Relationships are the ultimate paradox. They can simultaneously bring forth both the wildest pleasure and the most torturous pain. Many people are looking for someone who they can start a lasting and successful relationship with. However, as most of us have experienced, even the most outwardly perfect relationship can turn sour fairly quickly. Our expectations are often crushed. Well, what's the secret to building a successful relationship? It's not to go into one with no expectations at all, but with realistic expectations.
This article will focus on the time when people first meet each other and start to become involved in a relationship. This might take place after one or a few dates, after a sexual encounter, or through some entirely different manner of action. However, the central idea is that you've found someone who you know you want to see again and become romantically attached to in some way.
The first mistake you can make when entering a relationship is to have ridiculously high expectations of the other. It's perfectly normal to have fantasies about your ideal woman or knight in shining armor, but unfortunately that exact person will not exist outside of your psyche. Lovers and partners may come close, but your conception of the ideal person will always be too lofty to comprehensively describe someone in the real world. There are a number of damaging things that can occur if you let your ideas of who the person SHOULD be take control of your actions.
First, don't tell the other that you love him/her until you are firmly aware of those kinds of strong feelings. Under no circumstances say you love the person within the first month. There may be such a thing as love at first sight, but that doesn't mean that the other person feels the same way about YOU at that exact moment. We see in movies how characters say they love each other after barely meeting. Then they ride off together into the sunset towards a bright and romantic future. But remember that these are fictionalized accounts meant to make us feel good; they are not to be taken as references. The biggest relationship killer that you can perpetrate is to tell your partner that you love them at a time that's too premature.
Going along with the idea that you shouldn't expect someone to be something they're not; do not relate them to what you're looking for in a partner too early on. For example, don't say "I've been waiting my whole life for someone like you" two weeks into the relationship. Apart from being not particularly realistic, statements like this might make your partner uncomfortable. If you make these kinds of remarks too early in the relationship, then you might give the impression that you're very easily trusting, and that you're merely desperate for anyone at all. This runs contrary to what you mean and might feel which is why you should take your time with vocalizing these sentiments.
In general, keep your expectations realistic. Don't think about marrying the individual or walking along sandy beaches in your old age when you've only gone out twice. In fact, don't even believe too strongly that this will even blossom into a successful relationship. If you approach a relationship gung-ho in this manner, then you will be setting yourself up for even greater heartbreak if things go south. So what should you do? Think about the start of a relationship as the start of a new friendship. When you meet someone new and become friends with them, you wouldn't expect them to devote their lives to you so early in the game. Keep it realistic.
The purpose of realistic expectations is to build a successful relationship one day at a time. You may find that this particular person isn't even your type, and if you take things slow then it will make ending the relationship much easier if it must happen. More importantly however, if the person is right for you, you will give enough time and space for both of you to make informed decisions about your feelings. Take time to have fun and get to know the person. Just be yourself, stay laid back, and let things unfold as they will. If it's a relationship that is meant to last, it will. Just remember that realistic expectations are the key to a successful relationship.