This post falls under the Manola Blablablanik series.
I recently had a conversation with my ex in which he claimed I had too many “expectations.”
That word. That dreaded word. I'd like to believe he didn't mean to hurt me with it, but it punched me in the heart.
Let’s turn this around, shall we?
Because my ex had way more expectations than I ever did. All I wanted was quite simple. No marriage. No kids. Just be present. Show up. Hold me. Love. Sex. Eat good food. Fun. The actual bearable lightness of being.
Instead, what did he want?
Oh boy, I can’t even publish the laundry list, because he expected so much of me. From massages to making him breakfast, micro-managing many details of my life to make it more convenient for him, most of which, by the way, was my absolute pleasure to oblige, except that after a while, I realized that the balance was fully tilted in his favor and I felt myself depleted of energy and completely neglected, unappreciated.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but really, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
I understand the whole “surrendered” principle, but we ladies need to know the difference between a woman and a doormat. Not that I ever was truly a doormat, but I ended up feeling that way. While I thought I was being nice, I also intuited that something might be amiss and yes, I took that risk.
Love requires risk, no doubt about that.
And while all this was going on, I was, as usual – as a writer – an observer, a witness to what messages the universe was sending me. The messages came from others.
I have friends, family and others -- inadvertent "teachers" in my life path -- who are in great but of course, not perfect, relationships. No relationship is ever Cinderella perfect. All relationships require “work.”
But when you’re around these people, you know they really care about each other. Good lord, I am bombarded by it all the time -- the media commercials, the messages, the daily signs -- all these bazillions of people -- who are devoted to each other because you know what? They have "expectations" of care, devotion and sincere love.
EXPECT LOVE LIKE THE NEXT BREATH OF AIR
Ladies, there is nothing wrong with having “expectations,” so don’t ever let a guy you’ve got deep feelings for guilt trip you because of that word, push that ridiculous word on you as if you’re the one who’s doing something wrong.
This is what all relationships are built upon, the foundation of morals and ethics in all aspects of life: “I treat you well. You treat me well. We take care of each other.”
When you have kids, when you sign a contract for a job, when you are loyal to a friend, when you uphold the law, when you become a caregiver, or a pet owner, for example – all these things – this is what defines us as humans.
Heck, even animals have “expectations.” Baby bird is born, cracked egg in the nest and boom! mama and papa bird are there, feeding the fledgling a worm.
All of social life is rife with “expectation.”
Expectation of the beloved – the person to whom you give your heart, mind, body and soul to, entrusted with care, now complaining that you have “expectations” because, I don’t know … you might ask for some ginger ale when your tummy hurts and even that “chore” can’t be delivered?
A guy can’t expect a woman to do all kinds of things for him, when he can barely lift a finger and then claim that it’s “expectations” that’s pushing him away when he has way more “expectations” than you do.
It's a two-way road, if it's going to succeed. Not a one-way dead end.
Ladies, think about that.
I rest my case.
Don't let your heart shrivel up when it is truly expansive. "Expectations" let you have hope that your heart can truly fly in a space of comfort and love. "Expectations" means opening a door where you can surrender and relax in trust and this means taking a huge risk.
I could have said this all in one sentence: "There is absolutely nothing wrong with expectations."