How to manage expectations in relationships?
These amazing questions were asked by a dear friend a few days ago. I ventured to answer them based on my life experiences and the limited insight I might have on them.
The answer thrilled my friend. I discussed this with a close group of friends. To my surprise, they believed, the thoughts must be shared with one and all.
So here are my thoughts on the questions above.
Many of us have faced turbulences, expectations create in relationships.
Expectations are of three kinds. One, where my expectations are from others for ‘me’. Second, where my expectations are from others for ‘them’. Third, my expectations are from me for others.
The proof of love is in ‘creating’
When I love my country, I want to create my country.
I love my readers. Through Life School Messages (LSM), I want to play my role to ‘create’ them.
Similarly, when I love a person, lets say that person is my son Neeraj, I want to ‘create’ him. I would love to see him develop and reach the zenith of his potential. I would love him to be safe yet adventurous. I would love him to believe in himself. I would love him to be kind and ‘one of a kind’. I want to play my role in him being all of this and more.
Aren’t these expectations from him? These are expectations of the second kind. The kind where my expectations from him are for ‘him’. They are the PROOF of love. Hence I stick my neck out and say, ‘Intimate relationships without expectations are impossible.’
Then, what is unconditional love? Hmmmm….I believe it is when I will put all the efforts necessary, and be patient in you getting transformed. Even if you don’t, I will continue to love you BUT will remain focussed on you getting transformed. If you change, great. Or else, my efforts will continue.
Let me present a metaphor…( I love this power of metaphors to give clarity )
I see the thorns and the roses.
I know, if the thorns are not there, the roses will be easy and appreciated by more. It will be more respected and valued. So, I set myself on the task of removing the thorns and add value to the roses. I have expectations…
This means, as long as my expectations are from you for you, it is wonderful. Whether you improve or not, I should be able to love you, value you. I love you as you are. My love does not depend on you ‘changing’
When I have expectations from you for me, I should be ready for disappointments and celebrations. Sometimes, you will be able to deliver. Sometimes, things will not happen my way. I should be ready for both. And smile…..and ‘Keep Moving’.
This way, I will be able to manage expectations.
The more I want from you, need from you, for me, the less strong is the relationship. The more I want to give, to create, the stronger is the relationship from my side.
I have had relationships with all the three expectations. Sometimes, all three with the same person. I have been all three kinds in relationships. I have realised, it is brilliant to belong in the giving side. I have also concluded, It is possible and easy when I have tremendous self belief.
May you create enough people including yourself. May you grow in self-belief like never before. As my mentor Rajan used to say, may you ‘Love all. Need none.’
And yes, enjoy the roses. Whether the thorns are there or not, please do enjoy the roses. Whatever be the pain, whatever be the damage, whatever be the agony, no thorn should keep you away from the roses.
With loads of love, prayers and best wishes,
As I Live…I Learn