Relationships and Expectations

You have probably heard "no expectations, no disappointments”. I would say, “no appropriate expectations, no intimacy”. A relationship without appropriate expectations is like a house without walls. If there are no walls, there is nothing to hold up the roof. Therefore there is no real true shelter.

Relationships that desire deep intimacy, the kind where you really know me (the real me, and I really know you, the real you) require structure, dependability, effort, commitment, humility, good inter/interpersonal skills, and maturity.

The things that you should expect from a very intimate relationship, such
as (best friends, lovers, partners, spouses, etc.) are the following:

1. The ability to keep discussions and emotions in confidence.

2. The commitment to not judge the person, but to trust a process with God. If you can’t do this, you cannot have intimacy because you are probably not with a safe
person. Important: “Safe does not mean perfect, it means trustworthy”. If you can’t rust that the person is working hard on his or her own life and program, then you will have great difficulty with peer intimacy. You will either be put into a parental role, or one of a police
officer, or therapist. It doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally operate in these roles for...

Except people we love, but if that is the role you are consistently in, you
cannot then have intimacy, there is no room for you in the relationship. You have to be able to trust God for their process whether you see it or not. If you think it’s not happening, and you choose to stay, then you still need to trust God and not yourself, to make their life work
(see show’s on codependency). Martin Luther said to "Pray—and let God worry”

3. Decency and politeness, which indicates respect (this is a must!)

4. Expectations on yourself: Doing your side of the relationship. Growing, maturing, using your “voice” to ask for what you need, express your feeling appropriately, not expect the other to read your mind, or pick up on your subtle cues. Are you holding the other to the same standards you have for yourself? Is that a source of pride?

5. Expect to have hard times, confusing times, times of doubt, but that you are not depending on this person for your peace, your ultimate security, or for them to be a “god”. Expect them to be  mortal.

6. Expect attempts at honesty, Are you completely honest with yourself and God, with others? This does not mean we should accept blatant, malicious deception.

7. Expect to help the other be the best they can be. This is done through love and acceptance. Why do you think people come to see a therapist? I give them time, I have
patience, I have appropriate expectations.

8. Expect to be challenged and uncomfortable as you examine yourself, your motivations, your control issues, your woundedness. Expect to have to apologize a lot.

9. Expect to feel like things are one-sided and unfair.
10. Expect to pray a lot.
11. Expect to ask for and give mercy a grace in abundance.
12. Expect to have empathy and compassion for even the smallest things, things that don’t make sense to you.
13. Expect to expand your ability to accept and enter in to another’s reality that may not make sense to you or you may not always approve of.
14. Expect to find out how much you don’t know, and how much you are not God. (And be thankful for that)
15. Expect to have fun, grow, and to be loved.

AND Expect to help teach the other how to do these things.