This post is cross-posted on BlogHer.
Expectations scare the crap out of me. If I have expectations of people, they can let me down and I'll get hurt. If I allow other people to have expectations of me, then I might let them down and they'll get hurt. It's really a lot easier to avoid expecting anything from anyone and to discourage anyone from having expectations of me.
Except, of course, for those moments when I look around and realize that I've let next to no one truly in. I'm a risk taker in so many ways, but I've been playing "safe" with my heart for years now, despite my best intentions to do otherwise.
Oh, sure, it *looks* like I'm putting it out there. It *looks* like I'm getting hurt, and indeed, there's been some hurt. But I haven't really let anyone fully in since I moved to L.A. - I haven't dated anyone who would even give me the opportunity, and when I should have seen that, more than once, I pretended I didn't.
I've held no one up to a level of expectation I hold myself.
And I've come nowhere near the true love I wish for on every star, at every fountain, with every Chinese fortune stick. Are you thinking about how you shouldn't tell a wish?
Are you thinking that we shouldn't have expectations in our relationships because when we expect things we are disappointed?
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, and I'm sick of it.
Now look, there are people who have unrealistic expectations in their relationships and there are people who never give without expecting tit for tat; that's not what I'm talking about. I've got the opposite problem.
In my last relationship, I basically expected one or two short dates a week and a phone call most days. No wonder I was freaking out over that damn phone call! It was all there was.
Meanwhile, I always think, if I just give more, if I am loving and caring and generous of spirit, then it will eventually be reciprocated. But it doesn't work that way without some level of expectations.
In the past, when I've tried to stand up for my most reasonable needs, I've hit resistance from people I was dating. I bought the line about how you shouldn't have expectations, but that's ridiculous! I've spent so much time trying to be cool about things I had no business being cool about.
True love brings with it expectations. My heart, my pride - is so very fragile. I should expect the love in my life to cherish it, to respect it, to want it, to treat it kindly. To be as generous and thoughtful and giving as I am. To love me the way I love.
I mentioned pride because there's a release of pride, a loss of cool, in admitting that you care about something. That something hurt you. Is there anything more vulnerable that admitting that you care and that you hurt? That you had an expectation?
Is there anything more terrifying?
Perhaps only the alternative - that you never allow expectations into your life and you never open your heart to true love.
The blogosphere speaks:
Erin from Unclutterer has tips for What to do if you are organized and your partner isn’t.
And finally, I just loved this post from Resist Rant Relax, A Summer Courtship, about his fiancée's developing relationship with his daughter. He writes about singing this song (it's actually Daisy Bell) while biking with them, and really, it's all about the expectations that really matter:
Maisy, Maisy, give me your answer do.
I’m half-crazy over the love of you.
It won’t be a stylish marriage, I can’t afford a carriage.
But you’d look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.