The expectations we form for our partner and irrational beliefs can cause great anxiety and create many disappointments . What if I have let the train go and it was my only chance to be happy? Why is my partner not responding to my needs? Why haven’t I found my better half yet?
That is why knowing how to manage a relationship is also, in part, knowing how to adapt to reasonable expectations so as not to fall into a romantic fundamentalism that drags us and the other person down. Let’s see how to achieve this objective.
Burying the myth of the better half
Firstly, it is worthwhile to stop and reflect on the myth of the better half so that this idea does not condition us . This vision of love relationships leads us to consider someone as an extension of our own body, something without which we cannot function well since we are not complete.
The image of the better half not only serves to question our ability to serve ourselves and become an autonomous, decision-maker, but it reduces the other person to the status of a machine designed to read our minds and satisfy our needs.
Although the metaphor of the better half may appear to be very romantic and tender, it turns out to be a misleading way of filling a void . In one way or another, if we believe that the other is an extension of our own body, it is very likely that we will end up pressuring this person to satisfy our needs in the hope that they will think and act according to those needs.
When we irrationally believe that perfect complementarity exists, we demand that our relationship fit together, surprised at how well we have connected and coupled at first, when it is easier for us to notice only the facets that we value positively. Thus, the overvaluation of what is new and young can lead to a feeling of loss when routine appears .
Thus, on a theoretical level the other would complete us and make us feel happy and full of love, but in reality all we do is place too many expectations on the other which generates conflict, disappointment, sadness, etc.
What to do?
It’s worth turning the metaphor of the better half around. Why don’t we go from being dependent and unhappy to acting like a whole orange, emotionally self-sufficient and free?
The key is to realize that we don’t need anyone to make us happy, to get rid of our irrational beliefs and expectations. Otherwise, why do we love our partner the way he is?
Lovers come and go but the myths of love settle down. If we are able to abstract ourselves from these cultural impositions on love and romance that we see in the movies, we will surely be able to value our sentimental partners for what they are: unique and unrepeatable people, with mistakes and with virtues who, for whatever reason, have managed to enjoy our trust . We must learn to celebrate this.