Relationship Expectations vs. Reality

Doin' It for the 'Gram

Relationship Expectations vs. Reality
That "perfect couple"

People have conjured up a magnificent, dramatic, romantic, ideal relationship in their head that completely stops them from enjoying what is really in front of them. It is difficult to differentiate whether this impression is maybe our high standards, or is it an unreal expectation?

The perfect photos for Instagram, the sickly sweet nicknames—anything that makes you fit into the “couple goals” category where your relationship is SO perfect, everyone wants to be you. Everyone knows that isn’t real, yet we fall for it over and over again. We put so much pressure on ourselves and our partners that one very small, trivial detail goes wrong and it is the end of the world.

“Yeah, well, Steve and Sarah don’t EVER fight! Look at us... all we do is argue. WHY CAN'T WE JUST BE LIKE THEM?” UHM, yeah right. You mean they don’t publicly display their anger or emotions? Or maybe they keep their relationship private?

“Why don’t you ever take cute photos like that with me?”

"Why don't you buy me flowers?"

So he doesn’t take you apple picking in the fall.

So he doesn’t celebrate your 1 year and 2 month anniversary.

Know what he does do? He buys you groceries because he eats half of your fridge when he stays over.

He is picking your drunk ass up from girl’s night because he can’t stand the thought of you walking home alone at night in that state.

Does he document it on social media? Probably not. Why? Because he isn’t doing this for attention. Because love doesn’t need to be grand gestures and show boating.

This is not me saying that you should settle for a partner that does not go out of their way for you. Don’t settle for someone who does not make you an equal or that does not go see the new Fifty Shades Freed movie with you even though you’ve been talking for weeks nonstop about it….

Be with someone who recognizes what makes you happy and makes your life a little bit easier.

What I am saying is that everything is give and take. That every person, every relationship, is different and beautiful in their own means. You should 100% have a standard and level of respect you want to be treated with and that YOU DESERVE to be treated with. You should have things in common you like to do together (hey, bonus if he is into cheesy stuff like carving pumpkins together), but don’t be discouraged if you don’t. You are allowed to like different things and that is where compromise becomes your best friend. Suck it up and go to that gross sports bar to watch the hockey game and cheer on his team — or DON’T. Encourage him to go with his friends because you feel like you would actually put a huge damper on his day considering you don’t know what his favourite team is….

If you want your partner to do something just because you want to, why don’t you do the same?

This isn’t always easy. Sometimes it could get messy. He realistically doesn’t want to go to that ballet performance and you forcing him will cause more harm than good, so agree to disagree and move on.

Your life doesn’t need to be “picture perfect” because no one’s is. I guarantee you the model couple you are thinking of while reading this hides secrets from each other to maintain their “goals” status.

Nothing good comes easy — relationships will be the bane of your existence one day and your saving grace the next. Just stop trying to be someone else’s ideal and give your partner the credit they deserve. Once you take a step back and do this that is when you will start to create a real bond, real happiness — this exact something that you were always searching for but could never find.

Isn’t that the actual “goals”? To be happy? Truly, utterly, shamelessly happy?

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Danielle McLean
Danielle McLean
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Danielle McLean

Small town girl currently living in down town Toronto. Forever attempting to maintain a social life, some romance and a strong career; all at the same time. Writing based on personal experiences and a woman's intuition.

See all posts by Danielle McLean