Do you ever feel disappointed when you hope for a certain outcome but it doesn’t turn out the way you expected it to? It’s not that your expectations are too high. It’s more likely that you’ve placed limitations on them. Here’s a personal story that clearly illustrates what I mean.
The movie Book Club was recently released and because of the stellar cast and the subject of sexuality I’d been looking forward to it. Now, I’ve never been interested in opening weekends. Why bother with the crowds when I’m perfectly happy to wait a week or two? But this time, I really wanted to go.
I was expecting to have a great time. I was expecting to laugh. I was expecting fun connection with my husband.
Arriving at the theater, thinking we’d arrived in plenty of time, we discovered the show was sold out. Another couple had arrived at same time and they both looked disappointed. They were an adorable couple, easily in their early eighties, slow to walk but each had sparkling eyes. As the four of us turned to leave, we were joking together and I said, “Well, I guess we’ll just have to go home and have sex instead of watching a movie about it.”
The older couple both laughed out loud. He patted her bottom and said, “That’s a great idea!” My heart burst open. I love seeing couples of all ages enjoying one another.
Before heading home, my husband and I went to the book store next door. We picked out a few items and at the checkout the bill came to exactly 69 dollars. Of course, this made me laugh out loud again.
Driving past one of our local pubs, we saw their chalkboard sign showing ‘Live Music’. On a whim we decided to check it out. What a great time! Great music, meeting new people, laughing, and connecting. And to top it off, after leaving the bar, one of my favorite songs came on the radio a few blocks from home.
Earlier I had expected to have a great time, I expected to laugh, and I expected fun connection with my husband. It was a perfect evening in my opinion.
If I had been hung up on the show being sold out, disappointed, and grumbly – things probably wouldn’t have worked out the way they did. Instead I expected to feel a particular way while being open to how things played out.
You set yourself up to be disappointed if you expect circumstances, or your partner, to make you happy.
You get to decide how you want to feel. You get to decide what you want to think. You get to decide what you want to focus on.
What are you expecting in your relationship?
What do you expect of yourself?
What do you expect of your partner?
Do you expect things to be exactly what you want?
If things don’t go according to plan, can you let go of how it ‘should’ look and enjoy the unfolding of what could be?
Do you expect the same old patterns to repeat themselves or are you open to shifting your thoughts and in the process shifting your emotions?
Expectations are neither good nor bad. What matters is the openness or limitations you place on them. What matters is how you feel. Unpack your limitations and approach life and love with an open mind and open heart. That’s how you make love great.Unpack your limitations and approach life and love with an open mind and open heart. That’s how you make love great. Click To Tweet
Dr. Gayle Friend
p.s. If this resonated and you want to ditch limiting expectations for a life of bliss, contact me. Let’s chat!