Why do we so often place expectations – unrealistically high expectations, at that – on potential significant others? Even worse, why do we stress about entities that are out of our control?
In terms of love, the idea of "no expectations, no disappointments" holds true.
We live in a generation that has played every single mind game, and beat it like a level in some video game. We specialize in learning “the tricks of the trade” from magazine suggestions that serve as secret power-ups. Social media interactions are calculated conversations, where you only have one life.
Don’t you send that double text, or it’ll be GAME OVER (*sad bleeps*). Mind games and tricks are a thing of middle school and should remain that way for everyone at that level of maturity.
Generation-Y has advanced to getting just about everything they want from careers and education, and generally, if a Gen-Yer wants a certain someone, he or she will go out and get that person, too.
So, wouldn’t you hope that after all of these questionable experiences, we would finally learn our lesson to get to the next level? Nope.
What’s holding us back is the repetition of mistakes we make by expecting something from someone we know isn’t interested (or someone we hope one day may become interested).
By expecting something from someone who’s playing games, we put ourselves in a vulnerable position to be hurt by someone who is just in it for the chase. If someone is truly interested, he or she will act accordingly, and as a result, our expectations will likely fall to the wayside.
Sometimes, when we do make things known and receive negative or no feedback, we hang on to the possibility of a positive future with this person.
This is also detrimental to our well-being because we open ourselves up to the idea of being happily together with someone, when he or she has shown no intentions of having this future we've created in our mind.
We're essentially expecting our fantasy to be fulfilled by someone who will leave only an empty void and provide nothing but disappointment.
When we find ourselves especially enamored with someone, even the slightest interaction can give us hope. It's important in this situation to really listen to our intuition, and in this case, an outside party like good friends.
It's hard to face the stone cold truth when we hold on to hope for a potential connection, but doing so is like ripping off a Band-Aid: It’s necessary and bound to happen, regardless of any procrastination attempts.
So, what's the best way to handle it? Be real and honest with yourself. You're doing yourself a huge favor by moving on, possibly to someone who feels the same way about you that you feel about him or her. Don't spend time, or rather, waste time, by feeding into unrealistic expectations.
Some would argue that this is a cynical view, and maybe it is, but at a certain point, you'll be left feeling jaded by the disappointments brought on by harboring expectation.
When I've found successful relationships, it was effortless and without worry.
No games were involved and no unfulfilled expectations were had. When I wait (anxiously) for a chosen "special" someone, I’m a lot happier and make my intentions clear from the start. If things work out, great and if I get rejected, I learn and move on.
I detest the memories associated with waiting on someone — usually longer than necessary — only to receive nothing in return.
Here’s the thing to remember: If you expect nothing, you won’t waste time waiting or worrying. Instead, you will spend that time concerned with only your happiness in the moment, not what could potentially be. Most importantly, if things don’t work out between you and a player, it won't leave a scar.
Perhaps best of all, having no expectations allows for the joy of surprises.
While you were busy traveling, writing or doing whatever it is you love to do, you were creating a happier you who has more to share with a partner.
When a suitable partner does find his or her way to you, whether you were looking for it or not, he or she will just add even more value to your already full, happy and validated life.
Photo Courtesy: Carissa Gallo