What Did You Expect?
by Adam Pratt
First off let me start by saying that I have no formal education in therapy or counseling. I simply wrote this out of my own personal experiences. This is an article to discuss the expectations that we put on relationships. For some people, they may not put any expectation due to the fact that they don’t allow themselves to get too close to anyone. Then you have the people that are so hopeful, that their new relationships end as quickly as they started.
Let’s not be naïve, everyone wants to be liked by everyone. Those that say that they don’t are those that have been rejected and or hurt in relationships, but they still want to be liked. Chances are they had expectations in relationships that were not held by both parties, hell, we all have. The number one killer in relationships is communication. Either there was a lack of communication or there was really bad communication. You should know that not every relationship is meant to last, in fact, very few do. I hope that you have learned from lessons in your own life as I have, most relationships are only for a season. My mother always told me growing up that if you have a handful of true friends in your entire life to consider yourself blessed. She would say this and I would often blow her off because I had so many friends. In fact, as kids, whether we have a bunch of friends or we have none, we assume this is how life is going to be forever. We see that world as innocent, why would it be any different when we get older? Then we discover heartbreak or a best friend from grade school moving on to different things in high school and our views begin to shift.
As we enter into high school we find friends based on the things that we are into for that moment and we are BFFs. We are going to grow up together and our kids will fall in love and get married. We will be the best of friends forever. At this point we are still so hopeful. Then you move away to college or move into a career and slowly you drift apart and make new friends with people that are, yet again, into the same things as you. Maybe you become desperate and get into new things to get the attention of someone. Now we have begun the human shift of changing who we are or things about us to impress someone, In hopes of something more. We begin to make sacrifices in who we are to make people like us or even fall in love with us. Maybe it is that popular person that you want to be around or maybe you just desire all the popularity that they have. The problem is that it isn’t really you now, you probably won’t even like this person but you become willing to sacrifice yourself for an idea. An idea of who you think you want to be. I personally believe that it is during this time that we begin to put expectations on relationships in an unhealthy way that begins how we will see relationships forever. I believe that we start expectations at a very young age, then we are introduced to the real world. This is when they become very hard habits to break. We begin to make compromise after compromise and find ourselves in the same type of relationships that are ending the same ways. Why?
I believe because first we all desire relationship. We were designed to have companions in life. We were never meant to go through life alone. In our desperate attempt to find it, we over aggressively turn people away or just don’t even try. Those of us that don’t try is because we want to be chased by someone, it is the only way that we feel it is real. Then we tell ourselves “Well I’m not going to beg them to have relationship with me.” At one time you probably spent too much time chasing someone that hurt you and now you won’t reciprocate anything with anyone. You have gotten relationally lazy.
This is my conclusion, agree or not, its ok. You have 3 types of people that have relationship. 1) The Dodger, the one that wants to be chased. 2) The chaser or as I like to refer to as the Smotherer. 3) The non-expectant. This is the healthy relationship person. This is the person that allows relationships to happen. No expectations. As a person you need to understand, NOT EVERYONE WILL LIKE YOU!!!! This is ok. When you feel a connection with someone, don’t overthink it or overwork it, or run from it. Allow it to unfold naturally. Be yourself and allow them to do the same. If it develops into something else, great, if not, that is ok too. The key is to be yourself and don’t compromise who you are. That doesn’t mean that no change is required on your part, just don’t lose the root of who you are. Hopefully this helps you identify something in yourself. I know exactly where I fall in this category.
Relationships are hard. Good ones are even harder. Anything worth having is worth working really hard for. If you are the Smotherer, just realize that you don’t have the time to put everything into a relationship with every person you meet. If you are the Dodger, you don’t have an infinite amount of time, so put yourself out there. Last, for everyone out there, don’t allow the past relationships ruin what the future relationships have in store for you.