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Sustaining a Loving Relationship Part 3

                                                       Realistic Expectations

Among the reasons being in love may be so frustrating is that a lot of us expect magic. We expect chemistry, compliments, allegiance and clever conversation.
And we expect it all before the main course has even gotten there. Sustaining healthy expectations in love doesn't mean lowering your standards or flexing your morals.

Rather, it means coming to the table with an open mind and letting relationships build by nature in their own way and at their own rate. If you frequently feel disappointed after you fall in love, you might be manifesting your own destiny. 

                                                 What You Expect
Arrange your life for success. View a date as a chance to share things a getting to understand a new individual. That's it. If a 2nd date comes after, great! If fireworks blow up, even better! Blooming romance is a bonus of a love, not a fundamental.

Be an honest romantic. Having fair expectations doesn't mean turning bitter and jaded. It's possible to keep your heart opened up and your spirit rosy, even as you stay grounded and pragmatic.

Understand that your love owes you nothing. In the start of getting to understand one another, the only thing needed is that your love treats you with kindness during your time together. Past that, you're on your own. Your love doesn't owe you anything. Your love doesn't owe you a telephone call later in the week. Your love doesn't owe you an account of why he or she doesn't wish to see you on a particular day.

Be honest about how much you are able to and not able to give. If you do not feel like kissing at a particular time, do not kiss then. If you can't pay for an expensive dinner, do not agree to an expensive dinner, unless your love insists on paying for you. If you're tired and wish to get to bed following dinner, get home and get to bed following dinner. If you do not wish to have sex outside, do not have sex. Giving more than you're ready to give is certain to make people be resentful and heartbroken.

Let the relationship show you what it's about rather than trying to steer it where you think it should to go. You've no way of knowing where things are going. Keep your mind in the here and now and surrender control.
Allow for a raw ebb and flow. Getting to understand somebody is a slow procedure with its own rhythm. You link up. You pull apart. You link up. You pull apart. Do not freak if you seem to be drifting in different directions. This is the natural way.

Keep your life. Continue seeing your friends. Keep your routines the way there are. When you first meet somebody it may be easy to float away in an all-consuming, lovesick bubble. This is natural and fantastic, but someday the bubble is going to break. Keeping a little semblance of your own life will make your fall to truth all the easier.

If your love seems disinterested in you, move on. If you're disinterested in your love, move on.

*Todd Deutsch is the owner and lead licensed Marriage Family Therapist & Life Coach for Complete Game Plan located in West Los Angeles adjacent to Century City.

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