Managing Expectations

There’s a fine line between getting everything you want because you’ve worked hard for it, and bulldozing anything in your way on your path to success. We’re taught to have goals and dreams, and to never let anyone stand in our way of reaching them, but the reality is that just because you want something doesn’t mean that others are going to want the same thing or to help you achieve it.

Maybe I’m getting a little cynical in my old age. I prefer to think of myself as optimistically realistic, but the truth is starting to sink into brain more now. We are only in control of our own choices – unless you’re one of them tricky glamouring vampires. Just because I want Blank from Person A is certainly not reason enough for them to give it to me.

It’s even harder to accept this lack of control when it comes to dating. If I’ve explained my case perfectly clear to a potential partner, or previous lover I’m trying to get back together with, and all of my logic and reasoning makes sense, why wouldn’t they want the same things that I do? Can’t they see how amazing we’d be together or could be again? Aren’t I using my words in the most absolutely convincing, perfect fashion??

Something about dating and hormones and sex and hearts and all that other mushy crap makes us lose our sense of what is probable and what is likely. We think that just because we want to be with someone that they should also want to be with us. And when they’re not, we often act indignant (like a large percentage of feminist hating men out there, trolling on the internet.)

“Durr, she’s a hot girl. She should come and make the sex with me. What do you mean, does she want to?”

Despite my feeling that I can occasionally function at a pretty good level when dating, I am being faced with a lot of situations lately where I must manage my expectations and often adjust them completely. Whether it’s trying to stay friends with the ex, or start a relationship with someone new and get them to be on the same page about communication and booty calls, what I hope for, want, and need, isn’t always given to me, no matter how polite I ask for it, or how much I bat my pretty little eyelashes. There are times when we need to adjust our approach and other times when we need to accept the situation and adjust what we’re approaching.

At least I’m getting a little bit better at taking hints quickly when people aren’t clear about things. Despite telling myself for a while that I wanted it, I don’t think there will be a third date with this one guy I met in the spring. It’s like pulling teeth trying to make plans with him, and no matter how much I want him to take more initiative and be interesting in seeing me, really, I just can’t be bothered. He’s just not that into me, and that’s ok. And as much as I would really like to have some other new romance in my life, if people aren’t interested in me romantically, what am I going to do, force them? Pour cinnamon hearts down their throat until they explode into a big glob of goo, proclaiming as their debris flies across the room, “I adooooooore you, Samantha!”?

Pretty unlikely. Not that I’m a scientist or anything.

It can be absolutely devastating when you’ve got your heart so set on something and it doesn’t work out. Other times, it’s an opportunity to ask yourself “Did I actually want that/him/her/them?” and maybe find out that you really didn’t. The best we can do is just be honest and clear about what we want and need out of people. Whether you want them in your life more or less, clarity is the thing that makes all situations better. The bandage might hurt a little getting ripped off but at least it’ll be done and over with and you can move on from there.

You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.