Expectation and Potential: Two Things That Can Really Screw Up Your Love Life

I have some bad habits when it comes to dating, and I’m trying to break them for the sake of my love life, but boy are they tough to let go…Stupid expectations and potential.  

In the event that I’m not alone in this, I’ve decided to discuss each one and the questions I have or what I’ve learned (there’s hope for me yet!).

So let’s get to it–

Expectation

I envy people who can be in a relationship with someone and not have any expectations whatsoever–none. How do you do that? I really feel like it’s a gift.

I don’t mean or plan to do it, and every time I notice it sneaking up, I try to put a stop to it, but that little bugger finds a way in and then all of a sudden, I have these hopes for something and get disappointed. It’s really annoying.

It’s not that I expect a guy I just met to roll out the red carpet and treat me like a queen from the get-go or anything too crazy (although that would be nice), I just expect the guy to meet me halfway, which doesn’t seem so bad, except halfway for me might be a little more than the usual.

Because I’m a hopeless romantic, I do a lot of cutesy, cheesy things. On top of that, I have a memory that’s ridiculously amazing and I pay attention to the details. I know I can’t expect this from everyone, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t look for those things in a potential mate. I want someone who pays attention to what I say and notices the small things, like I would. Maybe not everything, but some things. Is that so bad?

“Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them.”

“Expectation is the root of all heartache,”–William Shakespeare

So, yes, it is widely known that to lower your disappointments and to secure a life of happiness, one should live a life with no expectations. OK…how? That’s the part I don’t understand. Even if you tell yourself, “I don’t expect anything from him/her,” there has to be at least one moment when you think of something they could do that would be really sweet and would make you smile. So then you start planning this scenario in your head that (more often than not) doesn’t happen.

This is something I’m still struggling with, but maybe it’s just a struggle worth fighting for. Don’t I want a man that’s not only going to meet but exceed my expectations? Don’t I want a man who will surprise me in ways I couldn’t even imagine or appreciate the fact that I do these little things to make him feel loved?

Of course I do. But damn, those disappointments along the way can sure make a woman lose hope that a guy like that exists. Am I being ridiculous or unrealistic?

I just don’t know.

Potential

Remember the hints I talked about in my last post? This is what I was referring to–potential. I almost always look at a guy that I’m considering dating as the man he could be as opposed to the man he is right now. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have high hopes for someone, but in the grand scheme of things, and especially when it comes to dating, it only leads to frustration and expectations, which ultimately lead to disappointment.

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

And I think I’m finally starting to get it.

The last guy I was really interested in was exactly this. A very handsome young man that I liked to be around, who had a good head on his shoulders but was still stuck in a stage that made him undateable. Oh, but Bruna, when he’s ready he’ll be amazing. He’ll be so sweet and fun and caring and romantic and loyal. 

Will he? I don’t know that, that’s just what I hope he would be.

At some point it just clicked that I can’t invest so much time and energy into someone that really didn’t exist. The version of this guy that I was thinking up in my head–didn’t exist. And he mightnever exist. So what am I doing? I’m falling for a man I created in my head. The more I read that aloud to myself, the crazier it sounds.

People are on different paths in life and you should want to meet someone who’s going on a similar route as you. This guy, (at least I still believe) is a man with good intentions, but is on a totally separate road than I am, so there’s no point in waiting and wishing and hoping and imagining, because I will always get let down. It’s just best to let go.

I know that women especially like to have projects. Oh, I can create the greatest guy out of him. For what? So you can spend all of that time and effort and emotion trying to mold someone into the type of man you think he’s supposed to be, and then he’s over it and someone else gets to date his upgraded version? That’s the worst.

Side note: If you haven’t learned already, people will only change their ways when they are good and ready and when they think its necessary. You might be able to write out a list of things they need to work on right now, but until they see the error of their ways, it’s not gonna happen.

Accept people at face-value. What you see is what you get, and if you’re not seeing what you want, then get to steppin’. There’s someone else, someone who is already the person you’re picturing in your head, ready and willing to give you what you need. I promise.

C’mon–six billion people in this world…all you need is one.

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