Dash of Sass: Why You Can’t Expect or Assume Your Way Into Love
Quotes of the Day:
“Put your expectations on God, not on people.” ~Joyce Meyer
“Act without expectation.” ~Lao Tzu
“Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.” ~Leo Buscaglia
“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The Single Woman Says:
As human beings, we tend to crave structure and routine and consistency. It’s just the way most of us are wired. We want every moment, every relationship, every situation to look exactly as it did the day before. When it doesn’t, we tend to go into a tailspin. This particularly holds true when taking the first uncertain steps into a new relationship of any kind. Allowing someone new into your life is a risky and often scary thing. It disrupts your routine. It demands room in your life to grow into what it’s going to be – or not be. It changes the way your day to day plays out, because suddenly instead of snuggling into your bed for a night of catching up on your DVR’d shows…you’re snuggling into your bed with your phone pressed to your ear, catching up on your new love interest’s day. It’s fun and heady and exhilarating and terrifying all at once. It’s literally taking a leap into the unknown and trusting that the other person, who you just happen to not know all that well yet, will be there to catch you. So when a subtle shift occurs in the communication, you notice. You expect him to text you every hour on the hour throughout the day and he only texts you every three. You expect him to call you to say good night and he forgot. Or you expect your first face-to-face meeting to be rainbows and sunshine and lightning bolts and shooting stars and it’s just rainbows and sunshine, hold the lightning bolts and shooting stars. So what do you do? You immediately assume that something is “off.” He must just not be that into you. He’s grown bored with you already. He misled you. You misread the signs. The relationship is doomed! Is any of this based on fact? Nope. It’s based on expectations and assumptions, which are quite literally the silent landmines of relationships. Both parties expect the other to act a certain way, and when the other person doesn’t, they assume something must be fundamentally wrong. With them, with the other person, with the situation. In the garden of love, assumptions and expectations are the weeds that try their hardest to stifle the growth of a new relationship. And instead of being gardeners of our own lives and hearts, most of us are too busy expecting and assuming to get busy pruning.
I would like to assert that we stop expecting and stop assuming and just let things be what they’re going to be. Let people be who they’re going to be. Let life and love play out as it’s going to play out. Don’t force, don’t push, don’t insist. Just simply be. You be you and let them be them, and trust that if your paths are meant to converge, for a season or for a lifetime, you will figure it out soon enough. If you’re looking for a Hollywood Ending, subscribe to Netflix. Lasting relationships are not meant to be crammed into a nice, neat 120-minute package set to a soundtrack of emo love songs. A man doesn’t have to chase you to the airport or the train station clutching a bouquet of two dozen roses to prove that he cares about you. Stop expecting him to be Matthew McConaughey or Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling and just let him be him. Don’t overlook the super man for the Superman. Accept the person and the situation for exactly what it is instead of trying to manipulate it into what you think it needs to be. I’m not telling you to settle…because you should always expect to be treated with respect and dignity and kindness. Those are a given. But beyond that, instead of allowing your expectations and assumptions to dictate what the relationship SHOULD be, step back, breathe, and let it become what it COULD be. Life is unscripted for a reason. Step away from the self-help books, the relationship “gurus,” the “rules” telling you what this means and that doesn’t mean, and just see what happens. You can’t predict the ending, you can’t control the outcome, you can’t expect or assume your way into love.
All you can do is fall…and trust that the right one will be there to catch you.