There’s an episode of the “Big Bang Theory,” where one of the characters asks his new girlfriend to sign a 51 page, legally binding “relationship agreement.”
This is an exaggeration of a brilliant way of interacting, and one small change that can make a huge difference in and deepen our relationships.
We are talking about expectations vs. agreements.
Take a moment to write down what you expect from your partner. If you’re not currently in relationship, write down what you expected of your most recent partner.
Here is a sampling of my list. I expect my partner to:
>> be honest
>> please me sexually
>> be understanding of my need for time and space
>> be committed to our relationship
>> want to work out problems
>> be mature
>> hold space for me when I need it
Now that you have your list, circle each item that you have communicated to your partner. Likely, you’ll find that you mostly have things that are expected of your partner, but that have not been expressed.
Unconscious expectations are relationship agreements that we haven’t given our partner an opportunity to agree to or disagree with, yet we are holding them accountable for.
This is kind of like playing a game, but not teaching all of the rules.
It is not only unfair to our partners, but unfair to ourselves as well. How do we expect to get the relationship that we are looking for if we haven’t brought awareness to what it is that we expect from it? Expectations lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, confusion, rejection, and other disharmonies.
I’m not stating here that expectations are bad or wrong, or that we shouldn’t have them.
I am saying that we all do have them, and if they are unconscious, then that creates potential for miscommunication and disharmony. In fact, as I bring more consciousness to my intimate relationships, I have actually increased the number of expectations I have of my partner. The number of “must haves” or “deal breakers” has increased, but also, I have gotten better at bringing awareness to and communicating them with my partner. And I’ve witnessed my relationships become much more harmonious as a result.
with love and gratitude,