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All of us have expectations regarding dating and relationships. Though we are cognizant of some of these expectations, we may not be conscious of others. It is important to determine whether or not these hopes are realistic. Having high standards, for instance, may benefit us in some ways and hinder us in others.
Though your expectations may vary, upholding the following standards in dating and subsequent relationships is a great place to start.
They don't check off every box on your "nice-to-have" list.
Having unrealistic standards while searching for a potential partner can severely limit your dating pool. As we get older, we often need to readjust our expectations. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to lower your standards. Rather, you should reflect on whether certain expectations are truly necessary or beneficial to you. By avoiding all partners who are divorced, for instance, you may be missing many potential matches. Do you really need to date an investment banker with a full head of hair? Meet up with someone unconventional for a coffee date. You just might discover that you've been limiting yourself all along.
Neither of you expects a mind reader.
Most of us will admit that mind reading is impossible. Many of us, however, crave telepathy in our relationships. You might, for instance, become annoyed with a date who takes you to see a raunchy comedy movie instead of a drama. You had hoped that your subtle hints and vague dismay would have communicated your disinterest. Instead of expecting your date to anticipate and cater to your every desire, focus on clear communication. Don't expect your partner to read your body language or hear your quiet sighs. By clearly verbalizing your desires, your partner can much more easily fulfill your wants and needs.
You each take responsibility for your actions and feelings.
It's commonly assumed that being with the right person will result in a sort of synchronized happiness and sense of understanding. Unfortunately, this is far from true. Though a good partner will try to understand their partner and bring them happiness, we are all ultimately responsible for our own feelings and behaviors. You may, for instance, feel miserable when your partner spends Friday nights with her friends instead of with you. This, however, is your problem, not hers. It is not your partner's job to assuage your pain by changing their behavior or tiptoeing around sensitive subjects. Likewise, it is not your job to rescue your partner from their unhappiness. Though your attempts may be noble, you can never truly resolve these inner conflicts for another person. We all must strive to manage our own emotions, as no one else can do this for us.
You can maturely resolve conflicts.
Healthy and mature conflict resolution should be a right, not a privilege, in your relationship. Though everyone fights with their partner sometimes, these arguments should be handled in an adult manner. Neither you nor your partner should result to tactics like the silent treatment. An inability to confront difficult situations can be just as detrimental as screaming matches, too. Though you may get upset and say things you don't mean, you and your partner should be able to overcome an argument without the situation devolving into childish or aggressive behavior. If a potential partner responds to conflict with immature, over-the-top responses, do yourself a favor and move on. Find a partner who respects you even when they disagree with you.
There's always reciprocity in the bedroom.
Many of us have been trained to accept less than we deserve in the bedroom. Whether it's caused by mismatched libidos or mere selfishness, receiving less than your fair share of sexual pleasure in a relationship can reasonably be considered a deal-breaker. Though bedroom dynamics may ebb and flow in favor of one partner or another from day to day, you shouldn't have to accept always getting the short end of the stick. A thoughtful partner will take the time to learn how to pleasure you. A selfish partner will focus on their own sexual pleasure without considering the types of touch and stimulation you might desire. Demand a partner who truly loves making love to you.
Maintaining balanced expectations will help you succeed in the world of dating. By managing your own behaviors and demanding respect from potential partners, you can discover even better relationships.
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