Dealing with Disappointing Relationships: Change Your Expectations


“If you can’t change the circumstances, change your perspective.” ~Unknown

Sometimes it feels as if you are completely in control of your life, but when it comes to relationships there’s always the other person.

In a relationship, you can’t be the puppeteer. People have their own emotions, behaviors, actions, beliefs, scars, wounds, fears, dreams, and perspectives. They are their own person.

How often have you wanted a relationship to be something that it was not?

How many times have you said a certain word or phrase in order to spark a specific reaction?

How much do you expect from this person? Do they fail you each and every time?

In healthy relationships there are certain expectations, like being treated well or being respected. Yet sometimes we find ourselves in relationships that don’t mirror what we anticipate to happen. We may feel hurt or used.

We cannot expect other people to treat us as we would treat them. We cannot assume anything or force change upon someone who clearly demonstrates he or she is stuck in his or her own way.

With eyes full of clarity, I am capable of changing the relationships in my life by adjusting my point of view.

I call my father a sperm donor. He gave me life but never showed up in my life.

My friends at school never knew I had a father because they never saw him. He missed all of the concerts and sports games. For the majority of my life, we didn’t talk. He didn’t acknowledge me—no birthday calls. I had no idea where my dad lived. Some days I was not sure he was still alive.

In high school, my dad limped back into my life. I could stop by his apartment and visit him when I wanted to. If I called him, he would pick up the phone. Things were changing between us.

Blindingly bright, his true colors revealed themselves the night before my high school graduation when I called to make sure he was coming. He said he couldn’t attend because he had to drive a friend to the airport. Cabs exist. His friend could have used one. I was angry, sad, and most of all, hurt.

Rejection from my father has been the hardest thing for me to accept. It is not easy to grasp the idea that someone who once loved me, adored me, gave life to me could turn his back and walk away so easily.

I could no longer take the feelings of disappointment.

These feelings were a direct result of what I was expecting from him:

  • Assuming he would respond to things as I would.
  • Assuming he would care like I do.
  • Assuming he thinks in a similar way as I do.

I was living in a fantasyland of my hopes, dreams, ideas, beliefs, expectations, and assumptions.

I was hurting myself most.

For the protection of my emotional body, I changed my perception from what I hoped would happen to being open to experience whatever actually happens.

This shift didn’t occur immediately, but by following the five steps listed below I was able to come to peace with the type of relationship I have with my father.

1. Be aware of reality.

Acknowledge the other person’s behaviors. Look at patterns and how they regularly treat you. Remember the feelings you had in the past. Don’t be fooled into believing things are different from how they are.

2. Stop manipulating situations.

Many times we yearn for specific responses, like validation and approval. When we do not receive what we want, we may speak or behave in certain ways to try to elicit the desired reaction.

This type of behavior leaves us feeling empty when the other person does not react the way we hope they would. Remember, you cannot change anyone; it is up to them to change.

3. Let go.

Throw expectations and assumptions out the door. Release the hopes, wishes, and dreams that things will change by detaching from the ideas.

Get out of the fantasy world by not hooking into the thoughts of what could be. Keep your mind from running into the future. Remain open to all possibilities by staying in the present moment.

4. Focus on those who love you.

It will be easier to follow the third step if you remind yourself of those who are there for you. They continue to be there because they care about you. Focus on people who make you feel loved, connected, cared for, and worthy. Reach out to them and reconnect.

5. Learn to love yourself.

Provide yourself with what you are yearning for (compliments, compassion, or encouragement). Only you know what you truly need.

Realize each moment you are being the best you at that time. Build self-confidence and strive to eliminate any doubts you have about yourself. When you feel shaky or alone, look in your eyes in the mirror and say, “I love you.” Nurture yourself. Feel the love you have inside of yourself.

Let go of your expectations of people and see how your relationships change. And if you don’t feel differently about it or if it’s not benefiting you, you can always walk away. Your emotional state matters most. You cannot control other people, but you can make yourself happy.

Photo by Don

About Khrystle Rea

Khrystle Rea is a word lover, piano player, and rollerblader. She spends her time balancing her life between all of the things she loves and work. Find quick tips and tricks to help you balance your life on her blog Keeping It Equal.

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  • Khrystle, thank you for writing this post and sharing your painful story, which is no easy task.

    Appreciate learning about your journey from resistance to acceptance.

    I think #3 is key to your situation, my situation with my past and to all of us in every aspect of our lives. Letting go and living in the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says, “the past cannot survive in your presence, it can only survive in your absence.” So the more present we are, the more in the moment we can life our life.

    In the present, there is not past pain, hurt, suffering, unmet expectations or rejection. I’m glad you’re making the best of the situation with these life-changing tips and behaviors. Your ability to move on from something like this is inspiring – you remind me that I should be able to do this in all aspects of my life.

  • Terra

    This entry made me cry. There are so many truths in it.

  • May

    What a whole, loveable, sensible person I would have become if I had read that article 60 years ago when I was 20! Oh dear friends, read and take note….and live well x

  • Tyler Smith

    Absolutely needed this today! Such a lovely piece of writing to assist in my meditation for the new year.

  • Jeanette Roberts

    I’m going through this right now with my Mom; though it has been only a few months since it has surfaced. I have some of the same feelings you describe. I feel peace when I walk away, but a part of my spirit can’t shut her out. I am taking it as it comes and focusing my energy on my dreams and my children for now. There is a shadow over my life as I sort it all out.

    I was great at accepting my Dad and all his flaws when he was still alive, because he accepted ME! It makes all the difference. I have grown as a person since losing him, and I feel better able to remain peaceful inside despite the disapproval my Mom continues to show.

    Best to you and remember that you are enough just as you are.

  • Thanks…Great article. I just experienced a relationship recently, where my eyes were wide open to the reality of what was going on. As I remained grounded, realistic, and honest….the other person approached it with expectations of what they wanted. Ultimately, they weren’t happy because things weren’t going how they believed it should in their mind and they weren’t hearing what they wanted to hear. Sadly, instead of letting things flow as they might, they wanted to force things into the plan they had in their mind. My awareness let me know that I was simply someone they were plugging in to a preconceived idea of how things should be. I felt unknown. When I did share of myself, my feelings, my hopes and dreams…they didn’t want to hear it (it didn’t fit theirs).

    I’m very grateful for the awareness of this and the clarity it has given me and a little sad, this relationship didn’t even have a chance to get off the ground (just 4 wks)

    Thanks again….blessings,

  • Selena Delgado

    Thanks for sharing. As many others, this story resonated with me and personified my own relationship with those I’ve loved.

  • This is wonderful. So much of this resonates with where I’m at in life right now. Thanks!.

  • Star

    Beautiful article! I just recently ended a romantic relationship with a best friend because I wanted to be treated better but nothing changed. Soon I realized that it is just how he is, and I could either accept it and continue feeling abandoned, or walk away. Acceptance of who the person is and not trying to change them is so important, then and only then do you realize if you really want this particular person so closly tied in your life. We are going to continue being friends. but he just wasn’t relationship material. That is a hard fact to accept!!

    Again, loved the article Khrystle, thank you : – )

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story, your journey through your experience and the lessons you’ve gained from it.

    So good to see the teacher and guide you’ve become.


  • Kelly

    Thank you for sharing your story. I now have “change your expectations” on a sticky note on my desk.

  • In Limbo

    Thank you so much for this article… The timing is impeccable. After breaking up with my college boyfriend five years ago, we’ve slowly been rebuilding a friendship from across the country. I’m moving home in a few months and I want to get back together, but he says he just wants to be friends. Everything about the way he’s treated me over the last few years of correspondence says “casual friendship” but I’ve been stubbornly delusional and unable to grasp the truth. Only after he made no effort to see me while I was home over the holidays did I finally realize that I’ve been living in fantasyland about the possibility of getting back together anytime soon. Your advice is very much appreciated.

  • loveable

    Next dont share to soon. Keep them guessing! I learnt the hard way

  • Lidja

    “I felt unknown.” Wow. That’s an amazing insight, and a helpful concept when looking at relationships. Thank you for that!

  • Jeff

    Thank you, it’s very poignant. I’ve been working through some of my own rejection issues, and this is a beautifully written piece of advice. Rather than analyzing the ego, and the head games we all play, you gave us a great perspective!

  • Karen Clark

    Thank you for this. Really hurting right now by treatment by friends and family over a crowdfunding project. I accept if they don’t want to donate, but what I experienced was down right meanness and cruelty. Very shaken by their words. But I am letting it go–and praying that they don’t take out their pain on other people.

  • Julvis

    Needed this today! How did you know?! 🙂

  • Catie

    Thank you thank you, Khrystle! Whole article is really pertinent to my world and mindset right now. Especially number 2. This is a very ingrained destructive pattern with me: “make” people show/demonstrate/prove their feelings in ways that I want them to, or refuse to acknowledge their feelings mean anything at all (side note, I have borderline personality disorder, and this behaviour is sorta the hallmark of it. Not that a diagnosis = a whole person, obviously, but worth noting). Anyway, it is a deeply flawed system because, as you say, when you expect others to behave how you want them to (in other words, when you essentially manipulate them to react a certain way), you will feel empty when they don’t act that way. But that’s nothing compared to how empty you will feel when, after all your cajoling, they do finally act that way. All love, validation, support, etc. from others will start to seem untrustworthy because you’re so used to manipulating reactions, how do you know what is “real” and what is your false creation? Vicious, sad cycle I need to step out of by taking my own hand, not someone else’s…

  • heavy

    What if that person you can’t change is your spouse, the parent of your children and the provider of the family? How do you just walk away when they keep on hurting you and they won’t change? As much as I like your way of thinking it’s really not that easy.

  • Christine Roy

    This question is most inspiring to me. It is so easy for people to say walk away or take them out of your life. That to me is giving up on them. I am not at all talking about an abusive situation. I am talking about unconditional love and faith in that person you truly want in your life. This world isn’t easy and it is true we get so disappointed from how we think it should be in our own minds. I guess I choose to have hope and trust in the person even if it breaks my heart I still keep faith.

  • Louise Watson

    This is a wonderful post Khrystle. I think many of us can relate to feeling let down by someone. I know I’ve had to work on focusing on the people who do care and letting go of the expectations I have of people, although this has got easier over the past few years. Thanks again for sharing your story in this great post.

  • Brightlight

    Oh my
    God! I read this article and I had to
    step away from it before I was able to write down my thoughts of response to
    it. Khrystle Rea, I feel your past pain
    and rejoice in your ability to share it in such an enlightening way. Khrystle, your age maybe young; although, the
    wisdom that you so openly shared is the knowledge obtained generally by an
    elderly person. To be able to step out
    of your own discomfort and confront your emotions through a brilliant light is
    a pure gift. I read the responses of all
    others and your gift of wisdom obtained as well as your gift with the ability
    to share has touched, comforted, and redirecting many paths in their
    journey. This article is enlightening,
    encouraging and inspiring. I acknowledge
    you for the courage to share it. That is
    how and when and how the child within is healed. You have discovered that you
    are a pillar of strength and that you must matter to you first. Thank you for sharing an incredible “real”
    story. Blessings…

  • ariel cherie.

    Thanks so much for this post! This is something I continue to grapple with when it’s concerning someone who is special to me, but I always need to keep in my mind that whatever they do is about them — not me.

    Thanks again.

  • Happy Chick

    Thank you!

  • disqus_H2r7P9CrOd

    After reading this there is so much I have learned. We all have ways of dealing with trauma and abuse, and looking outside of ourselves, in helping others is great but its not a way to get back to where we came from or get back what we lost. I need to learn to get comfortable in my new skin, that the old me is gone and this one is just as good. Sad to think but by the time I am able to reconnect with myself and stop seeing my life as if it were a bad movie playing over again, my journey here will have ended. A waste? Maybe for me but not for those who I have helped and the lives I have saved. Would love to read more….

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for taking the time to read the article! 🙂
    I agree with you on Eckhart Tolle’s saying, being present is crucial. The best thing about being present is that it is something we can learn to do and the more we practice it the better we become at living in the present moment.
    Best of luck with all that is going on in your life. You have the ability to create whatever life you want 🙂 just got to make it happen!

  • Khrystle Rea

    So glad this advice resonated with you. His lack of effort must not have felt good; I’m sorry he is missing out on you! It is great that you are so aware of the situation 🙂 awareness is key because it allows you to change.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!
    It sounds like that person didn’t deserve your time, especially because it seems like they were closed to really learning you.
    Luckily there are plenty of fish in the sea!
    You just never know when you will meet the perfect person, but at least you didn’t spend too much time with someone who may not deserve you.
    You deserve the best!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for taking the times to read!
    I can’t help but grin about your sticky note – I do the same thing at my desk.

  • Khrystle Rea

    You are enough just as you are as well :)! I am sorry to hear about the loss of your father and the struggles with your mother. Best of luck to you as you sort it out.
    Remember to take nothing personally (one of the 4 agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book – “The Four Agreements”).
    I hope you can figure out the perfect balance of how much your mother is included in your life. Listen to your gut. It will guide you.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!
    I agree!! Accepting someone for who they are is crucial in relationships. I really learned a lot about relationships in a book called “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’m glad to hear you are going to be friends with him still. You deserve the best – never settle!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Happy New Year! All the best with your meditation.

  • Khrystle Rea

    I am honored that you were so touched by this piece! Thank you for taking the time to read it.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Focusing on those that care really does make a difference! So awesome you have experienced that while also letting go of expectations. 🙂

  • Khrystle Rea

    Walking away is not always the answer, but changing yourself is possible. You can change how you perceive that person. You can learn to provide yourself with the love you crave. You can really look into what is hurting you and why is it hurting you. Explore yourself and what buttons are being pushed. You are reacting and feeling a particular way because of something in you. The other person is there helping you learn your lesson. I think if you can really figure out what is going on and change your point of view, then maybe the hurt won’t sting so much. In the end it is up to you to decide if you want to feel hurt and how long you decide to feel hurt. You can always change your emotions and your feelings by being with them, letting them flow until you get to the other side and are able to release them. It is up to you.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!
    One of the most simple ideas that I learned in therapy is once you do one thing differently, the entire cycle stops. The best part is you can decide when in the cycle you want to be different. By first being aware of entering the cycle you can choose do you want to go to step 2 of the cycle or do you want to do something different. It may take some time to practice being aware of the cycle and deciding when to do something different. I don’t always notice that I am repeating a cycle until I am half way in it and then I have to decide do I want to make it different or do what I always do.
    It’s all about learning you. :)!

  • Khrystle Rea

    A little birdie told me :)!
    Thanks for reading!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Oh no! I am so sorry to hear they were just mean and cruel. 🙁
    You are a big person by letting it go and not holding their words against them. Fingers crossed they don’t take their pain out on others! Wishing you the best with your crowdfunding project!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!
    Eckhart Tolle has a wonderful book about the ego called “A New Earth.”
    The mind is an amazing thing – talks me in and out of the same argument/issue. I can’t always trust the conclusion! Thank goodness for my gut.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!! 🙂

  • Khrystle Rea

    Wishing you all the best with what’s going on in your life! It will all work out in the most perfect way.
    Thanks for reading!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! It’s wonderful knowing you also have experienced something similar to me – it’s always comforting realizing I’m not alone with all of this and neither are you!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!!

  • Khrystle Rea

    So glad you have learned something from the post.
    On my blog I will be writing about other emotional topics and lessons I struggle with. Tiny Buddha always has inspiring articles as well!
    I hope you will start playing a better movie over and over again. Each moment is a new moment especially when living in the present.
    Amazing you have saved lives and helped others – some people cannot say they have done that in their life time. That to me is incredible work.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Agreed!! Take nothing personally. Good luck with continuing learning your lessons.
    Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading this post and responding!
    Your responses are beautiful – I really appreciate you taking the time to share your opinion.
    Wishing you all the best in this new year!

  • ali

    This article is very true to me and I came to this at the right time. I’d say it’d be one of the changes I’m making for New Year’s. I’ve been hurt too many times expecting some people I’ve held very dear to me to respond back to me in the way I would respond… obviously it’s never going to happen. They are never going to care as much. In order to keep my emotional well being happy I’m afraid I’m going to have to walk away or let them go. Either that, or put a good distance between them. I’ve stuck around many times already but just ended up being disappointed. Sometimes you just figure out people’s true colors even though it takes a while to see it. Kind of sad.

  • india

    What if the other person does things which hurt you ? When everything has been wrong ? When you feel if you get even a little bit closer to the person and if you are hurt again you won’t be able to take it ? Should we stick to a relation and try to make ot perfect ? I am unable to let go becuse i feel like i should make her life better do every thing for her but i don’t see care from her side. I already suffer from anxiety and ocd.

  • Shauna B

    Congrats, Khrystle! What a beautiful post!! 🙂

  • Khrystle Rea

    Only she can make her life better and when she decides to do so. It is not your responsibility to change someone.
    For me it came to a point where any time I spoke with my father I would be hurt and he never was really present in my life. I decided that my emotional state is more important than the fantasy world that I kept painting in my mind of who he may one day become.
    I decided to accept him and love him for giving me life, but not interact with him.
    You can always look to understand your hurt and what really bothers you and see the other person differently. This may heal the relationship because you have changed your point of view.
    The decision is yours to make. And I ask you, if everything has been wrong and you are continuously hurt, why do you still continue the relationship? There must be something beneficial or a lesson to learn for you to continue it.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Sad indeed, but you have come to amazing realizations!
    Being aware is always the first step to changing anything. As long as you pay attention to your feelings and what you want to do, you will succeed.
    Best of luck as you continue learning in this new year!

  • Karen Clark

    Thank you very much. The project wasn’t funded, but I’m still going strong on my book, Singing in Silence. Just healed myself from a brain injury from workplace bullying, and I will just keep going forward towards the good in life.

  • Such a timely post. Letting go of any expectations is really important because we cannot expect the other person to know what’s going on in our mind.

    For example, Maybe we want the other person to text or call us…and we just wait and wait… and guess person, that person didn’t pick up the phone…well, why don’t we make the effort first instead?

    Communication is key too… Good to talk things out instead of making assumptions.

    Tq for this post!

  • Discus

    Khrystle – thank you for this article. You’ve written in clear and kind language what it’s taken me a very long time to start understanding.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Glad you enjoyed the article! All the best in continuing your growth :)!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Agreed!! Communication is crucial in relationships.
    Thank you for taking the time to read :)!

  • lovemae

    Really wish I had read this a week ago. My ex and I tried to be ‘friends with benefits’ in 2013 (after a whole year of no communicating in 2012) and though he was perfectly clear on his intentions, I had it in my mind that it would lead to something more. Early December, I ended our arrangement because I wanted something more and he clearly didn’t. A few weeks later, I discovered he had a girlfriend. I wasn’t sure if he was keeping it a secret while we were fwb, but I was so angry – I felt so deceived, not to mention heartbroken. We do have a history of him being dishonest which I was hoping would be different this time around, but after confronting him about his new gf, I realized he won’t change. If I had read this article before confronting him, I could’ve taken a much less ’emotionally explosive’ approach and we’d probably be on better terms right now, instead of in this awkward state. I know everyone is different and we’re all just doing the best we can at life. Also, everything happens for a reason. And that’s why I read this today instead of a week ago. Thank you.

  • AMS

    I am almost certain the author has lots of people who treat her very badly in her life that she continually makes excuses for.

  • Rianna Hampton

    May, I was thinking the same thing but wishing it was last weekend that I read it! I did reference the above article in my blog tonight and looked back on how I could have used those 5 steps last week when it seemed my world was crashing down on me. Going forward, hopefully not too much crashing down on me, at least when it comes to this topic. Thank you Khrystle!

  • nategismot

    What a balm! Thank you for sharing your story, and for providing those excellent, excellent five steps for guidance.

  • Andrea

    Oh wow, lovemae, your situation exactly mirrors my last relationship. Like you, I wanted more but he didn’t for his own reasons, and yet somehow, he now has a new girlfriend which made me feel so hurt and angry. I also confronted him about it, but instead of feeling better, I felt worse because I was expecting a certain outcome from getting in touch with him again. Yes, it would have been nice to come across this article sooner so I wouldn’t have reacted so badly to hearing about his new relationship but you are spot on about everything happening for a reason. There’s a right time for everything and maybe I wouldn’t have been as receptive to the guidance in this article had I read it earlier.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thanks for taking the time to read!

  • Alec

    Feeling so sad and despondent about my relationship, I came here to find some solace. In these words I can see where I am going wrong and how I cannot expect her to give me what I need or want if it isn’t her way. Feeling let down, unsupported and used by her is down to me expecting and assuming that she can give me exactly what I give her. I am bookmarking this on my mobile to re-read in those moments when I doubt myself and wallow in hurt and resentment. Thank you.

  • Cara

    I loved this article! Just what I needed to hear right now, and great advice! I’m actually gonna have a few people I know read this because I think it will help them too! 🙂

  • Nicky

    This resonates with me in a big way. I have a wonderful relationship but I am constantly disappointed with the reactions I ” expect”to get. I really need to leave my expectations alone and take people for who they are.

  • T

    Thank you Khrystle. Just last week had a very confronting chat with my parents, especially my dad about the past. About how his behaviour had affected me and worries as a child that I should have been to confide in him instead of fear. Long story short he was laughing while I was clearly upset. I was so angry that I swore at him then put the phone down.
    It’s been a week and I have to be honest with myself, all the while I was seeking validation and approval. Some form of justification for the way I felt and still carry on feeling. But as you mention in your article, I’m finally seeing that living in a fantasy land wishing that people will change or they will magically say just the right things to take away all the baggage I carry with me.
    After all the baggage and expectations are mine and the reality being, if I can’t validate myself or approve if myself, no matter what anyone says won’t change a thing.
    Thank you for the article, it resonates with me and am learning to implement the steps mentioned.
    Thanks again. Xx


    This is a great article, and a problem people don’t discuss much. It is verrrrry hard to get over expectations when they’re not met. Especially for those of us with very high expectations of ourselves and others (aka me 🙂

  • Akash

    Thanks 4 this great article.

  • Katie

    This is good and loving advice, and it made me feel better to read it. Thank you.

  • Ilham

    What an excellent way to go through life. Just what I need right now. I’ll have to retrain my thoughts! Thank you for writing.
    love x

  • Melissa

    Thank you so much for this. I specifically looked for articles on this topic tonight and this is exactly what I needed. I’m going to reference this again and again to help beat this feeling.

  • Ninja

    Loved it. I am 22 and I think this will help me in my life. Thank you so much

  • Amy

    Thank you so much for the article. Being on Tiny buddha and reading very helpful articles like this has been helping me change the way that I think about things in my life. It’s been a slow process to make the changes I need in my life and also to change the negative way that I think, but hopefully I will get to that state of peace that I long to have. I know that this article focused more on a relationship with a parent but this also applies to romantic relationships. I’ve been so focused on finding the ideal relationship that I’ve settled into not so healthy ones out of the fear of being alone. Reading articles like these only reiterates to me that I can’t control how I want the relationship to turn out. No one is perfect and no relationship can be perfect. Expecting someone else to make you happy can only lead to your own unhappiness. So thank you again for the article. I will try to keep your points in mind and hopefully lead me to better relationships that develop in the future.

  • Amy

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this article, it is just what I needed to read. I know I need to let go of thinking that my abusive ex-boyfriend will change. It is so so hard for me to “give up” on him, but I know I need to be aware of reality and let go of the fantasy world. Thank you!

  • Bradleý Thorson

    Your welcome 🙂

  • Ky

    Thank you for contributing something so priceless and important to my life. I am going to read this every night before I close my eyes because I have been struggling with expectations forever that I have created in an attempt to be perfect and nothing less. I know there is nothing realistic about perfection. I think it’s time to start over with a much more kind and flexible approach to living life and loving myself. I am so greatful for the opportunity to change my thinking one moment to the next.

  • RealBestAnswer

    I will never understand why God Blesses so many people to have a love life with a family, but Not many of us. Go Figure.

  • daniel

    This is the truth! This is really about the relationship we have with ourselves,
    our expectations and our perceptions..I can see i’ve been causing some of my problems..
    got to feel it to heal it!

  • WhiteT

    This is really good. I have had this problem for quite sometime. I always expect people to act the same way that I do. This was very helpful. Thank you!!!!

  • Simran Kaur

    Thankyou for this article. I was going through a difficult relationship with a guy giving me mixed signals n was on the verge of insanity, when your i came across your article n it has really helped me realise my worth and that i shidnt cling to what’s hurting my heart and soul.

  • Lydia laures

    I am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back. I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when I meet a friend that introduce me to DR Olawole the great messenger to the whole world who God has given him the grace to help people in their relationships, I narrated my problem to DR Olawole about how my ex love left me and also how I needed to get a job in a very big company. He only said to me that i have come to the right place were I will be getting my heart desire without any side effect. He told me what i need to do, After it was been done, In the next 2 days, My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness, I was called for an interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director.. I am so happy and overwhelmed that I have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR Olawole at the following email address and get all your problem solve.. No problem is too big for him to solve. Contact him direct on: And get your problems solve like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS:

  • Swathi Murthynathan

    Great Article, so much needed for me! every point was so sensible. “Focus on those who love you” Rightly said, i miss to give importance to the ones who love me and run behind the ones i love which ends up in disasspointment,! Living life full of assumptions wil lead to nowhere and hightime i gotta realize that! 🙂

  • Krista Hughes

    I fully relat e to this but cant let go or shake my abandonment issues and now that im a grown adult none of my relationships are healthy I feel im lacking something mentally but cant pin point it or even start to fix it whatever it may be!!! 🙁 even worse seeing my daughters going through the same exact thing and knowing exactly how they feel and am completely helpless to mend the hurt and pain I see in them……..

  • Magomu Daniel

    its awesome….

  • Magomu Daniel

    I have met great ladies that l want to date but they are all taken, married; it hurts so much!

  • glowingdb

    It is always easier said than done.. 🙁

  • Bad Advice

    This is bad advice and reads more like the author’s projecting her “daddy issues” onto others. Basically this tells people that they deserve abuse because the fault is with them. Both dangerous and naive, especially for women in abusive relationships. Written by a woman with the perceptive of a child “why doesn’t daddy love me?” and pithy internet click bait advice. I wont be back.

  • Linda

    Again, thank you. A timely article for me to read as I let go of the hopes I have for someone I developed feelings for. I initiated a break up, as I realized there was someone else in the picture and I wanted an exclusive relationship. But I had left the door open for having some discussion. Instead, I was blown off and ignored and at a very difficult time in my life. I didn’t react well to the situation, emailed a few too many times but otherwise I did keep my distance.

    I not only need to accept the reality of who this person is now and how they have chosen to (not) communicate with me, but I must also accept myself where I’m at and stop beating myself up about it. A younger me might have started doing everything I could to grab his attention or contort myself into the woman he wants but I see there’s no point.

    I must accept myself as I am, and whoever enters my life needs to accept me where I’m at. And if that’s not “good enough” then that’s their loss.

  • Lyric

    Hey i had a relationship in the past and it dint turn out well but my attachment is still there. Though she has moved on I am not sure about myself

  • Melanie Olsen

    Great write on this topic!

  • Saddaf Jamal

    Thanks Khrystle for this lovely article. I read it just at the right time. I do (sometimes over do) lots of things for the persons I care and love. One of my professors and his wife came to attend my wedding from UK to Bangladesh. I feel their main purpose was to attend my wedding but they did attend some conferences and visited some universities. I did every possible thing (with help of my husband and friends) for them for the time they were there like arranging their stay from in one of the best hotels, arranging their SIM cards and getting internet activated, pick & drop from every every in the city, arranging traditional dresses for him and his wife. Even on my wedding day (during my bridal make up), I was talking to tailors for his wife’s dresses etc. They stayed for few days after my wedding and during that time, I an my husband gave them our whole time. We were just thinking about them by the time they were there. We took them for lunches and dinners everyday from the next day of our wedding. I made sure to involve them in every ritual during the wedding. I did uncountable things for them.I cannot write all. It felt like our relationship was more like parents and daughter with them. When they were leaving for UK, I was sad. I felt my my parents are leaving. My professor said he will give me letter to support visa application of my husband for UK and time by time he asked the details like full name in passport etc. I came back to UK after a month. I and my husband were planning for his visa. We completed all the documents and we were waiting for letter from professor. My husband suggested me to write an email as professors remain busy and he might have forgotten. Unwillingly I wrote him an email and mentioned that we are planning to apply visa in a week and it will be great if you give the letter to support application. To my surprise, he even didn’t reply to my email. We waited for two weeks but he didn’t send letter. So we applied without that letter. Further when I came back to UK. Neither he nor his wife contacted me and asked how am I or how is my husband. His wife is my on facebook, she knew that I have arrived but no contact. I am so hurt that tears are flowing from my eyes while writing this.I just can’t accept how someone can be so mean and disrespectful. May be they are thinking that I will demand something from them in return to what I did. My professor meets me sometimes in coffee room and uni and we chat for sometime. But from his face, it looks he doesn’t feel or realize anything. It hurts me more. Now I try to minimize my contact with them because I cannot completely avoid them since I have to go university and see him time by time. My husband has got the visa even without his support letter and he will join me soon. I will follow these five steps in the article and I am sure I will get some relief.

  • Preeti

    I want to know what should i do i have a bad past experience before 1 year in a relationship and now i have new one i thinking all the time worrying all the time which is not worthy i caught up emotionally so easily i am scared all the time that he gonna leave me and i am so much attached to him pls tell am i in depression because i make me miserable all the time i know life is always have ups and downs but i want to be happy all the time

  • betty parsons

    I know this post is old but it really helped me today. Interestingly, my current hurt and disappointment involve my son’s high school graduation and a lack of effort to participate by my own sisters and other close( I thought) family members. I have attended just about every event they ever had and still would tomorrow. I know it is going to take some time and effort on my part but I really need to work through this before it causes bitterness and a lot of unhappiness for me. thanks.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading! Wishing you all the best in sorting it all out and making sure you feel good. Remember no one can take your power – you decide how you want to feel. 🙂

  • Khrystle Rea

    I am sorry to hear you are struggling. Have you ever read the book ‘The Master of Love’ by don Miguel Ruiz? His book really taught me what a healthy relationship should be. Hoping the book can help you in a similar way that it helped me. Remember you have all the answers you need. Try listening to your gut about what you should do. Only you can make you happy.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Glad to hear your husband was able to get his visa! I am sorry that your professor has hurt you. You did so many amazing things for him and his wife during your wedding. Really shows how great of a person you are. Kindness and love always wins. Your professor may not appreciate all that you did and may not even realize how much you did for him and his wife, but you have nothing to regret. You treated them exactly how you wanted to and I think that is what matters most. Hoping you heal soon from these painful feelings.

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading!!

  • Khrystle Rea

    You are enough exactly as you are!

  • Khrystle Rea

    It only takes one step to break a cycle. Awareness kicks it off. You can do it!

  • Khrystle Rea

    Thank you for reading this article! You are powerful and are capable of changing.

  • Onlyone Puzzledmonkey

    This is an excellent article that perfectly sums up the dilemma of social expectation. So often we set ourselves up for disappointment when desired responses are not forthcoming. it is such an easy mistake to make relying on other people for confirmation of our own sense of self. This seeking of psychological security is just our own ignorance at play, in truth we should learn to trust ourselves and find the source of self-belief within. Reliance on external circumstances for our own personal happiness will always lead to feelings of uncertainty.

  • Bas

    Beautifully written piece!
    I do have a comment to add to step #2
    I agree to never try to manipulate the situation. But one should definitly be able to express ones emotions and/or discontent over how one is being treated. Just don’t have any expectation on how the other person will or should respond. They might blow up in your face or they might surprise you. To many times relationship issues that potentially could have been resolved don’t get resolved, due to the lack of straighforward clear non-judgemental communication.

  • Shelly slay

    What do you do when you’ve known someone a long time and have become accustomed to their mannerisms and they’ve expressed interest in marriage when you weren’t interested at all.. then you come around to the idea and all of the sudden they’re no longer ready and they’re changing everything you once “knew” about them?

  • Anks

    This came exactly when I needed this most…when you are disappointed in a relationship..the world around you seems to be shattered as if you are left alone and used…
    But reading your article I now understand that I cannot impose my love on other person and can’t wait for him to fulfill all my expectations and give me the love back I pour on him…. Emotions are the most difficult things to control….

  • Mark Burgess

    Reckon this is one of my favourite articles on the net. Thanks 🙂

  • jenna

    Wow, this was such an amazingly touching read for exactly where I am at this moment..however, I am not facing these issues with my father but with the love of my life. I am placing outrageous expectations on him and the relationship and just assuming that he is wrong and/or I end up feeling disappointed because he did not react to me either 1. the way I wanted him to (that would cater to my own need of validation etc.) or 2. he did not respond in a way that I would have.

  • piano234

    This article came at such an important time. I’ve been in an unfulfilled relationship with a man I love, but I guess he doesn’t show his love the same way I do, or how I expect him to. I’m guilty of eliciting certain responses to try to get him to act a certain way or show a certain emotion, but he’s shown his true colors to me more than once, and they are that his needs are always going to be more important than mine. I feel like I should walk away for my own sanity and emotional well-being, but it’s hard because I love him. This is a great article and I have some thinking to do

  • anon

    This article is helping me through a tough time. I realize I am strong and independant but in a whirlwind of events I’ve found myself fairly dependant on my boyfriend. I work full time and can support myself… but we live together and have only one car so if he doesn’t drive me to work or let me use our car – there goes everything. When we met and in the early stages of our relationship I was myself. A self that I loved. Now I find myself getting jealous all the time and finding something to fight over for no reason. I’m not happy with the way I look or feel. This all being said I love him and can’t imagine a world without him. When I wear something I’ve never worn before I have this thought in my head like “wow I can’t wait to see what he’s going to say!” and if he doesn’t notice or doesn’t say anything I feel so broken and alone. I know it’s not his responsibility to always make me feel happy but for some reason when he doesnt it’s a far worse feeling than I had ever encoutered before starting the relationship. Do you have any advice for me? I’m trying to learn not to expect anything but here I am wondering when he’s going to propose and I just can’t help but have that thought in my head. I feel like there is something wrong with me. I don’t know if I need to break up with him to work on myself or if I can fix it without ruining the best and worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

  • Rob

    Wow, talk about exact similar experiences! My sister also uses the term, “sperm donor,” because my dad left me and my sister and mom when I was a baby. It was tough, but, my mom re-married and found her soul-mate. My dad probably calls me 2-3 times a year and that’s about it. Me and my sister are used to it, but, we don’t put any real effort out for him.

    When it comes to family or friends or relationship, I don’t even bother talking to people who don’t put time in for me. If I give them my time and my kindness and they don’t reciprocate, I immediately pull away! Every kind decent person deserves to be treated the same in return.

    Thanks for sharing and I’m sorry about your dad, Khrystle Rea. Life has its hurdles, but, I’m glad you’ve got a good outlook on life! That’s the way to approach disappointments. 🙂