Expectations and how they ruin everything

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    Everyone, everywhere, has something they’re dealing with outside of you. This is something I try to remind myself of daily, to remember to choose compassion over frustration, to be patient rather than irritated. Overall, this thought is something that helps me be a better person day to day, for the most part.

    I try not to expect things; outcomes, attitudes, good or bad news. I try, but to be honest, I often fail. That being said, I get let down, a lot, over something that wasn’t guaranteed in the first place. This not only affects me directly, but the people closest to me. (Mainly my boyfriend)

    Granted, we have our share of problems, as any relationship does. But my expectations of what I WANT him to do or say versus what he actually does or says is one issue I struggle with daily. I don’t necessarily let him in on this little inner battle, but it certainly affects how I feel overall, in turn making our relationship suffer from time to time. It hasn’t always been simple with him, but he is a good man. And my issues with expectations aren’t solely directed at him, I find myself getting upset over the “principle” of things, feeling sad if plans don’t go accordingly or getting frustrated if someone doesn’t do something they said they were going to.

    I know a lot of my problem is my need to control things, and I know a lot of my flaws. I’m not really asking anyone to tell me what I am doing wrong here, but if anyone could offer insight on how to do things better? Are there any tips on how to release feelings of expectations, or how to deal with a negative outcome when a positive was anticipated?

    I have mastered a lot of my emotions, partially due to the help of this site. I am sure that this may be something I will always battle, but any tips on how to make the battle a little easier would be so appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!


    Dear Danielle,

    I almost felt like i was writing this question down. A while ago, i was searching for the same answers after a night of fighting with my bf. I eventually felt i was perhaps being unreasonable and too emotional. It dawned on me that perhaps with the changing situations, my expectations had evolved but i was still holding on to past hurt quite a bit. Now here’s the thing – its okay to have expectations but they need to be reasonable ones. Otherwise, i doubt any of us would ever trust anyone if we didnt expect some reciprocation from them. I think when you feel bad about him not acting in a certain way, sometimes you need to subtly put it across that you kinda wished it was done that way instead. Never make him feel like its his fault totally because that really makes things difficult to tackle. Communicate openly and when you feel you have to manage your inner self, i think the best way to remember the times he did get it right, the times he was there for you and was patient with you.

    For example,

    i am eagerly keen on seeing my bf on 5th after quite a while and every day he cancels, till the time its 9th – i am irritated because i have to shift my plans cuz i am expecting him. So i tell him that i understand why you are shifting the dates – you have good reasons (actually he did) and i know you are trying, you have done so before, so its okay. Its a little irritating to leave me hanging every day because i have to cancel other plans to make time for you. I understand you cant help it but do try to be more on spot the next time or perhaps not let me know until you are super sure. I am not upset, just a bit irritated and mad cuz i wanted to see you soon.

    Frankly speaking, i cant do the whole release expectations thing – i do try it but i dont have fool-proof execution. I do try to be more understanding though – what you mentioned, empathy for them but again its about balance. What i cant tolerate though is people cancelling and never letting me know they did – i find that incredibly rude and inconveniencing. So you see, its about having baseline expectations rather than none at all.

    I dont expect them to turn up 100% of the time – even i change plans for whatever reasons, some of my friends have this habit of changing at the last minute, being on the phone when i meet them and its really annoying. Here’s the thing – i skillfully divert their attention or just let it go. No point noticing every small point for too long – it tends to magnify the thing but i do make it clear when the baseline hasnt been fulfilled.

    Its not that expectations ruin things – its just we need to keep them at a level that is required beyond reasonable doubt.

    – Moongirl



    I think your problem lies in your perception of the issue. You say you try but trying is neither doing or failing. If you were to commit yourself to what you want instead trying to, you would have much more success. Your solution doesn’t lie within your mind but in your ability to act. Verbally tell yourself to let go of your expectations. Accept what is and what you can control. Physically push yourself to experience things that you can’t form expectations of.

    Let life surprise you. You know you’re strong enough to handle life’s challenges, you know you’re capable of finding happiness within yourself, and love is always around you. So what harm can come from opening yourself up to life?

    You know expectations diminish spontaneity and joy so stop depriving yourself of it! is my personal blog and may offer further help. Good luck my friend!


    Hi Danielle,

    I am short of time so my reply may seem short or abrupt; but in my opinion it sounds simply as though your boyfriend isn’t the love of your life.

    A lot of people have views on how their relationship with their partner should be, and in your post it almost feels as though you are seeking for a way to dealing with the fact you don’t feel he is perfect.

    Perfect and perfection is a strange concept, but when it comes to love and relationships I feel as though you should only settle with what you think is perfection.



    Thank you for all your responses!

    Moongal – I hear ya. It’s hard work. Understanding and communication is definitely two of the keys in conquering the disappointment associated with expectations though. Overall, i do think that my expectations are fairly realistic, though I think I could work on the communicating factor a bit. I spoke with him last night and expressed a lot of the disappointments, and it was truly eye opening, as he had no idea. I think what you’re doing with your boyfriend sounds perfect, but my personal suggestion is to not put your life on hold for him either, no matter how much you want to see him.

    Adam – I think you hit the nail on the head, and it’s exactly what I needed to hear. It’s just about getting to that point and slowing my mind down to fully embrace every moment rather than think of the could haves and should haves and what will bes. It’s definitely a task but hopefully it eventually becomes second nature.

    Sam – that is an interesting concept, and I appreciate your response. I don’t know that I am looking for perfection, I’ve always found myself to love people’s imperfections. I like who my boyfriend is, and I feel as though this expectation thing is solely my own. I never intended my post to be solely directed towards my boyfriend, it was just what was bothering me at that very moment. I struggle with expecting many things outside of my relationship.

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