Over the years I have come to learn that I have a habit of setting ridiculously high expectations for myself and for the people that I deeply care for. These expectations came from a place of admiration and appreciation. They were selfless expectations only ever laced with encouragement and belief in that person.


However, these expectations started to filter through to my personal relationships. I would, and still do, view it as a form of endearment for someone you love. You want the best for that person, so you raise the bar a little higher. Yet after feeling disappointed again and again and finding myself using these high expectations as a tool to measure the depth of love in relationships, I had to flip the script. Understanding why I set these expectations for myself is up to me, having the same expectations for someone else, is not. In relationships I would feel let down again and again. After a while of misunderstandings I finally understood there is a difference.

There is a mountain too high, a valley too low and a river too wide

It’s no wonder expectations are so high. Picture the scene: the prince, battered and bruised, fighting off tigers and bears whilst trying to balance on the fraying tight rope 14,000ft up in the air and all for the love of his lady. As much as I love Marvin Gaye and a heartwarming Disney film, in real life, however, it doesn’t always play out like this.

There are, without a doubt, expectations that should be adhered too from both parties in a relationship, out of a mutual respect for what you found, have, and want to keep. But sometimes what you see as an expectation, the other person may view as ludicrous. Depending on what that expectation is, is there a wrong or right? I found communicating the motive behind the expectation can provide you with all the answers and spare you from some heartache at the same time.

Assumptions are the mother of all mess-ups

As important as it is to know what is good and bad for you when it comes to relationships. It’s important not to get too disheartened when your set of expectations are not always met. Don’t assume that because you know the lengths that you would go to for someone; they will do the same for you in return. You will quickly learn the hard way.


In some cases they won’t have these same expectations for you either. Not because they are less of a person, or value you less, but because expectations are simply not the same. What you see as a high expectation they could see as simply unnecessary.

With every high there comes a low

The thing with high expectations is: they are a reflection of your own standards and not others. With high expectations can come disappointment and disappointment has the potential to hinder any type of relationship. Yes, we can all be better and do better and that is something we should all be willing to do and challenge ourselves with. But remember when it comes to matters of the heart: you are not in a relationship with that person because you saw the potential in them. You are in it because you liked what you saw and had with them at the time you met.

There are levels  of contentment

Trying to constantly live up to others expectations can be difficult, it can create a constant feeling of discontent, or regret in choices made. If you are living by someone else’s expectations you never give your own a chance.


Mentally growing together is actually more difficult to achieve than it sounds. People change and desires change and neither party necessarily have to apologise for that. I am not saying those of us that do have high expectations should settle, because we shouldn’t. But by seeing it from the other persons view point it gives you a chance to better understand why expectations will vary. It’s how you make the two paths meet that matters.

About the author

After graduating with a degree in Publishing, Journalism & Media Tasha spent a term studying Music Journalism and Creative Writing in New York and also took a short course in Fashion & Beauty Journalism at LCF. While on her travels in Australia she jumped 14,000ft out off a plane and passed out half way down (ha!). When she’s not travelling, reading or writing she spends most of her time floating in her own colourful imagination.

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