Expectations to Ruinations

When you wake up in the morning. What do you expect to happen ? I expect my alarm to go off in the morning. I expect daylight to have arrived. I expect that I can move my body and get out of bed. I expect my breakfast Radio 2 programme to be on and I expect the kettle to boil when I switch it on. Sounds simple but we do alot of expecting without realising it. It’s generally unconscious conditioning.

Expectations are ok to a point but when we attach and literally crave and desire them, we are usually setting ourselves up for a fall. With expectation comes attachment to the outcome and pressure for that expectation to be fulfilled in the way we planned.

When it comes to relationships, expecting can be disastrous. Expectations of what our partner should or should not be doing to make us happy only leads ultimately to one place, misery and conflict. Why, because one, looking to the other to make you happy will only create temporary highs and two, defining your happiness based on expectation is a never ending journey; one where you can never truly be satisfied.

But Gina, I expect my partner not to physically abuse me or take advantage of my feelings. Yes, that maybe your truth. We need to form some boundaries to maintain our integrity and sense of self otherwise how else would we survive, but expectations often form rigid milestones for your partner to reach that denote “I won’t be happy unless….” …eek too much pressure !

Expectations may help to control the freak in you, but what impact are they having on your relationship and you ? And what if your partner doesn’t live up to the expectations you have set ? In terms of your values, you are likely to head off into story mode. “He just doesn’t care about me” “I do so much for her and she doesn’t show me how much she appreciates me”. Notice the “me” and “I” in those sentences. Now we are getting to my point. Expecting is all about you. Welcome to the truth.

Lets test this with a small scenario…your anniversary has arrived. It’s been 5 years together and you thought you would surprise your partner with a romantic meal, candles…you get the picture. Your partner normally arrives home at 7, so you rush up to pour the bath, bubbles etc. The romantic stage is set for a beautiful eve. You have visualised (and expected !!) your loved one being utterly overcome with adoration for your efforts and having a wonderful evening followed by a passionate night of the most exquisite love-making. 8pm arrives and your partner has not set foot in the door. Alarm bells and stories start to manifest. In your mind you have expected many things perhaps. Your partner to arrive home when they always do at 7. A phone call perhaps to tell you they may be a little late. But nothing. 9pm arrives then 10pm. Finally at 10.30pm your partner drifts in the door a little worse for wear from an impromptu drink after work. At this point the choice is yours. 1) You can explode with a barrage of accusations about what you have done to surprise your man/lady and how they have failed that 2) You can step back and look at what you planned with a big dollop of self awareness that you created the scene and the expectation around it – you meet your partner with ease and a kiss and a hug and then your evening can still be salvaged and may well end up being better than you thought. It is a choice. Be angry or find another way to keep the joy going. I know it’s not easy but what do you want…pain or pleasure ?

I have many many times “expected” in love. My boyfriends had to text, call and be attentive when I felt they should…blah blah.”Should”, oh what a destructive word for the mind to use in it’s plot to harm ! Zillions of times I have heard girlfriends say “He said he would call, mail, text, come over and he didn’t”. Because he “said he would” sets the expectation in stone and dumps your partner in the proverbial doo-doo if they don’t do what they say they were going to. But ! ..you cry, that’s not my problem it’s his/hers ! Yes, on some levels, but I am not concerned with them, just you. How you react to the expectation of what “should” be, is the key.

Like it or lump it, having expectations leads ultimately to disappointment and hangs one outcome on a situation that could have many outcomes, all positive, depending on your attitude.

So how do we deal with the affliction of expectation ?

Let go ! How does it feel when you do ? It is only a thought. It’s about control and releasing control is about “feeling the fear”, to coin a well known phrase. Question your beliefs around your partner making you happy. If someone placed a heap of expectations on you, how would you feel ? Trapped, stifled, unable to breath perhaps. So that is how your partner may feel. Not very free is it ?

Healthy conscious relationships thrive on allowing. Your partner is not a possession but someone to enjoy the path of life with, in freedom and joy. Expectations can harm and create conflict in your delicate laboratory of love and sadly many people out there still find themselves inflicting rules on their partner in order to try and be loved and approved of.

Expectation is aligned with fear. Allowing is aligned with love. Next time you catch yourself expecting, question it’s importance and validity. Is this worth ruining my day/evening over ? Because my partner is not meeting my expectation, does that mean they don’t care about me ? The answer to both questions and many more is probably no. A list of expectations is a form of requiring proof that your partner cares and loves you.

Don’t you think that love is a natural beautiful phenomenon ? What a shame to have to tie your partner to a ritual of evidence actions based on the stories of your expectations. Be brave, let go and focus on giving the love you want. It is after all, All About You.

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Gina
Yoga teacher at Gina Hardy Yoga
I am a Yoga guide, relationship coach and therapist. I focus on teaching Yoga these days and love to teach in class, on retreat and in a 1:1 setting with clients. My motto for life is 'Live, Learn, Love, Pay it Foward' Pay your wisdom forward, tread lightly on this earth and leave footprints of love. Thank you, you are always loved no matter what. Gx

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