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Do you expect too much in relationships?

Kait is an enthusiast of all things writer-ly. She studies creative writing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and derives inspiration from her work at the Women's Health Collective, city exploration, and talking to strangers. She a...

Ditch unrealistic expectations now

From SheKnows Canada
Always feeling disappointed after spending time with your partner? Wondering if it's you or him? Check out these indicators to find out if your hopes for your relationship are realistic.

unhappy woman in relationship

Hoping for more from your partner is frustrating and confusing. Is it him who isn't delivering? Are you over-thinking the situation? Are the two of you just not meant to be? Take a step back, and look at things objectively. Ask yourself if the following thoughts often pop into your mind when you're with him. If so, you may be expecting too much.

"If he doesn't know, I shouldn't have to tell him"

Falling into the passive-aggressive "if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you" battle is a sign you want him to anticipate your desires before you voice them, which isn't fair. Even if you're completely flabbergasted that you have to spell something out for him, punishing him with silence will just make the divide between you wider.

You both have to communicate to know what you want and need from your relationship. Only then will you be able to find ways to meet those wants and needs. If you can't, that's when you should ask yourself if the relationship's truly not working. But you've got to try. You've heard it a million times — communication is the key to success. This goes for everything from chores around the house to what you want in the bedroom. Just tell him. You'll both be happy you did.

"He's not romantic enough"

You totally deserve a fairy-tale-quality romance, but you may need to change your idea of what that looks like with your man. Is your idea of a romantic gesture more manifest in words or in actions? He might have a different way of thinking — what he considers a thoughtful gesture may seem completely trifling to you and vice versa.

Be practical. Romantic gestures are circumstantial. If your Prince Charming is a starving artist, he won't be able to shower you with presents. If he's less likely to open up verbally, don't expect poetry anytime soon. Think about what you want, and ask yourself if he can reasonably provide it based on his character and circumstances. Then give him a nudge to let him know what you want. Tell him how sexy you think spontaneity is (include a specific example) or how you love when someone brings you a coffee at work around 3 p.m.


"He's not making any effort to keep the spark alive"

Keeping the spark alive is, above all, about being able to always see your partner in a new light. It's about continually exploring each other on a deeper level. It takes two to tango, of course, and if one of you isn't willing to try new things or to open up more fully, things will fall flat. Does he shut down your ideas for fun dates? Do you shut down his because they don't fit what you think would work? If so, challenge your thoughts. Why not try it? Too lame to bear? Explain to him why you don't want to do it. Find a compromise.

"I should be his number one priority"

Do you start second-guessing yourself if he doesn't text you back right away? Ask yourself if you truly feel neglected or if it's just an underlying insecurity talking. Letting in the nagging, insecure voices in the back of your mind won't just erode your self-esteem — they could harm your relationship. Be kinder to yourself. Don't let the irrational voices take over. Only then will you be able to see the situation as it really is.

Here's a trick. When you find yourself over-thinking something you said or did, tell yourself the situation as if a friend were telling it to you. Then ask yourself if your irritation is warranted. If you think it is, tell him about it. If not, cut yourself some slack, and remind yourself that your partner loves you for you — silly mistakes and out-of-character moments included.

More on relationships

Learn how to compromise in a relationship
4 Dating mistakes to avoid
5 Signs a relationship isn't working

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