I have written about compatibility, attraction and expectations many times, but it wasn't until recently that I realized that many of us have a hard time accepting the difference between our expectations and what we regard as compatibility in relationships.
So, in my efforts to increase understanding and awareness, allow me to establish the difference between being compatible and having unnecessary and/or unrealistic expectations.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STANDARDS AND EXPECTATIONS?
On a very basic level we often confuse standards with expectations. Since I have talked about this before I will be very short with the definitions here. Standards are desired behaviors, but in order to set a standard you first have to establish/communicate it.
Telling someone you just met that you are used to certain behaviors and don't wish to be treated anything short of what you are used to, is establishing a standard.
Conversely expectations are responses and/or behaviors that you desire, but have not communicated (assumptions). This is why I wrote an entire blog post about life without expectations (CLICK HERE TO READ IT), because quite frankly, they are totally unnecessary.
And I understand that just because you feel very passionately about something, for all those who want to argue that expectations are not assumptions, it doesn't make it right/fact.
WHAT ARE UNNECESSARY OR UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS?
When you expect people to react a certain way, you are setting yourself up for let down because you don't have control over someone else's response.
Additionally, if you have not communicated your standards, you shouldn't hold someone to a standard they don't even know exists; that makes no sense...
If you want to identify your unnecessary and/or unrealistic expectations, know this, expectations are presumptions or assumptions of behavior, and/or anticipated events.
If you assume someone will act a certain way, it's unrealistic. Why? Because again I remind you that you can't control how someone responds! And if in turn you get mad at someone for not responding, saying or doing something that you expected, that is just foolish and unnecessary behavior!
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH COMPATIBILITY?
When you are in relationships, especially those you may have been in for awhile, there's a tendency to believe that people the you love will conform to your expectations, and be everything that we want them to be. What's worse is we often feel like this without even communicating the very things we expect and/or want.
The WORST thing you can do in a relationship is to expect your partner to be what you want them to be. Or even make the assumption that he or she will "grow" to be everything that you want them to be.
But because of this, a lot of relationships are doomed before they even start.
So instead of starting a new relationship and working toward acceptance, many of us start new relationships expecting change.
This is why that whole "shape" and "mold" mentality must cease.
Because despite what we may think, compatibility is NOT only about having things in common. Compatibility by definition, thanks to Google, is the ability to coexist without conflict. The element of coexistence, with regard to compatibility, is often ignored, but it's the most important thing.
Now think about this for a second, because for many, all things you thought you knew to be true about compatibility, are now not at all accurate...
ARE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER NO LONGER COMPATIBLE?
The ability to coexist without conflict is NOT possible without acceptance.
Read that as many times as you need to.
And also consider the fact that because just because you love someone doesn't mean you accept them. And those you don't accept, you can NOT coexist with.
It's really quite that simple.
So if you notice that you and your partner are arguing and/or disagreeing a lot, it means first that you all may no longer be compatible.
Well that's because one of you refuses to accept the other.
It is important to know that a lot of the conflict in relationships, whether we choose to agree or not, start with lack of understanding and/or accepting one's partner and his/her behavior.
Ultimately you make the choice to say "I accept you" or not. So ask yourself, is your partner worth accepting?
If not, move on. Waste no time trying to make something work, that will ultimately fall apart...
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