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Healthy and Happy Love Relationships. Originally written in 1986, and a free online guide to time-tested attitudes & tips since 2001.

Relationships With Rigid Expectations

If you entered into your relationship with a rigidly defined "grocery list" of requirements or head full of expectations, or thinking you’ll change or instill those things which (in your opinion) are less-than-perfect (or missing) in the other person ...you are on a fast track to frustration and failure.

Your relationship was or is

‘out of balance’ to begin with!

If you want someone to change, the best way to do it is to set the example -- because you’re not perfect either. Someone who genuinely loves and respects you is more likely to want to change, (rather than feeling they "have to" change), if they can see the change will improve the quality of the relationship. Respect can come from seeing you being honest enough with yourself  to recognize your shortcomings, then doing something about them. Nobody can be everything to another person. They may come close, but the odds against 100% are very, very high. It would be unrealistic, not to mention totally frustrating, to expect otherwise. Focus upon, and support your partner for all the good things about them, and accept the things which you think are not so good. Accept your partner as you would have your partner accept you; for what you are -- and aren’t. People have a tendency to criticize others about the same things for which they make excuses for themselves. This can lead to increasing tensions which are needless. A person must be realistic in their `expectations’ of someone else -- rather than trying to form fit him or her to a `fantasy partner’. A potentially great relationship can be quickly eroded by such selfishness The same result will occur if you hold your partner in comparison to someone past. When doing this, you’re being completely oblivious to his or her own special and unique qualities, talents, and abilities. Your partner will sense what is going on, and only tolerate it for so long before beginning to back away from the ‘scrutiny’. So take a good honest look at the expectations you may have of your partner, or the unconscious comparisons you may have been making. If the relationship is valuable to you, the next step should be quite obvious.
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True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. — Francois de La Rochefoucauld