It sounds rather simple… You say, “I know what I want in a potential mate”.  Only to meet a “potential” and fall short of what you thought you wanted.  The reasoning behind the falling short is even more simple- it’s not knowing what you want.

As it should, knowing that you and a potential partner are on the same wavelength takes time.  First it takes meeting someone and putting them through the vetting process.  Quite frankly, then meeting and vetting another… and another… and another.

I was recently out at Cold Stone a gentleman, the day before my birthday.  Now, it would’ve been nice of him to offer to buy my ice cream.  But instead, he  placed his order, and proceeded to checkout while I waited in line to order a Founder’s Favorite. Now, I’m not asking for him to take me out to dinner, but given that my special day was the next day, I was thinking “man you could’ve at least bought my ice cream.” And since he did just the opposite, I immediately put him in the friend category.

Fast forward a few days,  while enjoying a glass of wine and watching the proverbial Gladiators (and we all know what time to tune into TGIT- a time that is only acceptable for “un-friend like” behavior) I received a text from said gentleman inviting himself to join me. His actions showed me that he wanted nothing serious by hitting me up that late to come over.  If were are just “buddies” then there is no need for the late night calls to my doorstep.  If you want to be INVITED to my place, you can AT LEAST (and this is very low on the expectation totem pole), buy me a scoop of ice cream the day before my birthday.  Ideally, a “potential” who knows what courting actually is, would have taken me out for my birthday.

See we all have an idea of the life that we want and the path that we want to take.  Mine clearly involves you recognizing my birthday if I’m out with you the day before.  One of the most dangerous aspects of life is settling down with someone who could be the wrong one.  The only way to avoid that is to know what you want.  I have learned in my short time on this earth, that as we get older, we should have two lists that we form for our potential partners.  The first lists all of the attributes that we want our other half to posses.  The second list encompasses what will make us get up from the table in the middle of dinner and walk-out of the restaurant.

So, why is it considered wrong to have expectations?  There are so many quotes out there that imply that expectations are “the easiest way to disappointment” or “the root of all heartache” (apparently one of Shakespeare’s finest).  Yes, we may get disappointed when someone doesn’t meet them.  Does that mean that we stop having them though?  Or should we just find the person that meets those expectations?  It has become taboo to even speak on expectations.  But in knowing what we want, shouldn’t we expect certain things from a partner/ boyfriend/ finance/ husband/ mate?  At each stage of the relationship, shouldn’t expectations evolve?

In the more serious realm, I was in a relationship with a man who me bought me a $4.99 necklace engraved with “K” from Kmart.  Yes, I expected that my boyfriend of 4 months whom I had just retuned from an  overseas trip with, would actually put thought into the gift he gave me for Christmas (I also expected him to know that people stopped wearing name engraved jewelry in middle school). I could see if this was a 21 year old college student where a gift like that MAY have been able to pass for acceptable, but this was a grown established divorcée.

Think about it, values are part of your expectations.  If you meet someone who has the same values as you, they are more than likely to meet your expectations.  My boyfriend at the time told me that he and his ex-wife never celebrated holidays (he may have just said that so that I wouldn’t expect anything).  But I celebrate every major holiday- Christmas being one of my favorites.  It’s something that I value- putting actual thought into the gift I give to anyone.

Additionally,  when you expect certain things from your counterparts, it shows that you know what you want.  Values, knowing what you want, and expectations are all part of the same make-up.

I ‘m not saying go overboard here.  Don’t have expectations so high that you scare people off. Know where  to compromise too.  We are all humans and we will make mistakes.  Just know what you can live with and what  you will not tolerate.  Him forgetting to rinse out a dish is not grounds for dismissal, but him being thoughtless may be if you want a man who will send you a “just thinking about you” text during his lunch break.  Furthermore, know who you are dealing with. All people won’t be able to meet the expectations that you have at that moment. It doesn’t make them a bad person.  It’s just knowing where they are, either at that moment, or who they are at all.  Remain reasonable in what you expect, but by all means expect!

So, let’s tie it all in here- if I didn’t know what I wanted or the real reason that I am currently dating- I would’ve settled for a standard less than acceptable.

Now let’s flip it.  If all you want is a friend or a hook-up, then late night calls with no proper courting, or a thoughtless gift/ no gift at all IS acceptable.  That’s what should be expected.

And fellas, this goes for you too. Know what you want and articulate it- TRUTHFULLY.  Not because it’s something you may think we want to hear.  Based on your expectations, go find someone who wants to deal with what you are bringing to the table at the time.

We can avoid wasting time, if we are just truthful with ourselves.  In that truth, we must be convicted enough to be stead-fast in our expectations. We should not only know what we want, but know that it is ok to expect certain things at different stages of  a relationship.

How do you feel about expectations? Tail us your side below!