I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations lately.
I recently heard this quote from William Shakespeare that says: “Expectation is the root of all heartache,” and I couldn’t agree more.
If you’re expecting more from a person, relationship, or situation? There’s a lot more riding on said person, relationship or situation. If you don’t care and there are none? Not as big of a deal.
Obviously everyone has their agency to choose how they act (dang that agency sometimes), but a lot of times other people’s actions affect our expectations. I think especially as girls, we can’t help but get our expectations up with even the slightest sign of interest, affection, or potential relationship.
I’ve often wondered (and people have questioned) if I’m “too picky” or if I have “too high of expectations” as far as guys are concerned. I’ve defended myself by saying that I basically only have 3 stipulations: 1. that they’re good and a good person, 2. that they’re “cool” in the sense that we get along well, and 3. (more along the vain line) that they’re taller and bigger than me (but hey, I am NOT the cheerleader type so I’m not a fan of the short skinny dudes!) and for the most part that’s generally the basic things I want right off the bat. But as far as expectations for a marriage? Those probably needed a little re-adjusting. I want there to be love and respect, and I expect to be treated right, but it’s not always going to be a fairytale with unicorns and rainbows.
In a class I had last year, we were
forced assigned to read this article about marriage and relationships called “The Expectations Trap” and I ended up loving it (naturally). I’m obviously no expert on either marriage or relationships, but I thought the concept was really interesting. The author talks about how marriage has become a way to gauge our own personal happiness. She states that “The result is an ongoing self-appraisal of how your personal life is going, like having a continual readout of your emotional heart rate,” says Cherlin. You get used to the idea of always making choices to improve your happiness.”
My professor discussed how the article talks about the idea of consumerism, in the sense that if something we purchase breaks or has a defect, we can go right back to the store and return it for a refund. If we don’t even like something at all for whatever reason and it’s not satisfying us, we take it back. Another idea the article mentions is that people are always on the look-out for the next best thing, and come to expect perfection. This has become the consumerism culture of America, and it has seeped into relationships.
Most times there’s a lot more that goes into relationship problems, and there are so many good examples of strong, loving relationships, but I thought this was an interesting article about the idea, and it made me realize that I need to not expect perfection and rainbows in a relationship. I want someone that’s going to be their real self and to have a relationship where we can both love each other for the little things and appreciate our differences.
I also love the quote “Choose your love, love your choice,” (Thomas S. Monson) and hope I can live by it someday. I think love could be a lot simpler if more people realized that even through difficulties, they chose their love, and that both people should strive to work on ways to love their choice once they have it.
Hopefully then I won’t have to sympathize with King George’s line about expectations “I’ve come to expect it from you” in that context!