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I had an epiphany today. I seem to have them most when I am recovering from a heartbreak, and despite the fact it sucks to have to endure one to grow, never going back from the knowledge is always going to be a win. It has been a weird cycle of dumb love and fleeting moments of pure genius for me for quite a while. Had someone tell me being an adult included this, I’d have never agreed to it. I mean, who would ever willingly go into something knowing it was going to end, even if the pain made them smart for 30 minutes? Although we all have a tendency to see the bright side of every breakup with the old “It wasn’t a waste if it taught you something” adage, you are lying if you say you’d blindly jump off of every cliff you come to for a brief moment of clarity. You wouldn’t.
It is the time following a broken heart we learn the most about self and our tendencies. Every one leading us closer to the one who will decide to stick around and deal with our quirks. We are the master of self-discovery as we try to get the pieces put back together to try again. We figure out our patterns, our mistakes, our flaws. We try to fix them and do manage to work through some, but there are always going to be some we won’t be able to. Those we will have to find someone who accepts and compliments them. My epiphany today was on just this concept.
I constantly hear people talk about how expectations are the worst thing ever in a relationship, and this never sat well with me. For one, in a way expectations are basically boundaries, and boundaries are necessary in any healthy relationship. Without them, you are damned. According to the ‘No Expectations’ we have just decided to claim is key over the Tinder dating age, we should do away with boundaries and free float, hoping one sticks. Excuse me, but does this sound like a good life goal?
Speaking of goals, expectations are part of goals and necessary for our growth. We hold ourselves to a certain standard or hold expectations for ourselves, but we are willing to let everyone else slide to claim we have become too evolved for expectations. We would all be ‘guys on the couch’ from Half Baked if we just gave up on expectations.
Lastly, expectations are required to know when to adapt, change direction, and to try again. Just like a life map, expectations are like pinned points along the way, helping us get to our destination. Without them, we would be aimlessly going from one thing to another with no real “Expectation” of a successful ending. Sounds ridiculous when you break it down, doesn’t it?
The ‘no expectations’ mentality is great for many things you have no control over, like your family, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, people you come across in daily life, and their actions. Relationships are not one of those things. It was created by the throngs of commitment-phobes with complacent tendencies who are comfortable with having no desire to try. If we adopt some recipe for failure as the norm for relationships, it won’t be our fault when we have to be the jerks. It’s the “expectations”. They will get you every time.
If we finally accept it and completely stop expecting our mates and lovers to do anything, like communicate, be consistent, be loyal, honest, decent, then we are pretty much-throwing shit to the wind, and hoping it won’t dirty our faces. Forgive my saying this, but no one expects their significant other to not be those things, and there is the fatal flaw to the worn out saying. It is basically a nice falsehood thrown around to excuse shitty behavior.
We always have those pesky little expectations in love. We have them with every single person, and it is perfectly healthy too. We expect them to treat us with respect, to not endanger us, beat us or emotionally abuse us. We expect them to love us, and maybe communicate openly and consistently. Doing away with expecting those things, will not give you some higher level love life. It won’t prevent you from getting hurt or help you fair better in love. When we are with the one we are supposed to be with, the expectations are present, but they stay silent.