By Kerri-Anne Brown
Building a lasting relationship involves having realistic expectations of yourself and your partner. In my years of working with couples, I’ve seen how having unrealistic expectations has caused great conflict and, in some cases, been responsible for the relationship’s demise.
Being in a committed relationship means that you have decided to share your life with another human. That being said, you can expect that there will be arguments, disagreements, frustrations, and any other less than ideal thing you can think of. Everything won’t always be rainbows and butterflies. And that’s okay. Yes, it really is okay. It’s okay for your relationship to have ups and downs. What sets apart couples who have long term success and happiness is how they manage these ups and downs.
Relationships are a dance of harmony, disharmony and repair – Terry Real
Are you suffering from a perfection infection? It’s a term I use to describe the idea that many people have about what a great relationship looks like. The idea that it should be problem free. Mostly the idea that partners in a relationship have the same values, sense of humor, and shared interest and passion for all things. They always know what the other is thinking and can anticipate and fulfill each other’s wants and needs. Sounds like relationship goals, right? The truth is most relationships don’t mirror this.
Try not to focus on creating the perfect relationship or having the perfect partner. This isn’t to suggest that you should settle and just be okay with someone or something that’s not great. Instead, learn to be okay with someone who is human, like you, and therefore imperfect.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind to shake this infection.
- Recognize that there’s no such thing as endless harmony. Happily ever after is not a literal translation.
- Embrace your humanity as well as your partner’s. You can’t offer perfection, so you shouldn’t expect it either. What you can offer, however, is lots of compassion. Self-compassion as well as compassion towards your partner is vital for growth and success.
- Don’t panic when you hit a rough patch. Recognize it for what it is and know that things can and will get better again. Repeat number 2.
- Work on your repairs. A strong repair is critical in helping couples to manage conflicts that arise. How you repair from the disharmony is crucial.
- Focus on what’s good. Find appreciation for what you admire about your significant other. When you’re not focusing on all the things you find less than ideal, you create room to have more appreciation for the things that make your partner amazing.
Keeping these things in mind are important when trying to shift away from unrealistic relationship ideals. If you’ve found this information helpful, please share with someone so they may benefit also.