Unrealistic expectations are really what kills having satisfying relationships in the here and now.
We start out agreeing to certain parameters for a relationship, feeling happy that someone wants us, confident, desired, and open to whatever possibilities lay ahead. Still, we do have ideas about the situation and expectations that things will go a certain way (casual, easygoing, infrequent... whatever). It's okay, we feel prepared and able to handle it. We share physical and emotional intimacy, get to know them, feel close, and eventually let ourselves be vulnerable with them, showing sides of ourselves we wouldn't let anyone else see. When we realize we have deeper feelings for the person, we then rather quickly begin to develop a different set of expectations -- not based on the person we're involved with, mind you, but instead based on how we feel and, more importantly, what we've been taught to believe we should expect when we feel these things for someone -- as if the feelings we are experiencing are supposed to change everything about the relationship! Deep down, where we tend to refuse to look, we know that the person cannot or will not be able to meet those expectations, nor appreciate any changes to the initial agreed-upon parameters to the relationship. Even when we know those expectations will never be met, we indulge in them anyway. They are completely unrealistic, but we give in and choose to ignore reality, ultimately absenting ourselves from the situation in the present and believing in a fantasy.
Then when they confirm the fact that they can't meet our expectations by backing away to create some distance from us, or saying and doing things that utterly disappoint us, we get mad and feel dismissed, disrespected, inconsequential, used, foolish, and so on. We resolve to never put up with that shit again... until the next time we meet someone, feeling all happy and giddy about being desired, and then wrapped up in the chemical euphoria of endorphins and oxytocin, so we accept whatever they can give us, until again we develop deeper feelings and then place expectations on top of that. It's a cycle, a belief system that keeps us from being fully present and seeing the reality of a situation.
If anything, I think that the most important thing to watch out for is our own expectations - and these may be so ingrained in us from an early age, that they have become a pattern we don't even know we have until things start to implode and we realize we've been here before.
Yeah, it sucks. <sigh> I think that awareness and letting go of old beliefs and expectations is the key.
Last edited by nycindie; 07-04-2013 at 05:06 PM.