Written by Danielle Adinolfi, MFT
This article was originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT.com. Be sure to check out their site for professional relationship and sex advice.
In the early stages of a relationship, we idealize our partners. Their quirks are endearing, and their bad habits are easily overlooked. Over time, their shortcomings become more and more apparent and we grow to resent them. As dissatisfaction ensues, many are left wondering how they chose such a partner. But in reality, they were always this person. So what changed?
We all have expectations for our partners, our relationships, and ourselves. But these expectations have a tendency to far outweigh reality. As the magic of the “honeymoon phase” of dating (the first 18 months) wears off, we are left with unrealistic expectations that are impossible for our partners to live up to.
So how can this be reconciled? The answer is simple. Lower your expectations and you will be happier for it. I know, I know, this is not what you were hoping to hear. But it can be life changing. If you can accept that your partner’s quirks are simply personality traits and not anything more, than you can start to remember why you loved them in the first place.
Your partner is not perfect, and neither are you; but you are perfect for each other. Lowering your expectations to match reality will alleviate a lot of the frustration you currently feel and will give your relationship the space it needs to flourish.