Managing expectations in a relationship is one of the most challenging things for both partners.

Our hectic lifestyles, a lack of open communication and other modern problems greatly affect the quality of our relationship.

Constant arguing is one of the most frequent issues almost every couple experiences at some point.

Perhaps you and your partner are going through an arguing phase at the moment (so you surely know what I’m talking about).

It’s when you’ve forgotten how to communicate with respect and affection toward each other, make each other special on a daily basis and do all those little things that you probably did at the beginning of your relationship.

Now, the question is: Is all this exactly what you expect in a relationship?

Even though I can’t hear you, I can feel that you’ve said No. And you’re right about that.

Here’s the thing. Relationship expectations can be really tricky. Having high expectations or unrealistic expectations in a relationship can lead to disappointment, constant nagging and arguing.

The secret ingredient to establishing a happy love life lies in setting healthy expectations in a romantic relationship.

By changing your mindset, you have the power to change your entire relationship.

Setting reasonable expectations in a relationship will make both of you feel happier, more productive and harmonious!

For maximum effectiveness, make sure to also check which things you should avoid doing in a relationship.

8 Cardinal Expectations In A Relationship

Appreciation

happy couple folding clothes into luggage preparing for a tri[

When it comes to establishing reasonable expectations in a relationship, you need to focus on the positive things about your partner instead of only on the negative ones.

Here’s an example of negative communication: You haven’t folded the laundry the way I told you to!

Maybe your partner failed at folding the laundry the way you told them to but at least they tried and did the best they could.

After all, who cares whether laundry is folded properly or not (okay, I understand if you have some kind of OCD about it but still having high standards over such things will not bring you anything good in the long run).

So, instead of making them feel bad about not meeting your expectations, you need to be more appreciative of their gestures and willingness to help you.

Also, there are probably tons of other things that they did do right that day, like washing the dishes, taking care of the garbage and your pet (if you have one) and suchlike.

These are the things you need to focus on in order to make your significant other feel appreciated and enjoy a happy relationship!

Compassion

man holding hand of her girlfriend during a dinner date

Just as it takes two to tango, it also takes two to be in a relationship. It is all about being team players, helping each other (especially when going through tough times), listening to each other and being compassionate.

You both have your own dreams and goals and you work hard to achieve them. But there are some situations where you need to rely on each other and seek support from one another.

When you’re feeling off or going through hardships in life, it is completely natural to expect your partner to be there for you.

It is not reasonable to expect them to solve all your problems but they can always listen to you and suggest possible solutions.

Sometimes, one BIG hug from your loved one can make you feel better instantly and that’s the beauty of being true teammates in a relationship!

Respect

young casual couple hugging standing in the middle of the meadow

Remember this one sentence: Without respect, you have nothing. Respect is an essential part of every healthy relationship and it encompasses lots of things, from your lifestyle to your habits.

If you’ve been in a relationship for some time now, it’s natural for you to feel more casual and relaxed around your partner.

Sometimes, however, this can negatively impact your relationship.

For example, when you’re feeling free to say whatever you want to your partner, you might find yourself hurting them unintentionally. And that is where respect comes into the story (or better said, to the rescue)!

You don’t need to agree with everything your partner says or does but you need to respect their opinions and decisions.

In the majority of cases, you will have different opinions on different topics and this doesn’t mean that they are wrong or that you are right.

Instead of judging each other, you need to respect your differences and communicate with care because feeling disrespected in a relationship is not an option.

Time

cute couple cuddling in the living room while watching tv

Time is one of the most important relationship expectations. Also, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give your partner.

Every relationship revolves around making special memories, spending quality time together and strengthening your bond.

No matter how long you’ve been together, remember that there is always something new that you can do with your partner or learn about them.

From romantic date nights to phone calls, there are many ways in which you can show each other that they are worthy of your time.

This also applies to spending time alone because spending too much time together can destroy your relationship. This is especially true when you enter a new relationship and you’re so excited about spending as much time together as possible.

My best friend’s relationship collapsed before it even officially started just because they were spending too much time together, starting from their first date. Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.

See also: Are You Unconsciously Sabotaging Your Relationship? These 10 Things Say You Are

Generosity

romantic couple giving flower hugging the man near the flower shop

The ability to reciprocate is the golden rule of every healthy relationship. You should expect your partner to be generous with you and vice versa.

GIVING AND RECEIVING. COMPROMISING. UNDERSTANDING. EXPRESSING GRATITUDE.

These are the things you should focus on because they determine the quality of your relationship. Give as much as you can from yourself and expect the same in return from your partner.

If you’re only focused on receiving, then you have no right to expect your partner to keep giving. Generosity works only if both people are equally engaged in their relationship.

Interest

couple talking at home sitting in the couch

In my last relationship, I was basically the only one making an effort, trying to spice things up and keep things interesting.

After some time, I realized that my partner was pulling away. I feel embarrassed to admit how many times I Googled signs he’s losing interest in you. Sadly, I was right about it.

A lot of times in relationships, partners stop showing interest in each other’s hobbies, desires, dreams and so on. When that happens, they basically stop trying in the relationship, their passion fades and they feel indifferent toward each other.

At the end of the day, it’s interest that motivates you to keep making an effort and keep making each other feel special and this only works if both parties are willing to reciprocate.

Consideration

relaxed couple talking in the couch laughing inside living room

Instead of only focusing on what you want from the relationship and your expectations, you also need to think about what your partner wants.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you should do everything they want you to and vice versa but the least you can do is listen to them and show them that they matter to you.

Be considerate, respect their opinions and be willing to compromise. If you’re ready to do all that, you have every right to expect the same from your partner.

Intimacy

intimate couple standing about to kiss and smiling

Every single one of us has a different set of love languages. However, the majority of us prefer physical touch (for example, holding hands) and words of affirmation (like compliments) as our primary ways of being intimate.

Physical affection plays an important role in a relationship but an emotional connection is probably even more important.

If you have a hard time developing emotional intimacy, ask yourself the following question: What attracted me to them in the first place?

Think about it for some time and then come up with new ideas to strengthen your bond and increase intimacy. But remember your partner must collaborate too.

5 Things You Should Avoid Doing In A Relationship

Repetition

couple arguing on couch inside living room

Let’s say that you’re constantly arguing with your partner over some minor and major things. Every argument starts in the following way: Your partner has said or done something wrong and you immediately start arguing about it and blaming them for it.

By repeating that same pattern over and over again, you’re creating a negative environment where neither you nor your partner is respected or listened to. Instead, you need to change your approach.

Next time, before deciding to immediately argue about something that happened, take some time to think about what you want to say and how you’re feeling about it.

Instead of arguing, express yourself in a reasonable and understanding way and your partner will do the same for you.

Constantly questioning your relationship

upset woman looking at the smartphone while standing inside home

Social media has greatly impacted the way we see our relationship. When we see all those couples living a perfectly happy life, we desire the same thing for ourself.

Perhaps the main reason why you sometimes question your relationship is because your expectations are too high or there’s actually nothing wrong with your relationship but with your own mindset.

Constantly questioning your relationship ruins trust and makes both of you feel insecure. Before doing that, ask yourself first whether the problem lies in you and then act accordingly.

Sometimes, we tend to blame our partner for things that we actually do without even being aware of it. And that is when we start questioning the validity of our relationship or make our partner feel guilty about something they didn’t even do.

Giving ultimatums

wife leaning on the wall while remaining silent and a man explaining

Have you ever said to your partner something like: “If you don’t stop doing this or that, know that I will leave you.”

The main reason why you shouldn’t give ultimatums in your relationship is because they are not helpful. Instead, doing that makes things even worse.

Threatening your partner in one way or another creates pressure and it leads to unhealthy communication.

Unmet expectations usually happen due to a LACK OF COMMUNICATION.

Instead of giving your partner ultimatums about something they said or did, make sure to check whether you told them what you expected of them in the first place.

We often assume that our partner already knows what we want, what we don’t want and so on. They don’t. They cannot know if we don’t tell them that.

Always make sure to express yourself and let your partner know how you’re feeling about certain things, what your expectations are and similar.

See also: 55 Inspiring Intimacy Quotes To Strengthen Your Relationship

Settling for stagnation

couple arguing in cafe sitting by the table during the day

Managing healthy expectations in a relationship is not something that can be achieved overnight. It simply cannot.

It is something that both partners need to work on all the time because it is a continuous process.

Don’t ever say to yourself: My relationship is perfect as it is.

There are no perfect relationships. Always be focused on improvement and think about what you can do to make things even better than they are at the time.

If you implement this method into other aspects of your life as well, success will be guaranteed. Not settling for stagnation is the only way for your relationship to reach its full potential.

Comparing your relationship to others’ relationships

frustrated couple silent inside the bedroom sitting about marital problems

Constantly comparing yourself or your relationship to others is known as the grass is greener syndrome.

It’s when you think that your friends’ relationships or other people\s relationships are better than your own.

When you start comparing every aspect of someone else’s relationship to yours, it’s easy to become frustrated and start blaming your partner for certain things.

Remember that being in a relationship is not only one person’s job. Everything that happens is a result of the decisions, choices and actions that you both make.

So, instead of comparing your relationship to others’ relationships, start working on making the best of your own!

Final Thoughts

couple talking in bedroom sitting on the floor chilling

The above list of expectations is something every couple should strive to implement in their current relationship.

These are the expectations you should have for any future partners as well.

Building a healthy relationship requires constant work and mutual effort.

Both of you will make mistakes from time to time but what matters is that you’re willing to work on improving yourself and making things better.