Some people think they must set low expectations in a relationship for some strange reason. That, if you get your hopes up, that only sets you up for disappointment. Or that you shouldn’t hold your partner to specific standards, as that might pressure them.
While some expectations might be unhealthy and might force your partner to change when they shouldn’t, most aren’t like that. Of course, if you expect to marry a billionaire, that’s not very realistic and will significantly narrow your choices. But healthy expectations will help protect you from exploitation and abusive tendencies.
They will create a clear image of what you want and guide you when looking for a partner. Not only do they help you enter better relationships, but if you’re already in a relationship, they help strengthen it.
10 Expectations That Can Strengthen Your Relationship
So, what are the ten expectations you should keep in mind when strengthening relationships?
1. Expections of Good Communication
If you’ve never been in a healthy relationship or any relationship at all, you might not realize how important communication is. And most people have are indifferent when it comes to valuing communication.
But communication is the core of any strong relationship. And most people don’t even fully understand what communication is. It is not limited to talking. You could talk to your partner all day without actually communicating. When two people communicate, they share their thoughts, feelings, issues, and insecurities. And, while one person shares, the other one listens.
Don’t be fooled by the appearance of communication. If all you and your partner talk about is their life, but never yours, that’s a red flag. Or, if you have dry conversations, something has to be changed. Look for someone who will actively listen when you need them to and who will share thoughts and feelings with you.
But don’t push them to share things they’re not ready to share. Please pay attention to how they express themselves and adapt to their needs. Always make sure both of you feel understood and heard.
2. Expect Space
When you first get into a relationship, you might think you need to spend every second of the day with the other person. That’s not necessarily the case. Every person and couple is different. Some people prefer to be alone most time, while others thrive around people. But everyone needs a little space from time to time.
Personal space is more important than you might think. When dealing with something, you often need to be alone and reflect. And if your partner gets upset when you need to be alone, that’s a dysfunctional relationship. It would help if you never were made to feel bad for not hanging out with someone. It’s not your duty to be with the other person every second of every day.
You have to look for a person who will give you the space you need when you ask for it. Expecting to have space will remind you to stop sacrificing your well-being to be with the other.
3. Expect Boundaries
Just because you are with someone, it doesn’t mean they own you. And, they aren’t entitled to do anything they want with you. But most people are too afraid of pushing the other person away if they ask for boundaries. The truth is, if someone distances themself from you when faced with limitations, they aren’t the one.
Boundaries are necessary for any strong relationship. They show what each person is comfortable with and where their limits are. If you have some guidelines in a relationship, you will avoid pushing the other person. They also protect your own needs and well-being. If you want to avoid petty fights and unnecessary tensions, let the other person know what sets you off. When you create expectations for boundaries, you will no longer avoid enforcing them.
4. Expections for Affection
If you want to make sure you and your partner won’t drift apart, you need to keep being affectionate as long as you’re together. People expect that, as time passes, affection will become sporadic. But that’s not how it should be. And it would be best if you never settled for a relationship without affection.
The whole point is to feel loved, protected, and understood. And, just hearing that you are loved is not enough. Actions matter more than words. They proved that the other cares about you. And it would be best if you also showed them affection through action.
Even though some people are inherently less affectionate than others, that doesn’t mean they show none at all. And, if you settle for someone who is all talk but no show, you won’t be happy. So, expect and ask for affection when you need it.
5. Expect Intimacy
Every strong relationship needs to keep its spark alive. And, the best way to nurture that flame is through intimacy, whether physical or emotional. As time passes, people start thinking that it’s ok if all they do together is eat and sleep after a long day of work. But that’s not a relationship. That’s merely cohabitating. Every couple needs to spend the time allocated just for the two of them.
Go on dates, take a walk through the park, share your thoughts and feelings. Just be present and enjoy the simple things. You should always expect your relationship to look like this. Search for someone who will make you feel special, who will always make time for intimacy. This expectation will allow you to look past simple crushes and prioritize that special emotional and physical connection.
6. Expectations for Validation of Your Feelings
Your significant other should always try to understand your perspective. They should be on your team even if they don’t wholly agree with you all the time. And you should be on theirs. Most people don’t expect to find someone like this, so they settle for someone who will fight against them.
But you can’t thrive in a relationship unless you feel validated. Don’t expect or accept mistreatment from your partner. If you do, you are just setting yourself up for failure. You should look for validation when deciding to enter a relationship. Do they try to see your perspective? Do they support you in the pursuit of your dreams? Finally, do they acknowledge the things you do for them? If the answer is yes, then you’ve found someone worth your while.
7. Expect Accountability
You should always set expectations that your partner will be accountable if they mess something up. If you settle for someone who always tries to blame things on you, your relationship will not last. Accountability is vital for ensuring everyone involved tries their best to limit mistakes. Without accountability, you risk being exploited or just having fought all the time.
It would help with someone being aware of how their actions affect you. If they don’t, you risk falling into a negative cycle. If they always blame you, you will end up being the one who puts in all the effort while the other takes. Responsible behavior is something you need to look for in a potential partner. And you should be ready to offer it.
8. Expectations of Autonomy
When you choose to share your life with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to share everything. And it would be best if you didn’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You always need to keep some sense of self as the relationship evolves.
As you spend more and more time with someone, it’s expected that you’ll become more similar. But you always need to remember that you are your person. And you need to have someone that will allow you to keep some individuality. Look for someone who will support your interests. Some toxic partners might try to keep you away from your hobbies and friends.
They might only allow you to have the same friends or interests they have. Or they might try to make you share possessions. Don’t settle for someone like that. Expect someone who will be happy when you keep your autonomy.