“We stop viewing them for who they are and start viewing them for what we hope they will be in our lives.”
When dating, everyone tells you to have standards. You should know what you want before dating because you don’t want to date without direction. Having standards is a necessity and everyone, guy and gal, should have them. But there is a very thin line between standards and expectations.
Dictionary.com defines standards and expectations as:
Standards: a rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgement.
Expectations: the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.
Single Woman Chronicles defines standards and expectations as:
Preparing a rule or principle to what kind of mate you want is smart. However, when you begin to look forward to or anticipate every person you meet falling into those rules or principles, then standards become expectations. You know when your standards have become expectations when there are emotions attached to the outcome of the principles you’ve set. When you begin to get extremely upset that the person you just met doesn’t meet the principles you’ve established then unfortunately, you have an expectation and not a standard.
My Example: You may be a bit confused so I will give you an example. A few years ago I was dating this guy and he fit my standards for the most part. I was attracted to him, he had a good job, and he was a gentleman when we went out. At this point, I wanted a relationship and because he met the bulk of my standards, I started to think maybe he was my future boo. So instead of being open to learning who this man actually was, I started anticipating the man he should be as my future boyfriend. In my mind, I knew he had potential to be my man so he needed to start acting like it. So I began to expect him to do certain things to prove that he was the one for me. I started expecting him to bring me flowers to our dates. I started expecting him to introduce me to his friends to prove my position in his life. I started expecting him to pop the “Will you be my girlfriend question?” Well of course he failed at all of my expectations and that made me very angry. Instead of just leaving because he wasn’t meeting my standards I set for a boyfriend, I stayed because I wanted to give him a chance to meet my expectations.
“Expecting someone to be something only blinds you from seeing who they really are.”
Why Expectations are Bad: This issue with expectations is we set ourselves up for failure by getting excited with anticipation. We start to put the person we’re dating on this pedestal. We stop viewing them for who they are and start viewing them for what we hope they will be in our lives. Stop expecting the person you’re dating to be a certain way and just take them for who they are and act accordingly. Have your standards set but if they don’t meet them then in the words of K Camp it ain’t nun to cut that dude off. (Sorry yawl, my ratchet comes out when I’m feeling the writing. Don’t judge.) Expecting someone to be something only blinds you from seeing who they really are. Give them a chance to prove to you they are worthy of your time. When you start expecting them to meet deadlines or pass tests you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. That is an expectation and not a standard so readjust your brain. It’s time to stop anticipating and start evaluating.
Where Do These Expectations Come From: When we become infatuated with what we want versus just the fun of getting to know someone, we lose sight of what dating is really about and start to apply unnecessary pressure on the people we meet.
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