If you’re happy in your relationship right now, then you probably believe that it’s different from everyone else’s.  And you’re half right.  If you’re in a truly happy relationship – based on both partners’ needs, then there’s a good chance that you’ve had to put some work into it.  A good relationship doesn’t just happen.  So it might be different than other relationships, but it’s because you’re doing something different – you’re maintaining it. Regardless of the relationship, you won’t make it far if you have fundamental differences.  In those instances, your best bet might be to break up.  But not every relationship is doomed.  You can (and should) try to work on the relationship.  You should try to figure out what’s going on because there’s a reason that you were attracted to them in the first place, right?

I’ve talked a little bit about expectations in relationships.  No, it doesn’t mean that you go for whoever shows up at your doorstep, but we have to realize that by letting go of our expectations, we can have truly deep, and happy relationships.  What do I mean?  Well, one example might be that you’re attracted to someone because of a particular characteristic or trait.  Take my relationship for example.  My boyfriend is, by all accounts someone who questions things.  Some people say “we should do it this way, because that’s the way we’ve always done it”.  He, on the other hand, would say something like “just because we’ve always done it that way, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it now”.

When we first started dating, I liked this about him.  Why?  Because it demonstrates that he thinks outside of the box.  But there are times (and not always) when this can make things in our relationship a bit more difficult.  (Note – I’m sure there are things about me that drive him crazy).  But I think you can see where I’m going with this one.  When it comes to an expectation, though, don’t go into a relationship thinking that he’s going to change.  Or even wanting him to change, for that matter.  I think that you need to look at the situation with both eyes open.  Do you expect your partner to change?  If you answered yes, then keep moving.  Do you love this trait about them, but it drives you a little insane once in a while?  That’s ok.  It’s perfectly normal to feel like you want to scream at some particular trait of theirs.

Along with expectations, you have to realize that your partner isn’t going to be able to give you everything you need.  I think that’s a bitter pill for some people to swallow.  No, that doesn’t mean that you have to open up your relationship.  But what it does mean is that you need to understand what those limitations are.  Men and women don’t always get along about the activities that they like to participate in, or the movies they like to watch.  It’s perfectly ok to reach out to a friend when you want to do one of these things.  Just be sure not to put that relationship ahead of your romantic relationship.  As I said, you’re going to need to work at it if you want to be happy.  And who doesn’t want to be happy?  Ask your partner what they want from the relationship.  Try to find a way to make that happen.  Keep that line of communication open – because trust me, it’s the only way.

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