Unrealistic Expectations can kill Relationships by Huntly Anabs

Early this morning, I was engaged in a conversation with a friend of mine and our discussion left me thinking about the many battles people fight on the inside that we have no knowledge of. Behind every face is a struggling human spirit. Sometimes the struggle is rooted in physical pain or disease or difficult finances. Sometimes it grows out of wounded relationships. My friend and I were discussing the kind of demands we individuals place on the people in our lives, and how unrealistic some of them are.

We expect our friends, girlfriends, spouses, etc, to be without flaws. And whenever they don’t live up to the standards we set for them, we get disappointed and become bitter. Most of us, somehow, somewhere, have placed unrealistic demands on their spouses, friends, or employees and then we become heart broken when they fail to live up to our demands.

There is nothing that kills relationships more than having unrealistic expectations. It puts people under pressure to perform. It makes them become conscious of their everyday dealings with you. They are no longer free with you and a relationship that’s supposed to work naturally is now put under pressure.

As an individual, I have often times found myself having unrealistic expectations from my friends. Oh! I expect them to read and respond to my ping immediately; oh! I expect them to call me every day; oh! I expect them to be there for me all the time; oh! At all point in time, I expect their attitude towards me to be perfect. But then, there are some things your friends can’t give to you. You’ve got to give yourself what you deserve. This is me being real.

Another thing I realized was that many of the things we look for in people, we lack ourselves. We must be careful not to put the people in our lives under pressure to perform. Everyone you meet is fighting a great battle, and expecting people to come fight your battles for or with you when they have theirs’ to fight is being selfish and unrealistic. People will definitely hurt you; whether they are aware of it or not, they will hurt you.  That only goes to show they are humans.  When such happens, communication is the key. Don’t hold on to something that bothers you and expect things to go smoothly.

Some relationships crash because the people involved failed to talk about what was bothering them. They allowed their pride get in the way of their relationship. Remember that pride builds a wall while love builds a bridge. And trust me when I say this, it’s really sad when the people who gave you the best memories become memories themselves.

When we understand that even the strongest of relationships go through challenges, things become easier for us. Most times, the people you love the most are the ones that hurt you the most. And the hardest thing to do in the world when you’ve been hurt is to be open again. However, healing is made available only to those who open up themselves.

Although healing does not come overnight, it begins to come gradually when you have the realistic and right expectations. This is where forgiveness becomes the key word - letting go of the pains inflicted on us by those we love and embracing them once again. It’s not as easy as it sounds, I know! But we need to have compassion for others at all times so as not to lose ourselves.

As we share with one another, we must be prepared to love each other’s imperfections, even when those imperfections challenge our commitment. Don’t forget; faithful are the wounds of a friend. If a friend hurts you, it’s for a good reason. I believe you are not going to throw away your car just because the battery is bad. Similarly, I believe you are not going to throw away the people in your life just because something about them is faulty. No one is perfect, not even you.

Let us have realistic expectations and to everyone reading, try to look inward to see if you have the characteristics you desire from other people.


Huntly Anabs is a graduate of the American University of Nigeria and writes to reach out to a world in search of hope. He believes where his legs can't get to, his writings will, to bring about change in the little way he can, and to transform minds. He blogs at http://huntlya.blogspot.com/