Do you feel unlucky in your dating picks? Do the ones you think are going to be great always end up letting you down? Maybe that’s because your expectations are unrealistic and you have some influences about which you are unaware.
Are you forming your serious online dating and relationship expectations without considering these influences? Below are three potential roadblocks to success that you should know about yourself.
- Popular Culture Sneaks In… In the romantic comedies we all love the story ends when the relationship is just beginning. They don’t get into the grit and reality of a true relationship unfolding. The idealized versions of the couples in these movies are adorable and inspiring, but there are few films that include potential issues like income disparity, what it’s like to constantly juggle schedules and careers, or how to keep the sex exciting.
Men and women are equally influenced by popular culture. Much of people’s misunderstanding about what to expect is due to societal programming and those lovely feel-good movies where it always comes right in the end. But to escape the popular culture influence takes work and honesty!
- Your Childhood Experiences. Some people had parents who did not form healthy attachments with them, or were incompetent nurturers, or were even abusive or neglectful. For these people it is not uncommon that they suffer feelings of unworthiness and are easily disappointed, often expecting their partners to make up for what is lacking within themselves.
Part of successfully going beyond those first few dates is to realize that it is okay and normal to make up for some of those emotional gaps, but to stop expecting partners to “fix” everything for us. We must “fix” ourselves, and that commitment and time.
- What are YOUR Stereotypes? Stereotypes are most often simply inventions based on movies, books, and magazines – or the product of ignorance and hate that surround us as we grow up. Stereotypes are unreasonable, false, and unfair; and may be so much a part of us that we don’t even notice them anymore.
For instance, some men grow up assuming (or wanting) a woman who will be their cook and housekeeper, all while holding down a full-time career. And there are some women who believe that a man is a meal ticket that will allow them to quit their jobs to pursue whatever their dreams may be. Both these expectations come from outdated sterotypes.
These are just two examples, and there are many more subtle stereotypes that can undermine a healthy relationship. These probably won’t come up in the first couple dates – but as a relationship begins to unfold, they can become major obstacles. When people project an expectation on their partners based on a preconceived idea, they may be unable to see them as they actually are.
Become aware of your own expectations and influences in these areas before you make the next date. If they are a part of your thinking you may find yourself right back at the start again. Take some time and identify and move past them if you want more than just that first couple dates.