Let's stop and reflect a little on things we can do to improve our romantic expectations.
Romanticism is an important historical era that started in the mid-18th Century by the poets, philosophers, and artists. Although the romantic era is considered to have ended a long time ago, relics of how romanticism taught us to look at love, relationships, nature, money, and intimacy continue to impact us today, in the (post) modern world.
You may recall Jan Jacque Russo and Goethe, for instance – as the founding fathers of romanticism, who left us reading books that determined our point of view related to relationships. According to romanticism, following one’s heart shall always be the main, ultimate goal. Relationships in the era of romanticism are considered holy, with adultery being considered a near-death experience for the partner who is suffering from it, whereas communication between lovers is presented to us as sublime. There is no fighting, communication can be done even by just some gazes exchanged, and there is no need to separate house chores because that does not sound like something romantics would have time to take care of. They’re too busy expressing their love through poetry and dandelions, searching for their lover from one corner to another.
However, although this might have made sense in the 18th Century, relationships in the 21st Century have evolved quite a lot. With the dynamics of now, couples have jobs, responsibilities, kids, studies, but most of all, what they have is an extensive need for clear and concise communication.
Here are a few of the most absurd expectations we have in our relationships, which we could strive to work on, but that are a result of romanticism.
Thinking That Your Partner Can/Must Read Your Mind
You know those extremely tense times when we feel like we just want to pour our hearts out to our partner and let them know what’s really bothering us? Yet again, we feel a bizarre pressure in our chest holding us back, and an irrational inner voice that says, “You shouldn’t talk. He or she should know!” As a matter of fact, in most cases, your partner just needs to understand what the problem is so that they can help you resolve it. With everything going on in our lives, trust me, they don’t have the power to always read you and understand what you’re feeling with not even a single sign of discontent expressed.
Thinking That Your Partner Can Make You Feel Whole
I tend to think this is one of the most important mistakes individuals make when landing a relationship. Sometimes we feel like there’s something we’re missing within us. That something is often a search for the valuable meaning of our career, our understanding of the self, or a need to process our own feelings. However, we think that all of this can be replaced and healed by a lover, and so we find ourselves committed to one. Later on, we see that problems arise and we understand that we should have really worked to get to know ourselves first, so to become self-sufficient and self-loving enough to love another one in a healthy way.
Thinking That Relationships Are Meant to Last Forever
This is probably one of the most resistant claims of romanticism – that love lasts forever, and that your partner will be forever yours in intimacy and emotionally. We know today that this is certainly not the case. While we still have the institution of marriage, as an ongoing ritual performed by couples, even married people understand that when compatibility is gone, you should not stay in a relationship for the sake of a vow, for the sake of the years passed together or your children. Feelings evolve, just like history, so romanticism should get over eternity!
Believing That They Will Make You Feel Happy All The Time
We’re used to reading about partners who make all kinds of romantic deeds for their lovers. Flowers, poetry, air balloons, and picnics. What we should bear in mind when having the same expectations from our lovers – is that compared to the characters in movies and in books, pretty much all of us have full-time jobs. Our routine can be tiring enough, so it is very normal for your partner or you to feel burned out, and not to have time to come up with surprises and tricks to make you happy each day. At the end of the day, the mutual need to spend time together after a tired, long day, should make one feel quite content.
Believing That You Can Change Your Partner or Vice Versa
Again, I would blame this expectation on books, but especially on movies that keep cultivating unrealistic expectations. I believe more movies should portray the fact that quite often, you cannot change your partner. If you notice toxic traits, signs of emotional or physical abuse, it is necessary for you to listen to your gut and walk away. Although we sometimes instinctively start becoming even more caring and compassionate, thinking that our compassion will change our partner – I would advise you to keep a very close eye on their attitude and understand whether they really tend to change or not, as the burden of care can be quite heavy if it’s the opposite!
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