Every other day, Twitter NG is buzzing with conversations about relationships: how to get in one, what to do, what to not do, red flags and so on. The latest hot topic in this regard is on what a prospective partner ought to bring to the table. As always, the conversation began because of a viral tweet. This particular one had expectations that many people found ridiculously unrealistic. It’s also the fact that questions like that have no place on anyone’s list of date inquiries. For added context, the parties involved are young adults, not older than twenty-five. Not that I’m a relationship expert, but this has led me to make a list of things we should not expect in a romantic relationship.
- Do not expect your partner to have it all together. First of all, we’re human; secondly, you’re young. No one has hacked this thing called life and definitely not most twenty-something year olds. So chill out with the “what are your life goals and visions” questions. Partnerships are essentially about companionship and support, and that’s enough since we’re all still figuring things out.
- Your partner isn’t supposed to be your source of happiness. Contrary to what mainstream media makes you think, your partner cannot make you happy. While they can do things that bring you happiness, it doesn’t necessarily translate into you becoming happier. Responsibility lies with each person to find their own joys, partners can only assist.
- Your partner won’t complete you or your life. This is in tune with the above. Expecting that your partner will fill up any void in your life will only go south. You are both individuals with active lives, and putting that kind of burden on someone else is unfair. It might seem nice at first, but they’ll definitely burnout.
- Expecting a dominant-submissive situation. If you’re getting into a relationship with the mindset of being in charge or the opposite, having someone make your decisions, then be ready for things to get messy. Helping one another out in a relationship is essential but it must always remain within defined boundaries. Once again, don’t surrender your individuality or try to erase someone else’s.
- Don’t expect your partner to always be available to you. This can be physically or emotionally. It’s nice to have someone you can reach out to whenever you need help or reassurance. For many people, their partners are it but sometimes things happen and they’re not within our reach. This shouldn’t cause problems so far as it’s not an intentional avoidance.
- A conflict free relationship is impossible. No one wants to get in a rough patch with their partner but life isn’t a fairytale. Expecting a saint in our partners and a smooth sailing relationship will only put pressure on everyone involved.
- Putting you before themselves always. We should always do things that are in our best interest. While compromises will be made from time to time, your partner should be able to make certain choices for themselves without worrying about your reaction. This is as long as the decision won’t be affecting the relationship in a major way.
As young people, it’ll do us a world of good to not think of romantic relationships in strict terms. Going on dates asking what the other person plans to bring to the table is a no-no. When you’re not applying for a job. Having expectations, such as the ones listed, can’t do any relationship good. Let things flow organically, with established boundaries of course, and have fun.