Saturday, August 11, 2012

Managing Expectations

There are lots of ways I manage expectations. 

Growing up I expected, without consciously knowing it, that I would grow up, meet Mr. Right, have kids, a house, a dog.  I think many women mature under the notion that there is someone for every one.  I no longer expect there is.

I fight the expectations that society sets. I suppose I could say I ignore those expectations, but fight makes it sound intentional  The romantic comedy routine, the way books and stories tell us we'll fall for each other and it will be magical from the beginning.  The societal expectations that we all pair up, procreate and live mildly miserably ever after. Most of you can guess I eschewed that assupmtion about the time I left the country.

I realize that all relationships are a bit of reconciling the ideal with the close enough. It's part of the dating beast. What I want and what's out there to be had aren't a matching file. My list consists of a few "deal breakers", some "strongly advised to have" and lots of "this would be nice as bonus".  The older I get the less willing I am to settle with a guy who isn't close enough to right for me.  The less willing I am to take crap.  And I have reconciled myself to the fact that it might mean I'm single a long while longer.

I no longer expect a call.  This is a tricky one because on the one hand I think know that I'm a great catch. I'm intelligent, well-traveled, blah, blah, blah.  That being the case, I have come to expect a lot of lousy dates to get to the few good ones.  Yet, even after a great date, I doubt there will be a call or a second date.  Why?  Because expecting there will be leads to disappointment, and that makes for a sad panda. Am I cold and jaded? Maybe.  Am I less upset than I used to be? Maybe.

There is a tiny sliver of my conscious, on the border of the subconscious, that has forseen my life without a partner in it.  An expectation of sorts really.  I'm not quite ready to give in to that one but I know it there and don't feel haunted by it.

When I'm on a date I make sure I am not giving signals that would allow him to assume (expect) that he's going to get laid, that I'm a doormat for him to trod on, that I am looking for happily ever after or that I am less than awesome.  One can only do so much about another persons expectations though. Mine are more than enough to juggle.

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