It’s difficult for a woman not to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to choosing a mate, especially when we are constantly being bombarded with images of perfect men in fairytales, romance novels and movies – even the old school smooth love songs give us ideas!
Unfortunately that is not reality – which I’m hoping you’re now aware of if you’re a female in your mid to late twenties and older! There are a few of us who will cling to these beliefs even with nine cats purring at our feet while we drink a perfectly mixed margarita from our cat-shaped mugs. I’m talking to YOU! Don’t be that girl waiting around for perfection! It’s never happening!
It is important to expect certain things from your potential mate, but it’s even more important not to place your expectations in the wrong areas.
For instance, say you’ve been dating this guy for about four months and you feel like you’re in love and you just can’t hold it back: you just have to tell him, so you do. Then you realize that he hasn’t said it back to you so now you’re wondering if he really cares for you and if he’s seeing other people – he never really said you were officially his girlfriend, right?
Your mind goes nuts wondering what the deal is!
So you start getting clingy, whiny, or easily irritated with him. This, in turn, ends with him heading right out the door. Apparently, you had this expectation that once you said I love you he’d say it back and mean it. Then you thought things would be perfect, or at least close to your idea of perfect.
Ladies, the man that just went out the door could have been your future husband or a long-term partner if only you had played your cards right and not placed so much expectation on a grand ‘I love you scene’ in your head. That same guy may not have been in love with you at that time. Or ready to say it if he was.
But what if a few months down the line he had fallen in love with you and then felt comfortable and sure enough to share this revelation with you? Of course, you will never know because you placed your expectations in the wrong area and sent this potential mate to the hills.
Live and learn, right?
Expectations are a good thing when placed correctly. Do not sell yourself short because you think you’re getting older so you need to get a husband and start having kids. Don’t go to the opposite extreme and start accepting any old crap!
You can be realistic, yet still set boundaries and do not allow yourself to succumb to anything to keep a relationship. To help you out, here are some tips on creating realistic expectations and boundaries.
- Timing can be everything. If you go out on a first date and sleep with him – do not expect him to view you as wife material. It can happen, you might go out on this date and sleep with him then eventually get married or have a long-term relationship but that’s rare.
Even the most liberal of men will find it difficult to trust a woman who will sleep with him on the first date. He’s probably thinking, if she slept with me on the first date, how many other guys has she been with?!
Make him wait and do not feel obliged to give in to immediate sex – chances are if he is looking to get laid on the first date that’s not a man you should look to build your life with.
- Choose what to share.Women are verbal and emotional beings – we like to talk about our problems and gripes… well, everything really. However, it is best to select the problems and gripes to share with your mate and not bombard him with every unpleasant situation (we have our friends and family members for that).
Men are fixers by nature, so pick the problems to share that he can help you with. You’ll feel less like a complainer, and he’ll feel more useful!
- Men are not projects. If he was a cheater when you met him, don’t believe that you have magical powers that’s going to keep him with you. The saying once a cheater, always a cheater sounds cliche but it has some truth to it. That’s why it’s still around!
There are men who had a slip once and cheated – we are humans and we women are also guilty of this too – but there is no such thing as slipping multiple times! Don’t waste your time attempting to fix him.
Count your losses and move on because you don’t want to wake up after five or ten years realizing that you were wasting your efforts.
- Boundaries are a necessity. It’s time that women realize that we have the power! If you allow yourself to be treated like a doormat, he’s going to wipe his feet with you. Set up those boundaries early and let him know where your standards lie and what you will not put up with.
Don’t allow the fear of being alone to cloud your better judgment – if you don’t have boundaries then it’s harder to deflect bad behavior from the person that you’re involved with (or want to get involved with).
Your potential mate may test your boundaries to see what he can get away with while being with you and to see if you’re long-term relationship material. Of course not all men do this, but most men find women with boundaries an attractive trait and even if he hadn’t originally thought about long-term when he started dating you – his mind may warm to the idea of a longer relationship because of your strength.
Let’s start having better expectations and boundaries in seeking and keeping a potential mate. Placing realistic expectations on men and establishing certain limits can lead you to building a rich and fulfilling long-term relationship.