How to Deal with Expectations in a Relationship

What are unrealistic expectations in a relationship?

As humans, we often find ourselves longing for that perfect fairy tale romance, a love story where everything falls perfectly into place. Is there any relationship in the world which defines ‘perfect?’

It is easy to fall into the trap of expecting your partner to be flawless, always understanding, patient, and never making mistakes. But the truth is, no one is perfect. You are bound to make mistakes and with your flaws make each other beautiful in their relationship. Sometimes, without even realizing it, we burden our relationships with unrealistic expectations that can do more harm than good.

The purpose of this article is to let you know and give you hints on how to deal with unrealistic expectations in a relationship. In reality, clashes are inevitable as we navigate life alongside another person with their own set of experiences and beliefs. But with unrealistic expectations, there are chances the harmony will no longer be present in your relationship.

So, it is essential to understand that no one person can meet all your needs single-handedly. When you are in a relationship, it is a union of two person and together you can fulfill each other’s expectations. However, both have to ensure those expectations are realistic enough.
But what if the opposite is happening? What if your partner is demanding something that is not possible in reality?

Or, expecting something which is not balancing the equation between the two of you. This kind of situation might erupt in your life long relationship. How will you manage then?

how to deal with expectations in a relationship

Communicate Openly

The ability to openly express your thoughts and feelings with your partner can pave the way for a deeper understanding and create space for compromise. Here is the major problem with modern relationship, we assume our partners know what we want or need without explicitly articulating it.

Communicating openly does not imply mind-reading; instead, it necessitates asking questions and seeking clarity when things seem unclear. When we communicate openly, we invite our partner into our inner world. For any relationship to thrive, open and honest dialogue must flow freely. It is through these channels that understanding flourishes and connections deepen.

Be Realistic

To handle unrealistic expectations in a relationship effectively, you would have to start thinking realistic. You have to understand the fine line of difference between realistic and unrealistic expectations.

Unrealistic expectations often lead to disappointment, frustration, and ultimately, heartbreak. Every individual grow in their own pace, intellectually, emotionally and physically as well. You must allow each other room to grow for personal growth within your relationship.

We often build up unrealistic expectations in our minds about how our partner should behave, what they should say, or how they should make us feel. When you start building a superficial expectations about your partner in your relationship, it becomes harder for them to respond positively in a relationship.

So, it is very crucial to be realistic in what you think, how you behave and what are your demands and wishes.

Set Boundaries

You must take the time to reflect on your own needs and values. What are you comfortable with? What makes you feel respected and loved? Understanding yourself is crucial before attempting to articulate these expectations.

Boundaries are like invisible lines that define who we are and what we stand for. They create a sacred space where our needs and desires can flourish, while simultaneously safeguarding us from harm. When setting boundaries, they should be fluid yet firm, allowing room for growth without compromising your core values.

While dating or before committing to a relationship, you should always communicate about boundaries to each other. It is a baby step towards establishing a healthy relationship. This way you could avoid unrealistic expectations from your partner.

Focus on Needs, Not Wants

Sometimes it is difficult to discern between needs and wants. Needs are the essential building blocks that sustain any connection, like, trust, communication, support, respect; they form the very foundation upon which love flourishes.

It is crucial to acknowledge that needs differ from person to person, what may be vital for one might not hold the same significance for another. You must take some time to understand and question yourself about, what do you truly need from your partner? How well are those needs being met?

You would need to communicate all about your needs and wants to your partner. Things should be clear between both. So, there should no gaps for misunderstanding.

one happy couple

Be Flexible

Expectations can often be the downfall of even the strongest bonds. We all enter into relationships with certain hopes and dreams in mind, painting a picture of what we believe our partner should be or how they should act. But what happens when reality doesn’t align with these expectations?

This is where flexibility becomes essential. No person is the same, when two individuals are diffirent, their personalities are different, disagreements are bound to happen. Flexibility goes beyond just accepting differences; it involves actively adjusting your own mindset and behaviors.

It means being open-minded enough to consider new perspectives, compromise on disagreements, and navigate through life’s unexpected twists together.

Practice Empathy

In the context of managing expectations in a relationship, empathy becomes an invaluable tool. When faced with differing desires or unmet expectations, taking a step back and empathizing allows us to see beyond our own needs and consider the bigger picture.

You have to understand that empathy isn’t just about compassionately comprehending another person’s standpoint; it also involves recognizing our own biases and prejudices that may cloud our judgment.

This is not an easy task. Practicing empathy requires self-reflection. It should not be limited solely to our partners, it extends beyond romantic relationships into all aspects of life.

deal with expectations in a relationship

Work on disagreements

To work through disagreements successfully, communication is key. Remember that effective communication involves both listening and expressing your own thoughts and feelings. Actively listen to your partner must involve a proper communication.

Give them the space to express themselves fully before sharing your perspective in a calm and respectful manner. I have written a complete article on how to deal with conflicts in relationship, you can go through the piece for a better insight. Sometimes conflicts may emerge due to unmet expectations or misunderstandings about each other’s needs.

You have to take time to reflect individually on what you truly desire from the relationship and discuss it openly with your partner. Relationships are not about being right all the time, they are about growing together by acknowledging differences constructively.

Instead of avoiding or suppressing them, bring them into notice to your partner and discuss. Consider each other’s standpoint and come up with solutions where you can deal with unrealistic expectations.


In a world filled with endless choices and diverse personalities, it’s only natural for expectations to clash. Let us not mistake compromise for sacrifice or surrender; rather, it is a serene blend of empathy and self-awareness. You would have to recognise that we don’t have to sacrifice our authenticity but can instead discover new dimensions by blending differing perspectives opens up endless possibilities.

Compromise grants us the chance to truly see our partner’s dreams while protecting our own aspirations too. With every give-and-take step taken together comes an increased bond.

Revisit Expectations Periodically

Relationships are dynamic and constantly evolving entities. What we expect from our partners today may not align with what we desired yesterday or will crave tomorrow. That’s why it’s crucial to set aside time for reflection and reevaluation.

When you are periodically revisiting these hopes and desires, you allow both yourself and your partner the opportunity to grow together rather than apart. It is easy for assumptions to creep in silently when communication falters.

If you can revisit expectations regularly, you can foster an environment where growth continues indefinitely.

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