So you meet the man of your dreams, the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. He treats you right, makes you feel special. He knows exactly how to love you, he understands you! You get that ‘butterfly’s in the stomach’ feeling when he’s around. And every day seems brighter now because he is in your life. He’s perfect, it’s perfect, life seems perfect, and it’s going to stay that way, right?
At least that’s the dream and most probably the expectation. At least it was mine.
This expectation can go completely unnoticed until it becomes a problem, and even then, you may not realise that it is the source of the problem. And that’s because we don’t understand that this way of thinking is unrealistic and is not healthy.
I have come to realise that there are many factors that contribute to this expectation. Like the fact that you only ever see the ‘good’ parts of other people’s relationships. Or that no one ever really talks about the struggles and hard work that goes into making relationships work. But most of all, how all those hours of watching romantic films slowly fills your subconscious with unrealistic expectations of how a relationship will be. Girl meet’s boy, they fall in love, a problem comes in the way but they overcome it like it is nothing and they live perfectly and happily ever after. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with all of these things, but the combination can trick us into expecting something that is just never going to happen.
For myself, one of the most difficult things, since being in a relationship, has been trying to accept the fact that just because I am someone’s girlfriend, my relationship with that person does not just magically become perfect. He doesn’t instantly know exactly what I need when i need it. He doesn’t always say the right thing. And we can’t instantly talk for hours upon hours, as it normally can take me a year or so to get that comfortable with someone. Yes, I am now in a romantic relationship, but it is still a friendship, and all types of relationship require you to go on a journey. One that doesn’t involve teleportation, where you just appear in a new location without any effort. So why are romantic relationships any different? And actually, I have learned that it is not about creating that ‘perfect relationship’ but it is all about the journey.
I am not claiming to know everything about relationships, or that I even have enough experience to understand everything. I don’t think anyone ever will. But I do know that relationships require work. They take commitment, compromise, communication and sacrifice. And that’s now always easy but it’s these things that make relationships worth something, they allow people to grow together. And people just don’t talk about that.
By all means, wait for someone who will love you and make you feel wanted and special. Don’t get me wrong, you deserve nothing less. But don’t expect them to be perfect at it. We are all only human after all, and that means we make mistakes. But we should all enjoy the journey and process of discovering another person, and understanding each other. And who know’s, you may even learn more about yourself.