10 Things You Can Expect From A Relationship10 min read

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I still remember how awkward and undeserving I felt when a customer care representative first addressed me as “Mr. David”. I was about 15 then, and prior to that, I had only had family, friends, and teachers yelling at, commanding, or at best calling me by my name without affixing any title or much respect. But today, I’m comfortable and even expect to be addressed with respect. In fact, I no longer stand being disrespected.

And, because of this, I am surrounded by mostly (if not only) respectful people. Or, at least, that’s how they relate to me.

Our expectations in a relationship can make it feel really enjoyable, just kind of bland, or downright miserable.  

But, there is often a fine line between healthy, realistic expectations, and unhealthy unrealistic expectations especially when it comes to a committed relationship.

And, in this piece, we’ll dive into 10 things you should expect from a relationship.

What Are Unrealistic Expectations In A Relationship?

Unrealistic expectations often leave one or both partners unhappy and frustrated because they are so high and crazy that no real, healthy individual could satisfy or stand them. 

People who hold unrealistic expectations often value performance over authenticity, and generally lack true love and compassion

They may have gotten these unrealistic expectations from TV, romance novels, or social media where reality is often skewed for the sake of attention or money. 

Examples of unrealistic expectations could include 

  • Expecting a partner to always be available,
  • Expecting a partner to perform/satisfy all sexual fantasies (which were most likely gotten from porn tubes),
  • Expecting a partner to be capable and willing to keep buying whatever is requested when it is requested,
  • Expecting the relationship to only have happy moments (or to be devoid of challenges),
  • Expecting constant public display of affection (PDA), or elaborate gestures to express love (best if it can be shared on social media),
  • Expecting a partner to be okay with minimum attention or care,
  • Expecting a partner to be okay with verbal and physical abuse without ever complaining or retaliating

And so on.

So, what are some healthy and realistic expectations you can have in a relationship?

What Should You Expect From A Relationship?

Your expectations in a relationship should echo what you gleefully demand of yourself, and reflect what you put into the relationship, or else it might be unrealistic and unhealthy. Suppose you’re honest, supportive, loyal, intentional, compassionate, open-minded, resilient in the face of challenges, constantly evolving, at peace with yourself, and deeply in love with who you are. In that case, you should expect those in a relationship.

But, don’t just expect your partner, or the “Relationship” to give you all you desire. In reality, it takes mutual effort and investment to get anything sustainable out of a relationship. And, you won’t always get all you desire.

That said, here are some things you should expect from a relationship (in which you’re playing your part);

Connection and shared experiences:

We are deeply social creatures that simply need others to feel alive and to feel our lives have meaning. Without people to care about, we often lose touch with our own selves.

Relationships provide opportunities to bond and connect with others.

When you see a beautiful sky, smell a nice-scenting flower, or hear pleasant music, your knee-jerk response is most likely to want to share it with people you care about.

When you’re in sync with people you care about, it is natural to feel better. This is because you literally get a hit of dopamine whenever they validate whatever it is that you’re experiencing.

In a relationship, you can expect to connect with your partner on a deeper level, allowing you both to create truly meaningful experiences together.

A Compassionate But Different, Less-biassed Perspective:

Through shared experiences and open communication, you gain a greater understanding of yourself and see the world through your partner’s eyes.

You may not realize how much you overwork, beat yourself up, or boast. Perhaps people have told you this before, but you didn’t pay them any mind. But with someone you’ve bonded with – someone you love and respect – you are able to take in feedback without getting defensive.

When your partner, with love and tenderness, pays keen attention to you and mirrors with their words who you are, you gain self-discovery and perspective. This can be empowering and uplifting. It can unlock parts of you which otherwise would have remained in the shadows.

And, being an outside observer, a partner can help you see things from a different point of view or without the veil of your emotions. Perhaps they can inform you about the danger of trusting someone too much or betting on something you feel attached to. And, because you respect and trust that they have your best interest at heart, you might listen.

Peace and Order:

If the world is a highway, your relationship is a garage. It is a safe space where you can exist without anxiety or fear. You can expect peace and order in a relationship.

In a relationship, behaviours and feelings should be predictable, and even in the most unusual circumstances, you’re sure that a protest is not a rivalry, but rather a plea for things to be even better.

Just as your internal peace is maintained by doing things that are in alignment with your values, so also, peace in a relationship often stems from ensuring the feelings and interests of both parties are considered. And, more importantly, that when there are mistakes or wrongings, apologies mixed with repentance are offered.

Accountability and motivation:

You can expect your partner to hold you accountable for your goals, celebrate your successes, and help you get back on track when needed.

Your desire not to disappoint your partner can help keep you accountable and motivated. A partner is also in the best place to be a cheerleader and motivator because they are the only ones who are with you when the world has walked away. They are the ones who can wake you up when your alarm is blaring but you wish to sleep for an extra hour or two. They are the ones who know how much you want something and the weaknesses and temptations you face, and exactly when you face them.

By your side, a partner becomes a critical part of your success.

Built-in support system:

You can expect a relationship to provide a constant source of encouragement, understanding, and support through life’s ups and downs.

A partner can support us in many ways, be it by helping us knot our ties, sharing insights, helping us with some money, reminding us to take our meds, or simply being a shoulder to cry on when things are going to the dogs.

Physical and emotional intimacy:

You can’t hug yourself, neither can you call to check up on yourself. While self-love and mindfulness are great, sometimes you really need someone who cares about you to express love and show they are mindful of you.

It’s valid to expect your partner to hug, kiss, and have sex with you often. It is also realistic to expect them to check up on you and compliment you.

It’s also reasonable to expect vulnerability and trust within the relationship – a space for sharing the deepest fears, insecurities, and dreams without worry.

“When you feel someone else’s pain and joy as powerfully as if it were your own, then you know you really loved them.” – Ann Brashares

Unwavering love, loyalty, and commitment:

Though no one is required to stay with people who make them miserable, it’s still reasonable to expect unwavering, unconditional love in a relationship.

Unwavering love is a deep, steady affection that transcends conditions or benefits. It’s about choosing them daily, insisting that things work with them in the picture. 

But, it isn’t blind. In fact, unweaving love often requires having standards and boundaries in place and loving your partner enough to fight with them and remain loyal to the common cause you’ve previously agreed on.

Someone with unwavering love will let you know what you’ve done wrong when you offend them, they will forgive you given time, they will be open to hearing your perspectives and complaints about them, and, even when they flop they will run to you for forgiveness and do all they can to keep the relationship going. 

Shared future planning:

Life is a wonderful adventure that is best experienced with a partner. While it’s important to have your own aspirations and goals, a healthy relationship involves shared future planning and mutual understanding, especially when it comes to significant decisions like starting a family, raising children, managing finances, and aligning long-term goals. Open communication and compromise are essential in this process, ensuring that both partners’ needs and perspectives are considered.

Social integration:

Being in a committed relationship often leads to an expansion of one’s social network. It’s reasonable to expect that your partner will introduce you to their friends and family, and vice versa. 

This social integration can enrich your life, provide new experiences, and foster a sense of belonging within a broader community. However, it’s crucial to maintain healthy boundaries and respect each other’s existing relationships and social circles.


While relationships bring joy and fulfilment they also come with challenges and obstacles. No relationship is perfect, and it’s unrealistic to expect a perpetual state of bliss. Challenges may arise from various sources, such as financial difficulties, health issues, conflicts, or even the loss of a loved one. 

Facing and overcoming these challenges together can strengthen the bond between partners and promote personal growth. Learning to navigate challenges within the safety and support of a committed relationship can better equip you to tackle the complexities of life outside the relationship.

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Conclusion: Communicate Your Expectations Clearly

Not long ago, I was invited to an event at a church but left after about 30 minutes because the preacher was screaming belligerently at the audience (which I happened to be a part of). Had I not expected to be spoken to more calmly and respectfully, I may have stayed. This applies to relationships too. When expectations are not being met, people feel unhappy in a relationship.

That is why, you should always try to communicate your expectations clearly and be willing to address issues as they emerge. Had it been a relationship, I would have prolly told the pastor to stop yelling – as I preferred a more calm coordinated tone.

Don’t be afraid to walk away from situations that violate your core values consistently. But, also be willing to compromise, as long as it doesn’t jeopardise your well-being. Remember, it is not just about you.


Did you enjoy this or have any questions? Please let us know in the comments section. Also, don’t hesitate to share with friends and family.

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