Expectations II. How High is your Target in your Couple?

We started looking at expectations in your couple. We saw what expectations are, and we also tried to look at how expectations can affect you, your partner and you relationship. In this chat we shall look at low and high expectations: what are they? And what’s their impact on your relationship?

High and low expectations

It’s difficult to imagine entering a relationship with zero expectations. In normal circumstances, you will certainly have them. What will make a difference, however, from one person to another, or from one couple to another; is the attitude you have towards those expectations, as well as whether you have high or low expectations.

High expectations

These are expectations which could be considered as demanding. The standard is high. When you apply yourself to that high standard which you expect, you inspire your partner to deliver something close to that. In a way, you need to raise standards in order to have results which are relatively good. However, those expectations should be achievable and clear. It means you need to communicate what expect from your partner. That’s why it’s advisable in a relationship to talk clearly about your needs, your expectations or aspirations.  Never ever leave your partner to guessing.

In your high expectations, you should watch against the feeling of entitlement, that is, claiming from others as if you are entitled to what you want the others to be or to do for you. There’s a risk of being self-absorbed to the point of making the relationship in your couple turn around your own needs and interests alone. In fact, high expectations should be measured not only in terms of results but also in terms of efforts that are made towards meeting that excellence set in your relationship. Acknowledge the efforts that your spouse is making for the good of your couple. In that way, even when the expected results are not obtained you can, nevertheless, recognize what has been invested in the process towards the desired results.

The fact that expectations are high, chances are equally high that those expectations are not met. That can lead to frustrations. What you see as problems, consequently, would simply be disappointments because you don’t get what you expected.

Low expectations

In case of low expectations, you don’t wait to see much. In a way, it’s a subtle way of looking negatively on something. You are satisfied with the little achievement because you didn’t, in the first place, expect to see great results. In way, there’s no anxiety for failure since that is already somehow anticipated, and you are prepared for a disappointment. Although such attitude can give you some tranquillity, it doesn’t give much excitement to your relationship.

In fact, low expectations can lead to laxity. You don’t dream high, you don’t ask much and probably you won’t apply yourself much, and thus, you will also demand less from others. Consequently, you won’t probably get much. And as no much effort is invested into the relationship, what you get is often mediocre.

Where do expectations come from?

As we mentioned it’s important to enter a relationship with some expectations, however, you need to watch so that you are not enslaved, and you don’t enslave others by those expectations. Without being aware, you risk rendering them as something sacred. That’s why you need to master. And one way of doing it, is to know where they are coming from. You can idealise certain behaviours, not because there’s something really important about them, but simply because you were brought up like that. Indeed, what you may have as expectations may partly be the legacy from your family of origin, your parents’ couple or from your past relationships. But remember, your partner also may have different expectations, considered as important, simply because they have a different background from yours.


For clarity’s sake, you avoid confusing high and low expectations, on one hand, and with realistic and unrealistic expectations, on the other. So, what’s the difference between these two? Among other things, we shall try to answer this question in the next chat.

For now, feel free to encourage and inspire others by a comment or a contribution in the comment space below the post. Join us on WhatsApp or Facebook group named: COUPLES’ CORNER. You can also subscribe on my blog, https://singlehumanity.com/ to receive new postings by email.

See also:

Expectations: What do they do to your Couple?

Hedges in a Couple IV: Partners Working as a Team

Making Hedges in Your Couple III; Master What You See

The Threat to Your Couple; Making Hedges II

Making a hedge in Your Couple I

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