Realistic Expectations to Have in a Relationship

Florence Williamson
3 min readJun 8, 2022

Many people are under the impression that you should avoid setting expectations in a relationship. You’re only going to set yourself up for disappointment.

But having expectations is important. It helps you recognize whether you’re giving too much or too little.

Not all expectations are unreasonable or unrealistic. When set correctly, expectations help cultivate a relationship. They serve as a sort of guideline to how your relationship should go.

Here are a few expectations that you SHOULD have in a relationship:

1. Consistency

You should hope for a consistent partner. Consistency is the surest way to prove to someone how serious they are about themselves. This helps build trust, which is essential to keep your relationship together.

Consistency promotes a secure attachment that makes you feel safe and secure in the relationship. This only proves that your partner is someone who keeps to his/her word.

Even if they fail to keep up to a promise for understandable reasons, you feel safe knowing that your partner is someone who would never want to disappoint you.

2. Equal Commitment

No one wants to feel like they’re the only ones putting effort into the relationship. This makes it seem like you aren’t being valued at all.

You’re either in it together or you’re not. A relationship where you’re the only one pulling your end isn’t worth keeping. You’re only going to waste your time and energy. You’re better off investing yourself with someone who deserves it.

3. Willingness to Compromise

Not all arguments in a relationship are reconcilable. Some of them are like coffee stains that just don’t go away no matter how hard you try to wash them off.

The next best thing to do is simply compromise with your partner. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does keep both your frustrations at bay.

Being willing to compromise shows that you value your relationship more than your pride.

4. Empathy

Our personal battles can be tough to deal with alone. Having a partner that supports you through all of it can take a huge weight off your shoulders.

In the critical moments when you feel down, it’s important to have support and assurance. Your partner doesn’t even have to provide a solution or a response. All they need to do is lend an ear and listen to your side of the story.

5. Respect

You’re not always going to agree with your partner. There will be many times when you’ll have conflicting views and opinions.

If you want to grow together, you’re going to have to respect your differences.

It’s not difficult to earn someone’s respect. But the moment you betray the trust of someone you love, it can be difficult for you to earn it back.

6. Boundaries

No partner is perfectly made to fit all your needs. There will be times when you need to address your needs by yourself.

This is where personal boundaries come into play.

You are not required to share everything with your partner. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your valued space in order to keep a relationship.

If that’s something your partner understands, then you have yourself a keeper.