Expectations are part of the equation of relating.

Alejandro Betancourt

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Relationships are some of the hardest things, if not the most challenging thing we have to deal with in our lives. Most people struggle with how they relate with others; it can be a friendship, a partnership, a sexual partner, or a romantic relationship. It's always hard to connect with others. It starts with the fact that it's hard to relate with oneself. Most of us do not recognize that we also have a relationship with ourselves. There are many topics related to relationships, but one that is hard to reconcile is the topic of fidelity. What is fidelity? Is being loyal a requisite for having a good relationship?

Expectations are part of the equation. Our expectations about what others should be like and how they should act have a considerable role in relating with them. Do you have expectations? Can you recognize some that come to mind when I mention this topic? Are you aware of your expectations in your most important relationships? It's important to understand these because we often set ourselves up for disappointment and heartache.

Some of us expect that there won't be any conflict, then when it does arise, we are taken by surprise, which can cause feelings of anger or resentment to build up to where before there was none. Expectations are a sure path to disappointment because, by definition, they have nothing to do with the other person; they have everything to do with our own needs and desires.

We tend to expect our partners, friends, parents, or children to be perfect. Think about this for a moment, is there such thing as a person who you can't find anything wrong? Is that even possible in human relationships? Chances are, we all have something negative to say about someone. The concept of "perfectness" is a myth. Unless you view it as a way to acknowledge how things "are," in that sense, everything and everyone would be perfect the way they are.

Relationships are never perfect, not because of the other person but because we expect them to be. Since relationships always have some faults and problems, why do we stay with a person? Why not just leave when things get difficult or uncomfortable instead of staying in an unhappy relationship? Some people do go when things get complicated. But others don't. What is the difference between these people? Are you the kind of person that is willing to get thru the conflict?

Until death does us part?

One of those usual conflicts when it comes to romantic and sexual relationships is Infidelity. What is fidelity? Is being loyal a requisite to have a good relationship? Fidelity means faithfulness, but IInfidelity can also mean having sexual relationships with another person outside your current one. So it could be argued that by exploring the idea of intimacy or sexuality with someone else, you are not necessarily betraying them. Some people think this helps explain why many marriages end up in divorce. They argue that if their partner has cheated on them, then there was no real commitment between the two, and therefore ending the marriage should not hurt as much since they were never really committed to each other anyways. Others would argue that loving someone involves considering yourself faithful to them even when temptation comes along.

The idea of marriage was considered to be a "forever" thing in ancient times. Some people may still think of it that way. However, in practice, this is not the case. Take a look at how many marriages end in divorce. According to an article, I read divorce figures have increased in most of the world, in some cases up to 122%.

The idea of fidelity is interesting to me.

Some people would say that it's vital for a healthy relationship, whereas others may argue that it's unnecessary.

For instance, I know several couples in open relationships where they have multiple sexual partners. Still, they consider themselves faithful to each other because the priority and commitment remain with their partner above anyone else. This can be an example of how being 'faithful' implies different things depending on one's values and beliefs, which could come into play when considering what one considers "cheating."

However, I also believe there are times when someone does cross over boundaries even if it wasn't intended by either party involved, which results in hurt feelings or worse.

I would also like to point out that fidelity doesn't necessarily mean sexual relationships; it could simply imply how much one is willing to give or share. How much intimacy or lack thereof is there.

Fast Food Approach

Another struggle that we recently experienced because technology is present in almost everything we do is that it has impacted how we interact with one another. Nowadays, individuals are increasingly likely to "meet" online. There are many apps and sites providing facilities for connecting with others for a variety of reasons. It can be as simple as ordering pizza to meet people and find someone to relate with online.

The fast-food mentality to relationships delivers us with a slew of new issues and difficulties. It also allowed the idea that something begins quickly and may also conclude in the same way.

There is no simple answer to the question of what makes a relationship work. But one of the main elements, and in my opinion the most important one is commitment. Everything else tends to find its way when someone is committed to something, a task, or a relationship. Once that commitment is gone, everything else falls apart.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The Most Valuable Relationship

It's a cliché to say that you can't be good with someone else if you aren't good with yourself. But as I have come to realize, most clichés are clichés because they are true.

Self-aware individuals don't live life pretending their expectations aren't their own. When you are self-aware, you recognize that what you expected of someone else was your desire and had nothing to do with the other person.

Self-love is the conscious choice to accept ourselves while constantly working on becoming better versions of ourselves. It means caring about our well-being at every moment, even when it's difficult or uncomfortable. Self-love also means understanding that other people may not understand where we're coming from, but that doesn't mean they don't honestly care about us. Self-love isn't always easy: sometimes the voice inside your head can be highly critical and judgemental, so loving yourself requires complete acceptance of everything about yourself — good qualities and shortcomings alike. But is it possible to accept oneself completely? Is it possible to get to know ourselves in full? Can we love others more than we love ourselves?

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Los Angeles, CA

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