7 Expectations That Can Sabotage Relationship Success

Jennifer Brown Banks


Some time ago, I was watching Joel Osteen (popular pastor/author) speak on relationships and how our expectations need to be realistically based for optimal success and longevity. He shared how everyone has shortcomings, but if we focus more on our mate’s positive traits, as opposed to the negative, we’ll find greater success in matters of the heart and more romantic richness. I thought to myself, how true!

Think about it. How often have you wished your man made the money of a music mega star? Or that your girl looked more like Halle Berry? Or that he would be less of a couch potato? Or that she’d lose weight? Or that the “honey moon” stage would never end?

Though people can change, they rarely do. Quite often our partners come to us much like a car purchased on Craigslist: in “as is” condition.

With that being said, it’s incumbent upon us to truly know what we want and need, and whether it’s realistically based, considering the nature of the person with whom we’re involved and the length of the relationship.

Here are a few of the most common unrealistic expectations, and how they can cause discord and eventual demise of a relationship. How many are you guilty of?


1. Expecting him to never look at another woman, or to find another female attractive.

Ladies, can we be real? Men are visual creatures. And they are stimulated by variety. Just because your guy finds the lady at your local cleaners cute doesn’t make him an animal or a louse! As long as he’s not blatantly staring her down, salivating, or making overtures, let him look! After all, he’s with you, isn’t he? No need to compete when you already have the prize. Hello?

2. Expecting him/her to want to spend every free moment in your company.

We all have a myriad of needs that are best met when we have multiple friendships and social outlets. An occasional night out with the boys (or girls), does not mean that you are not cherished. And if anything, it gives you more to talk about it, bond over and laugh over together.

3. Thinking our mates are mind readers!

If you have a need or a gripe, express it and let it be known. Then let it go.

4. Expecting him to remember all important holidays, birthdays and relationship milestones.

Men are not wired the same way we are -- at least not most of them. Do yourself a favor and save some frustration along the way. If you want him to remember to acknowledge an important occasion or event, circle it on his calendar, talk about it a few days ahead, or drop a hint to his close friend. Take one for the team.

5. Expecting the relationship to work out without working at it!

Anything of value in life is only sustained through effort and emphasis. Just remember that what it took to get her it takes to keep her.

6. Expecting things to never change.

In the beginning, he brought you flowers. Now he brings you attitude and work woes. That’s the story of love. Everything changes with time. As long as his kindness, regard, and respect for you doesn’t diminish, you’ll do fine.

7. Expecting to see eye to eye on everything.

Though it’s important to have similar values and interests to have a fulfilling relationship, dating and mating doesn’t always work that way! As the saying goes “opposites attract.

You can disagree, just don’t let it cause dissension.

Final Thought

Realistic expectations lead to "Real" relationships that go the distance.

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Veteran freelance writer, award-winning blogger, thought leader, herbal tea enthusiast. My mission is to entertain, engage and inform readers with articles that are interesting, enriching and diverse.

Chicago, IL

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