This week’s question comes from Tiffany:  

Hey Orna and Matthew,

I have a quick question about expectations. I know that one should have a “no expectations” attitude towards those they love (family, friends, partners, etc.), but how do you distinguish expectations from standards and requirements?

Dear Tiffany,

Great question! Let’s just get right to it. 

Expectations are desires that are not expressed. We expect our man to be able to anticipate our needs. We expect our family to be supportive. We expect our close friends to be there when we need them. And then all of them at one time disappoint us.

Expectations are the cause of so much suffering in relationships! We so want those we love to just know what we need. Then when our unexpressed expectations are not fulfilled, we feel hurt and disappointed. 

The key to managing expectations is to first realize that other people are not you. They don’t think like you. They have different experiences and beliefs than you. They have a completely different set of needs and desires. When you accept that your partner did not come with mind reading powers, then you can move onto the second piece – asking for what you need.

If you don’t ask for what you need, how can you expect to get it? We know to many of you this is a completely unromantic idea. “My partner should anticipate all of my wants and needs. That is how I know he is my soul mate!” we hear you cry!

When you realize that the people who truly love you want you to be happy, and when you tell them HOW to assist you in being happy, they will gladly do what you ask. What can more romantic than that?

Now this is where we get to the distinction between expectations, and standards and requirements (which we’ll refer to as “discrimination”). Discrimination is when you are choosey about who you ask to meet your needs, i.e., your narcissistic mother isn’t going to be able to put aside her own needs in order to meet yours. So it would be crazy to expect anything from her.

You are the one in charge of deciding WHO you ask to be a caretaker of your heart. Asking someone who is not capable emotionally, or who is not able to put their own needs and desires aside is showing a lack of discrimination. Another example: Asking your ex to be able to put his ego aside and create an equitable arrangement for joint custody may be more than he is capable of. 

You should use your discrimination when deciding what to ask of people and what to share with people. If you use your discrimination wisely then you will get your needs and your expectations met. 

Sometimes people will surprise you. So if you feel like it, take a risk and ask someone you don’t expect to be able to step up, to step up and see what happens. However, it is wise not to have any expectations in this situation.

The short answer is that standards and requirements are generally expressed, either to the person you are in relationship with, or at the very least to your friends. As in, “All of Jennifer’s friends know she will only marry a Jewish man.” This is a requirement for Jennifer. Expectations are never expressed, they are implied and this is what creates havoc in our relationships.

The real key is knowing how to pick a man who is right for you. If you choose a man who is a values match with you then the two of you will overcome any challenges and obstacles together.

Being able to identify the “right” man is what we teach in our online program Your Soulmate Blueprint®. Your Soulmate Blueprint guides you to discover what you truly value in your intimate relationships and gives you the tools to identify a soulmate match.

  • You’ll dig deep into what really drives you in relationship, giving you the ability to know without a doubt who is a perfect match for you!
  • You’ll gain a new level of confidence you never knew was possible, and that’s going to amplify your radiance and attract your soulmate to you faster than ever!
  • You’ll increase your ability to receive love, which in turn will inspire him to want to give you more and more.
  • And so much more! This is one of our most comprehensive transformational programs, and we know you’ll be blown away at the results (and the results come fast too!).

You can read more about Your Soulmate Blueprint® here.

We hope this helps!  Keep us posted on your progress and we are happy to be your guides in love.

Love and Abundance,
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