When your relationship don’t meet your expectations, what do you do then and when is it time to let go?
Being in an unhealthy relationship can be tough, very tough. It can be tough because expectations are not being met, you went into the relationship with certain expectations. What are 5 things we should expect from our relationships? When we are in a relationship with someone, it is quite reasonable that we should expect:
- Affection- Everyone expect their partner to show affection. This can be done through words or behavior or both. We expect our partner to shower us, or at least show us physical affection through hugs, kissing, holding hands and we can go as far as back or foot rubs. Affection is vital to the health of any relationship.
- Compassion. You want a partner that will show compassion and be tender with you when you are experiencing some form of pain whether it maybe emotional, physical or otherwise. Of course you are not expecting someone to read your mind, or to feel the same way as you do it just needs to matter to him or her that you feel bad.
- Intimacy. Intimacy is not the same as sex. Intimacy is allowing yourself to be known and wanting to really know your partner. More than just “Are you a morning person or a night person?” genuine intimacy is being familiar with each other’s emotional, vulnerable selves. But of course, sex is of vital importance in your relationship and if you are not being satisfy sexual, and likewise your partner then it can cause great strain on your relationship.
- Respect. Your partner should show respect—for you as a person, and for your boundaries. A relationship where there is no respect is bound to fail as there will be no intimacy, affection, openness and there will be a lot of fears, fear of expressing yourself or sharing your ideas or doing something because you might be afraid that you will be ridicule or curse or laugh at or call names. You do not have to argree with your partner, but there should be some level of respect in the relationship and that means there’s no name-calling or ridicule from a respectful partner, even in the name of “just teasing.” A respectful partner knows and admires your strengths, is gracious about your weaknesses—and doesn’t willfully engage in boundary violations.
- Interest. It’s reasonable to expect your partner to have a greater interest in you than the average person and what you are interested in. He or she doesn’t have to like or participate in everything you love, but there is some interest in some of the things you do. At least some of your activities, opinions, thoughts, feelings, etc. should hold his or her interest. If you are a Christian then it is expected that your partner will also share your faith and desire to grow.
- Time. In every form of relationship whether it is with a friend or an intimate partner, it is expected that both of you will spend time together and when that is not done the relationship will not grow to its full potential. There will be times when it will be a little difficult to spend time together physically for a period e.g if one partner is away, but it is generally expected that both of you will have to spend time together so you can connect with each other. But if he or she rarely or never has time for you, or consistently rations the time you spend together, you might ask yourself how much more of your own time you’re willing to spend pursuing them.
- Consideration. A partner that is considerate thinks about how his or her behavior affects you. They will not always give you the things you want all the time emotionally, materially or physically, but they try their best to meet your needs, to make you happy. They also try to see things from your perspective or point of view. If your partner is not being considerate it can cause you to feel unlove or uncared for
When our expectations are not met, for example the person we love doesn’t want to spend time with us or maybe they often times ignore us or maybe they cheated on us, whatever it maybe, we feel hurt, betrayed, disappointed and often times because of our experience we carry baggage’s with us into another relationship and that person have to pay the price for what the other person did. At other times when we are not seeing what we reasonable expect, we can see that the relationship will not work, it has ended long time ago even though you both are still together, we try with everything we can to hold unto what God have already told us to let go of. A friend of mine by the name of Ruth was one such person. She said “I have found myself revisiting situations that God had once led me to break away from. Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to solely trust God. When He tells you “no” or “not yet” to an opportunity or to a relationship, believe Him. Personally speaking, whenever I tampered with the doors that He had once closed, it only left me feeling empty and learning the true meaning behind “everything that glitters ain’t gold”. Over and over again, I’d only experience one disappointment breeding another disappointment.”
Why was Ruth continually getting hurt? She was holding to what she wanted knowing very well deep down in side that what she wanted was not what God wanted for her as what she wanted would bring her pain. How many of us are like that? How many of us are in relationships that are not serving us but we continually to hold unto it because of what it could be? How many of us are holding on to relationships, or hurts from the past when God is telling you its time to let go?
In one research, Vannier and O’Sullivan (2017) studied the expectations and relationship health of 296 young adults, largely in their 20s, who were dating. They calculated the extent to which people were suffering from unmet expectations by asking people about what their current relationship partners were doing, and then asking what those same people’s ideal partners or alternative partners (i.e., future partners if this relationship ends) would be doing. They then looked at the discrepancy between those judgments.
These researchers found that unmet expectations in a current relationship relative to an alternative relationship were particularly damaging. These were the strongest predictors of lower relationship satisfaction and less commitment. This makes sense: Ideal relationships are one thing, but if you believe you could actually find someone who could meet your expectations better than your current partner, then your current relationship isn’t on solid footing.
How we feel about our relationships matter as they affect how we behave and interact with each other. They affect, how we feel about our partner and ultimately the stability of our relationships.
But how do you know when it is time to get out of an unhealthy relationship? Here are 5 signs of a broken relationship:
1.You are your partner cheats often. If you have cheated on your partner repeatedly or he/she has cheated on you few times, it may be time to say goodbye or if the relationship is worth saving both of you come together to figure out what is not working or what expectations or needs are not met and then work on mending any broken pieces
- You are no longer attracted to each other. Whether it is physical or emotional attraction, or both, this is a clear sign that there is something definitely wrong with the relationship and is a clear signal that the relationship is dead.
- Verbal and/or Physical Abuse. This is a clear sign of an unhealthy or broken relationship. When your partner is constantly abusing you it is a red alert sign that you should not ignore.