions, love through consistency, support through words and strong nudges when you’re acting up’. I also used to get tubs of red vines when we shared zip codes so I’m hoping this part still lives cause to love me is to know me.
In my maturely humble opinion; unfair expectations destroy the beauty of the natural stories that true lovers create with their strengths, their weaknesses, their successes and their failures. To hold on that tight and attempting to control outcomes means not trusting your partner with the space to love you, the trust to protect your well being and the confidence that they will take care of your heart and adore you in ways you understand, even if it’s in their language.
I choose to honor the love that my boyfriend gives me with an open mind. No matter how different our methods are, I pray our relationship stays meaningful as we continue to draw closer to one another, grounded on our adoration, beliefs and shared faith in our ability to overcome the distance; Rather than a shallow based expectation on how things need to be.