Movies, TV shows, and Instagram lead us to believe that when you meet “the one,” angels will sing and the sun will shine down on you two. Sure, the beginning stages of the relationship may very well feel like a heavenly choir is singing, but what happens when the song’s over?
I think one of the most dangerous lies we can believe is that when you marry “the one,” everything will be perfect. If we believe that, what happens when you find out your guy is not perfect, but instead he eats pasta with only a spoon and slurps through the whole meal?
This is me, praying my sweet husband will use a fork this time. 😇
Of course that is a tiny, light-hearted example, but the bottom line is this: none of us are individually perfect and therefore no relationship is perfect. But guess what? That’s OKAY! When you enter into a relationship, understanding this is essential. To explain a little more, let’s chat about some of our expectations for perfection versus what we should have: realistic and healthy expectations.
Expectation for Perfection #1: My relationship will be effortless because we love each other.
Reset to a Realistic and Healthy Standard: You won’t naturally agree on everything. It might even surprise you when some of the things you don’t agree on turn into pretty big issues. Your relationship will be hard work, not because you don’t love each other, but because you DO love each other. People are in a constant state of growth, learning, and change. In order to keep your relationship in tip-top shape, you both have to be willing to keep working to stay connected and show the other how much they mean to you.
Expectation for Perfection #2: We will always feel as in love with each other as we do right now.
Reset to a Realistic and Healthy Standard: Okay, friends. This one can be a big shocker, so brace yourselves. It seems like most relationships go from being in a state of intense love to a more relaxed state of love. I am here to reassure you that this is a normal progression of your relationship. Being in love is a wonderful feeling, but actively choosing to love your significant other each day, through thick and thin, is a gift unlike any other. The connection and feeling of security that you foster together might even top that initial headrush of feeling in love. 😉
Expectation for Perfection #3: We will show each other how much we are loved by grand gestures.
Reset to a Realistic and Healthy Standard: Again, we can thank social media and TV producers for conditioning us to believe that love looks like a flash-mob proposal or a surprise trip to another country. As you settle into your relationship with “the one,” you begin to see that you reassure each other most through little, blink-and-you-miss-it, magic moments. The sleepy kiss you get each morning without fail before your love heads off to work, the phone call your significant other makes to order take-out because he senses how tired you are after a busy day, and the look you two share and instantly know it’s time to leave the party and head home (probably to watch Netflix… 🤷) are the ones you come to treasure most.
Bonus Expectation for Perfection (courtesy of my husband): We will always naturally understand each other.
Reset to a Realistic and Healthy Standard: Even when you love someone, you are still two different people coming together in a relationship. Each person brings different emotions and different ways of handling things. It takes grace everyday to understand that each person is different and to accept that that’s okay. When you’re with “the one,” you learn to embrace the differences that ultimately exist to bring balance to your individual personalities and your relationship.
We are here for you, no matter what. Pinky promise.
Written by Danielle Clark with additional comments from husband, Ethan Clark.