When people go into relationships, they do so with expectations; things they hope for, things they presume their partners would do and not do.
And it is actually OK to hold those expectations. So when someone shows an intention to date you, when he or she keeps talking about how much they want to be with you and how they want to build their lives around yours, it is very reasonable to expect such person to be faithful to you. You won’t be expecting too much if you hold that person to a duty of loyalty, honesty, truth, and the hope that they will always have your best interest at heart.
But it also important to manage those expectations. When people speak of this need, they usually dwell on 'how do it,’ and not so much on ‘why’ it is necessary. We already have a detailed piece here on how to do it, here we speak on why it is necessary in the first place.
Why managing relationship expectations is necessary
The most basic reason why this is an important issue to consider is because of all the possible disappointments you’ll find if you raise your hopes too high, too early.
What this means is that you should let your hopes rise based on what you see, not on what you think you should get.
Your desires and relationship needs are valid, of course. But there is no assurance that your current partner is the one who would meet them to a satisfactory extent. This is especiallly applicable to relationships in their early days. A new partner could be sweet and compliant in the beginning when expectations of commitment are slight and easy to meet.
When it comes to real effort and consistence, particularly when it gets a little difficult to keep up these things, they could refuse to stretch and meet you halfway. If you have raised those expectations too much and they fall short, the disappointment may be too much to handle.
So when you get with someone new, don’t rush to place hopes in them. Don’t expect a happy ending too early.
It may not be easy to rein in your excitement because of all the cute things they say and the good feelings flooding your chest in the beginning of the relationship, but it is what needs to be done.
Don’t expect too much until they have proven that they are capable of meeting those expectations. Don’t trust without being sure they deserve it. Take it step by step. Don’t rush into commitment faster than the actions and efforts someone is obviously capable of. You will only end up badly heartbroken.
And here's the thing about expectations; the higher it is, the worse your heartbreak will be if it happens.
And if you notice after a while that their level of commitment is not matching up to what it should be, don’t hesitate to leave. Someone’s out there to match your level of dedication.
If you are dating someone, it is important to realise that your expectations should rise with time. Every act of sustained dedication, loyalty, devotion, true love, faithfulness, friendship and sacrifice should be what raises your trust in that partner. The more they show that they are genuinely capable of giving what you want to see in a relationship, the more your trust increases. And with that trust rises an expectation of prolonged togetherness.
Now this is not to say that this technique will immunise you against heartbreak, but this is still a better way to go about relationships than hurriedly jumping in way too deep without even testing it with your feet.
Until you have proven a person’s ability to constantly live up to standard of love you expect and have in your heart to give back, don’t pin your hopes on them.