Hidden expectations are one of the primary things that hurt a relationship. The expectations go beyond the desire to be loved for who we are. They have to do with us looking good and being right where our friends and family are concerned.
The expectations include things like what we want this person to be like, what he or she should look like, sound like, and act like. They can be about wanting him or her to have a certain religion, a particular sense of humor, and a certain body type, even a desire for finger nails and toe nails to be shaped in a familiar way. Hair color and texture can matter. The sounds they make when they eat food or sip liquids. What they look like when they are about to bust a gut from laughing so hard.
Forgiving What Doesn’t Meet Our Expectations
In the beginning, whatever doesn’t meet your expectations falls under the grace of forgiveness. We forgive a lot of flaws in our partner when love is new. We are frequently forgiving because even as the peculiar laugh irritates, we are ashamed to find ourselves repulsed by our beloved. We extend ourselves past the uncomfortable feelings our expectations present because this person makes us feel seen, loved, and whole as no one else has before. How can we find flaws in someone with such godlike gifts of seeing, loving, and healing? Besides, he or she has the same experience of you! As a godlike creature in his or her life, how can you be so little as to have a problem with those pinky toes that lie sideways?
As time goes on and the honeymoon feelings fade, the little irritations get larger. Suddenly you are faced with a host of expectations you didn’t even know you had to meet that agenda of being right and looking good. This phenomenon is irritatingly predictable. It is based on the ties of loyalty that bind us to those who came before the romantic partner. If your family had a thing against redheads and the man you now love is a redhead, those wires are eventually going to cross. Because of loyalty, they are likely to cross with your beloved and make sparks there rather than between you and your family.
Having The Courage To Accept The Little Things Again…And Again
Truly accepting your beloved when you are forced to face the little repulsions that show up takes courage. You have to be brave to, even inside yourself, turn to your family and previous friends and choose your lover all over again. I mean, it really is silly to dislike his “outie” belly button just because no one in your family ever had one. It is also silly to cringe at her strong opinions just because your mother kept hers to herself. Many of these things you now have trouble with, you may have loved in the beginning just because in the face of those differences you felt such intimacy and vulnerability sharing them.
I have stumbled upon a cure for this phenomenon that threatens to undermine how close you feel to one another. The cure will renew a right spirit between you, fan the flames of the chemistry you still share, and make you long for each other’s company like in the old days.
Curiosity As A Cure
The cure is curiosity. Think back to a time when you were curious about something, anything. Wasn’t your mind open as a result? Didn’t it make a difference in your attitude and actions? For instance, you’re walking in your favorite park when out of the corner of your eye you spot something orange moving in the grass. You’re curious. You stop to look more closely. The orange is fuzzy and striped with white and darker shades of orange. Someone abandoned kittens in the park! If your curiosity remains heightened, your time in the park ends with scooping them up, taking them home, and having to decide whether to keep them or find them good homes.
Have you ever fallen in love with someone who wasn’t your “type?” Your “type” didn’t change. Your curiosity kicked in and you found yourself responding to someone’s mind, sense of humor, or kindness for a change. He or she felt like home and, with your curiosity heightened, you gave the possibility of love a chance.
Have you ever received horrible service at a restaurant, determined to leave a lousy tip to clearly send a message of your disapproval while contemplating confronting your server? Then you overhear a conversation between your server and the manager and you realize she has had a hell of a day. Your curiosity takes what you heard further and wonders just how bad a day it might have been. Next time she visits your table, you go out of your way to be friendly and kind, receiving a tentative smile from her. You decide to leave a big, fat tip in the hopes it will turn her day around. Curiosity made that shift happen.
Learning To Truly Love Through Curiosity
Curiosity makes positive shifts happen for lovers as well, restoring the romance and fanning the chemistry. The next time he’s talking a mile a minute and it’s all about him check the annoyance and ask yourself, “What’s he so excited about? This thing he’s talking about must be really important to him.” Let your curiosity take over. You will find yourself engaged in his conversation and, eventually, the conversation will come back around to you.
With those funny pinky toes of hers that lie at an awkward angle, wonder to yourself what they must have looked like when she was an infant and at least two people thought she and all ten of her toes were perfect. Your mind and heart will open and it will no longer matter that your last girlfriend had beautiful feet! The intimacy of loving this woman will win and you will too.
Curiosity opens the mind and the heart to new possibilities. Try applying it to your beloved and watch the passion rise!