Our perception shapes our reality, which is why it can be so difficult for us to be aware of our own flaws. When it comes to dating, our expectations seem self-evidently normal, but from others’ perspectives, they may be unreasonable. This expectation mismatch can cause problems, lead to dishonesty, and set one up for disappointment.
In this article, we will go over women’s unrealistic dating expectations and address why each of the covered expectations is unreasonable.
We will also discuss whether it is better to lower one’s expectations or if you should stick to high expectations regardless of what people think. By the end, you will have a fair estimate of how realistic your dating expectations are.
Women’s Unrealistic Dating Expectations
Dating expectations can be skewed regardless of gender. It is human to assume that what you’re seeking from life is what you might find in romance. Since men and women tend to seek different things when dating, they have different expectations.
In this section, we will discuss the dating expectations that set women up for disappointment.
Expecting Him Alone To Make A Date Successful
From picking the right restaurant to making the conversation more lively, women can expect men to take charge of the date’s success. This is unrealistic because no matter how hard an individual tries, a date can be successful only if both parties try.
This expectation arises from the fact that men are traditionally the ones who ask for a date and arrange to pay for it. While you don’t have to dismantle chivalry to prove a point, you shouldn’t expect chivalry to replace personality.
You can expect a man to take charge of specific things when it comes to arranging the date, especially if he is the one to ask you out. But when you agree to go out, you have to contribute to the conversation and entertainment.
Expecting His Boldness To Offset Your Shyness
Opposites attract, and men have a looser social leash when it comes to speaking their minds. But that doesn’t mean they can read your mind.
If you are shy, you might really want your date to understand what you want and act accordingly. For instance, you might want a kiss and hope he would understand that without you having to overcome your shyness.
But when you turn your desires into expectations, men who might have been compatible start falling short. You can expect your partner to start understanding your broad pet peeves and interests, but you cannot expect them to be aware of your specific desires, especially not while you’re in the early stages of dating.
He Is Supposed To Have Old-School Masculine Traits Alongside Contemporary Feminine Ones
We all have a feminine and a masculine side, regardless of our sex. That much has been established by psychologists like Carl Jung. But how much of each side manifests in our personalities depends on our individual experiences.
When you date men, you will find old-school traditionalists who have the conventional “manly” traits, and you’ll find men who are in touch with their feminine side. Both types of men have their own pros and cons in a relationship context.
But expecting a hypermasculine man to be in touch with his emotions or a centered man to “toughen up” is unfair and unrealistic. Personality stays relatively stable over time, so if you expect such a drastic switch in personality, you will be disappointed.
That said, you can be clear about what you want more of and decide to look for it. Do you like a man who takes charge or one who doesn’t get threatened by your independence? Do you like a guy who pays for everything or one who might expect you to manage the house? Do you want a man who can be vulnerable, or one you feel secure being vulnerable to?
There is no shame in being honest about what you want. But there is plenty of disappointment in wanting traits that cannot coexist in the same person.
The Man Must Be Interested In All The Things You Are Into
Common interests can spark a love story and lead to plenty of couple time. But not everything that interests you will interest him, and vice versa. If your definition of “the one” is someone who is into everything that you’re into, you will set yourself up to be your only partner.
We are all unique, and the freedom that comes from not expecting your partner to match your interests is that you don’t have to match his interests either.
That said, it is healthy to have some overlap of interests, especially when it comes to experiential ones. Realistic dating expectations would be that you and your partner can find common things to do that you both find fun.
Aside from that, you can expect him to support you in your passion and respect your interests. He is allowed to not be interested in what you like. But he is not allowed to belittle your interests.
He Should Always Text First
This is an expectation that gets outdated once a girl becomes a woman. In high school, it is perfectly normal to expect the guy you are dating to text or call first. But once you’re an adult, you won’t find men willing to play by that rule, and that’s simply because people can be too busy.
Make room for life, and you will not be let down. On the other hand, start expecting people to overcome their schedule demands and habits to text you first, and you will become resentful.
There is no realistic version of this expectation. You might even be left on read, depending on the context. If you’re dating a heart surgeon, you can’t expect him to reply quickly, much less text first.
However, you can expect that he will put in the same energy that he expects from you. In other words, if he expects you to reply quickly, he should do the same.
He Should Be Ready To Marry/Commit Whenever You Are
Many couples start off non-exclusively dating and gradually shift to committed relationships. Women can sometimes start expecting the guy to commit after a certain period. This can be quite disappointing if they haven’t previously discussed this expectation. Both parties are free to decide when or whether they are ready to commit.
But if you decide that you want to be with someone exclusively and they are not of the same opinion, you can wait or walk away.
When you don’t expect them to automatically agree to be exclusive the moment you decide, you won’t be hurt if they choose not to. Above all, if commitment means a lot to you, discuss it early on.
Should I Lower My Expectations?
You should not lower your expectations, but you must be willing to rise to the level where your expectations are met. And if you’re not willing to be the woman who attracts your dream guy, you have to adjust your expectations.
What is realistic to a pessimist is pessimistic to an optimist. Having high standards doesn’t mean having unrealistic expectations. But expecting things that are out of men’s control can lead to disappointment and heartbreak.
People cannot have contradictory traits, personality changes, and intimate knowledge of what they want. Those are unrealistic expectations masquerading as high standards.
When you don’t seek happiness in a partner, all of those expectations melt away, and you can find a man who will be happy with you instead of seeking one to make you happy.