Saturday, September 23, 2006


I'd really like to know everyone's (anyone's?!) opinion on the nature of expectation in relationship. Should expectations always be put to death, is it healthy to have a certain amount of expectation, are expectations wrong and destructive, or can they be useful? I suspect that, like everything else in life, there are no black and white answers to these questions, and I'm willing to entertain the gray.



Blogger Jeremy Uriz said...

Jeremy- The movie "singles" sums it up. Bridget Fonda's character has a lengthy list of expectations for the one she wants to be with. After a failed relationship someone asks her again what her expectations are. "Someone who says "bless you" when I sneeze".

I expect we be faithful to one another. That's about it. Of course I have other expectiations. These are frequently the cause of most of my turmoil as Jenn will attest to. And I try to let them go quickly...

Jenn- To talk to each other and always be open and honest. Of course being faithful too.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

Expect all you want. But treat them precisely as they are - ideas about reality, not reality.

To put another way, I can expect that gravity can work for the rest of my life in a way consistent with how it has up to this point in time. It seems to have worked so far, even when I wish it hadn't. However, there's nothing that says that the physical "laws" of the universe (really, observations extended indefinitely) could not collapse at any given moment.

Should I then base my expectations of the future on what I've experienced in the past, or what I should imagine the world to be? I mean, it'd be reasonable to do so, but reasonability is not certainty. My expectations and reality are not the same.

Hume's fork is wonderful.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

What about this? I, as a woman, expect my body to follow a certain rhythm, a cycle, every month. If there is an upset in this rhythm it is because a shift has occured and I am either a)unhealthy or b)pregnant.

So, being aware of my expectations for my body will give me a sign of any big changes, either healthy or unhealthy. My expecations cannot change what happens to my body, but I think it is good to be aware of them.

In a relationship, is it really that much different? Can't expectations serve as a little bit of a guideline? Doesn't every relationship have a natural rhythm and cycle?

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Doesn't every relationship have a natural rhythm and cycle?"

I would say "absolutely".

However part of the rhythm and cycle involves skipped beats and irregular rotations.

At least thats true for most things that I've experienced.

I suppose it depends on what you're observing.

I think that it takes time in order to first discover what ones natural rhythm looks like.
Then, no matter how regular or irregular that rhythm may be, the thing to look for then would be more of a consistency of whatever that is (which may be what you are saying in the first place!).


You have contain a Peace which stands outside of everything and everyone else and it is dependent on you in order to be brought "into"
all of your interactions.

The wonderful thing about this is that all you have to do is to be just be yourself!

Praise the Lord, because thats what you do best!

10:04 AM  
Blogger GAZ said...

Before I would marry people, I would talk to a couple about 4 very important issues that will make or break a marriage: Money, In=Laws, Religious beliefs, and children. If a couple hasn't thought through these areas, they need to take time to do so. It is in discussing these areas of life that one begins to understand what the other is expecting.

For example, what are your expectations when it comes to children? If yes, then how many? Are we expecting to send them to day care or is one parent going to stay home and raise the child? This then affects our expectaions on each others roles in parenting, incoming earning, visits to in-laws and so forth. I think that if you have talked through each of these four big areas, then the rest of your relationship will go with the ebb and flow.

I think that if you are open about your expectations and have grace when someone is not living up to your expectations (not taking out the garbage or picking up clothes on the floor type stuff), then a relationship will continue to be strong. Communication is the key. Sometimes we withhold what we expect from the other and build a wall rather than a bridge to a better relationship.

I hope that makes sense.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Uriz said...

Yeah, I agree with GAZ.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

So, does anyone think that a complete death to expectation is what's neccessary to cultivate a truly free and spontaneous relationship?

Let me ask another question--do you think there is a difference between living out of desire vs. living from expectation (or does it really boil down to the same thing?) Does that question make sense?

GAZ--Yeah, of course it makes sense that you should talk things out! I couldn't agree more. When you've known someone for eight years before you marry them, believe me, you talk a lot. Thanks for reminding me though, that it is important to keep talking, and keep knowing each other. We can never assume we know all there is to know about the other. That would be death, I think.

Johnny--I appreciate what you said, and as always, the encouragement.

Jeremy--Didn't you say in your first comment that you thought we should just let go of all expectations?

Phil--I think it's an important distinction to make (expectations being ideas about reality, instead of actually being reality), but then how do we go about treating them?! Isn't most of reality my idea of what reality is?

9:19 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Uriz said...

No, I did list one! Be faithful. What GAZ mentioned was a pre-marriage thing which I agree with.

Personally, my expectations have caused me grief. I wish I didn't have so many. Does that clarify my previous statement?

Jenn says hello and she misses you.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

...perhaps I just misread that last question, but it sounded as though you were suggesting that the entire fabric of reality would collapse if you stopped making expectations of it. Should I be worshipping you in that case?

People will be who they are, regardless of what expectations are placed on them. Your wanting something from them which they cannot or will not provide is only going to serve to make you miserable. At the same time, it won't necessarily change the people involved in the slightest.

Having expectations in a relationship is only a bad thing in my view if those expectations go clear against a person's demonstrated nature. If that's the case, find someone who can if those expectations are so important. In any case, though, it might be best learn to love and appreciate what is there, even if a person might not be able to fill a role you desire for him/her to.

I think what I'm trying to say is that it might be less stressful to let reality (based in real-life experience of a person) determine your expectations, and not to try to force your expectations onto reality.

Could be wrong, though.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

Jeremy--Please tell Jenn I miss her too! Come visit you two!!!! (We're gonna have another rockin' party for Mike's b-day...)

Phil--Blast! You misunderstood me. I shouldn't have said "me" when I meant a more general and plural "you" when I was talking about one's expectations of reality or their perception of reality, being in fact, their reality. Anyway, at this point it's semantics I think.

I totally agree that people can't force expectations on one another to change them. Did you miss what I said about expecting my body to behave a certain way every month, but realizing that my expectations weren't going to change that natural rhythm?

Anyway, whether it's good to have expectations or not, it's definitely good to LOVE and love much and big and deep and wide. And we aren't really capable of this of course, but I think we have Someone inside of us who is...(and no, that Someone is not the spirit of Mr. Rogers)

8:28 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

My mistake, I did skip it. :-)

The example of your body's expectations makes sense, and is built off of the kind of empirical data that stresses a priority of reality above imagination.

But...what is love in the face of expectations? Does it mean to let go of expectations and simply allow the person or people in question to be as they are? Or does it include pushing them to become greater, better or happier than they currently are? In any case, who determines what's best? Who determines how or why that change is initiated, if change is indeed invited?

Or, when speaking of love, are there any "shoulds," any real place for imposing expectation?


"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a savior..."

3:46 AM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

I think love instictively knows when it is appropriate to let go of expectations, or when a certain expectation might be a "good influence." The problem is, love knows it, but our own selfishness, ambitions, insecurities, etc. etc. etc. can get in the way. We're human.

So, no there is no place for expectations to be imposed (that doesn't work anyway), but I think it's okay to have them.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Bruce said...


I think what is important concerning expectations, is the person conceiving them. If you are mature and realistic, you understand the other person deeply and intimately, and you are not having your expectations met...then your expecations can and probably are reasonable.

But if you are a dreamer...a romantic...unreasonable...then you are destined to be let down.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

...and another thing.

Men and women do not really understand each other. If you expect him to be a woman or do not expect him to be a man...then you will be in for a suprise.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I would be surprised if my wife became a man.

It's okay though, cause I don't really expect that to happen.


8:43 AM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

Bruce, what you say makes sense.

Haha Johnny...if your lovely wife was actually a man, that would be, well, that would be just interesting.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not in the Darks no more?
hydrocodone and acetaminophen

1:22 AM  

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