How To Let Go Of Expectations In A Relationship? (31 Steps)

Do you feel that you have too many expectations when it comes to your partner? Has this attitude of yours resulted in hurt and problems in your bond?

Believe me, I’ve been there! Not long ago, I was a girl that expected a lot from her boyfriend and wanted him to behave in a particular manner. My negative attitude and innumerable complaints were leaving me frustrated to a point that we had even decided to break things off.

I did a lot of research only to find out that the main reason behind my behaviors is my own insecurities. I had some needs, which I, instead of fulfilling on my own, expected my partner to fulfill. Moreover, I was hardly honest about my needs to my partner, making it quite difficult for him to understand where I was coming from.

In today’s article, we are going to see how you can manage your expectations and have a happy life with your partner. Plus, we will also see how not all expectations are wrong and what things it is normal to expect in a relationship.

How To Let Go Of Expectations In A Relationship?

1. Ask yourself questions

To find out whether you have unrealistic expectations from your partner or not, you need to ask yourself questions and try to identify what you want from them. Do you want them to be more romantic? Or, do you want them to practice better hygiene? No matter whatever your needs are from your partner, it is important that you are clear about what you want.

2. Acknowledge your disappointment

There is nothing wrong with feeling a little disappointed when things do not go your way. Yes, you should work on letting go of expectations but that is not something that could be achieved in a day as it is a long process. So if your partner did not fulfill your expectations then allow yourself to be disappointed but try not to blame your partner.

If it is a one-off instance where your partner did not care about your feelings then it can be forgiven as it won't be worth all the discussions.

3. Do a little introspection 

There are chances that what you think your expectations are actually are not your expectations but just what people around you expect. Here, you should begin by assessing what really is important to you and things on which you cannot compromise. Introspection will help you to understand who you are to the core and what exactly it is that you want.

4. Be honest with your partner

There are chances that whatever your expectations are, they are not too big for your partner to complete. However, they do not do these small little things because they have no idea that you like them. In such a situation, try to be honest with your partner and let them know about your wants and needs.

If these expectations are something that is no big deal for your partner, they will definitely try to fulfill them. If not, then you have to look for ways to let go of expectations in your relationship.

5. Accept that no relationship is a fairy tale

No matter how many movies have you watched or how many books have you read about people who have a fairy tale life, the reality is that there is no perfect relationship. All relationships have their share of ups and downs, so the sooner you come out of the idea of a perfect life, the better it would be for both you and your partner.

Understand that no matter how perfect the couple is, they will have their own share of arguments and disagreements. These arguments are a sign of a healthy bond and working through them will make your relationship strong.

6. Change your perspective

We usually give ourselves a hard time when things don't go as per our set expectations. However, in such situations, it is important to take complete control and change your perspective a little bit. Instead of getting negative and thinking about things you are missing out on, try to think about the things that are going great in your life.

Doing this will bring positivity to your life and instead of being disappointed about the things that are not in your life you will learn to let go of expectations.

7. Find your happiness

Understand that it is only you who can make yourself truly happy. You do not need a man to make you happy or fulfill your needs. Start by doing things that you love. Take new hobbies and keep yourself occupied. When you are happy in your own company, you will not expect your boyfriend to make you happy.

8. Take efforts

take efforts

Instead of keeping expectations only from your boyfriend that he will plan things for you, let go of expectations and take control of what you want. Make a romantic to-do list and include the things that you want to do with your boyfriend. This can include things like planning your future, going on an adventurous trip, having kinky sex, etc.

Show this list to your partner and together decide what all things from the list you both are comfortable doing. This way you will get whatever you want in the relationship without any disappointment.

9. Remember, quality time is more important

Many times in relationships, we get so used to our partner’s company that it becomes difficult for us to spend even some time apart. And, when the partner wants to spend some time with their friends, we blame them for not spending enough time with us.

Here, it is important to understand that instead of just being with your partner for 24 hours, it is important to spend quality time with them. Your constant nagging will only irritate your partner and soon they will just start to ignore you, which will leave you disappointed.

10. Do not be emotionally needy

There is nothing wrong if you expect some emotional support from your partner. However, it becomes a problem when you become too much dependent on them to an extent that it becomes difficult for you to function on your own. In such a situation, you must take control of your emotions, understand the reality and let go of expectations.

11. Stop comparing your bond with others

You should never compare your relationship with others' relationships, especially what you see on social media. Comparisons will make you feel that you are missing something in your bond and make you believe that there is something not right even if you are in a perfectly healthy relationship. The unrealistic expectations will only result in disappointment.

12. Remember, the way you react to a situation depends on you

In reality, you cannot control what happens in your life but what you can do is control how you react to a situation. Accept that in life, not everything can go as per your expectations. The future is always uncertain so better accept what happens with happiness rather than getting disappointed at small little things.

13. Spend time with people you love

If you feel that your relationship expectations are minimal but still your partner is not even trying to fulfill them, maybe it is time to surround yourself with people you love and those who want to see you happy. Reach out to people whom you had distanced yourself from as you were too involved with your partner. 

When you begin going out with your friends and family, it will not only fill your life with the love and care that you deserve but going out with them will also help you distract your mind. This will also free your partner a little bit from the burden of expectations.

14. There should be no fear of being alone

Many times people just fear being alone and just because they do not want to feel lonely being single, they say ‘yes’ to any person that asks them out. The fear of loneliness many times makes people compromise on things that they really want in a relationship. This results in expectations not getting fulfilled, thus resulting in a strained relationship.

Therefore, you should choose wisely and start dating only when you are fully ready for it. This will ensure that you are not disappointed later in your relationship.

15. Love yourself

How can you expect someone to love you when you do not love yourself? Only you know what you need, so instead of keeping high expectations from others, try to fulfill all your needs on your own. Start your day by telling yourself how much you love yourself and practice a few positive affirmations, which will help be positive about yourself.

Once you start loving yourself, you will not need anybody else to make you happy and you will start enjoying your company. So, look in the mirror and appreciate the beauty that you see!

16. Understand that nobody is perfect

understand that nobody is perfect

Just like no relationship is perfect, no individual is also perfect. Even after trying out your partner might not be able to fulfill your expectations. The same might happen with you when even after trying too much you could not stop your complaining attitude.

Here, you should understand that both of you are humans and it is not easy to change anyone’s nature. So better cut each other some slack and keep working on issues to reach perfection.

17. Think with a cool mind

Sometimes there is no valid reason for our disappointment and we feel that your expectations are not being fulfilled even when we have not been vocal about it. For instance, you wanted to spend some time alone with your boyfriend and before you could convey your plans to them, you got a message that they are going out with their friends.

Now, here, the husband cannot be blamed because he had no idea about what you wanted. In these situations, you need to begin by thinking with a rational mind and taking a break to cool off your mind.

18. Accept that you cannot take complete control of things

There is nothing wrong with having a few expectations and trying to make sure that they are fulfilled. However, that does not mean that you lose control of reality. 

It is important to understand that no matter how much you try, some plans will fail and some expectations will be hurt. In such a situation it is best to manage your expectations as that is something that is in your control.

19. Do not build things in your head

So you have made dinner reservations at a 5-star hotel and made plans about how everything would go. You have imagined your romantic date, what all will you order and how he will be flattered by your charm. However, you get a call from him telling you that please reschedule this dinner for some other day as it is impossible for him to leave the office early.

Suddenly you are filled with rage and there are tears? But was your partner missing the dinner the reason behind your pain? No! The contrast between the reality and the idea in your head was the reason behind your disappointment. Understand that plans change; there is never a guarantee if something will actually happen so avoid imagining what will happen in the future.

20. Understand that plans change

Yes, plans change but it does not mean that you should stop planning things as planning is very important for the smooth flow of things. The important thing to do is that even after you plan everything, expect things to change. 

Learn to manage your expectations and be okay if things do not go as you had planned. This will take practice but once you learn to let go of expectations, the disappointment will reduce to a huge extent.

21. Rethink your goals

Changing the way you set your goals can play a huge part in letting go of expectations. Make sure that your main target is always your goals and not the way you achieve them. 

For instance, if you are craving to spend some time with your husband then instead of expecting a date night at a fancy restaurant, make it a point that you ask your husband to spend time with you any day that week. This way, you won't get expectations about what you do with your husband as it will be spontaneous.

22. Don't set unrealistic expectations

If you have been with a person for a long time, you might already know what your partner is like and what his strengths and weaknesses are. Every person has his/her own limitations and things that they can never do no matter how much they try. 

You must already know what things your partner can never do for you and it is not right to make your partner fulfill some unrealistic expectations.

23. Appreciate your partner

Even if your partner is not fulfilling all your expectations, make it a point to appreciate them for what they are doing. This will bring positivity to your bond and make you more conscious of the things that your partner is doing. This will to an extent help you to ignore the things that they are not doing. 

Also, this appreciation will give confidence to your partner and they will try to do more things for you to make your bond stronger.

24. Work towards your relationship

work towards your relationship

After some time, relationships can get monotonous and boring. The various responsibilities of life somewhere dim the spark that is there in new relationships. This change often makes the couple feel that their expectations are not being met and they feel unhappy.

As a solution to this problem, you should make efforts to make each other feel loved. You should spend some quality time with each other and work on building memories together. The small things will make you happy and help you look at the positive things in your life.

25. Accept your partner as they are

Understand that you cannot customize a man according to your own needs. If your boyfriend was the same when you met him then you cannot suddenly ask them to change for you. You should try to love them unconditionally and accept them with all their weaknesses and shortcomings. 

Yes, you can have a few expectations from your partner but you should not give so much importance to these expectations that you ignore all the love and feelings for your partner.

26. Understand that your way of thinking is not the only right way

When you develop a connection with a person, you start wanting that this person should act in a way that you like. You start believing that what you want is justifiable and the other person should also agree to it. You can let go of your expectation by understanding that your way cannot be the only right way.

27. Everybody has their own love language

Everybody has a different love language, which they use to show their love. There is a possibility that you might not understand your partner’s love language, but that does not mean that they are not trying. Here, instead of asking them to make more efforts, you need to attempt to understand their love language.

28. Understand that relationships are not transactions

If you are in a relationship because you want to get something out of it then it is a transaction. Understand that if your partner gets too tired of your attitude, he might look for comfort in some other woman who would accept him without any conditions.

We all have certain needs, but instead of expecting our partner to fulfill all these needs, we should try to fulfill these needs on our own.

29. Make an agreement

If you have a need that is very important for you and on which you cannot compromise then it is better to make an agreement about it. This involves explicitly telling your partner how important the need is for you and how you want them to fulfill it. This would be a kind of agreement, which would be always better than having an argument with your partner.

30. Never question your bond

Many times when your partner is not able to fulfill your needs, you might make the mistake of questioning their intentions. This is one of the worst things that you can do to your partner as it not only results in a lot of heartaches but also breaks the trust, which can affect your partnership. 

Just because you feel that your needs are not being met, it does not mean that there is a problem with your bond.

31. Walk away

If even after trying a lot, it feels that it is impossible to let go of expectations then it is better that you walk away from the relationship. Although the real man, who is in the flesh should always be given more importance than the needs that are just in your head, it is never easy to do so. Remember, being in a partnership in which you are not happy can only bring heartbreak!

What Are Some Relationship Expectations That Are Normal?

There is nothing wrong with expecting a relationship full of love, kindness, affection, and respect. Also one deserves a bond based on loyalty and no physical or emotional abuse should be ever tolerated. 

While there are other things as well in a relationship that everybody wants to be fulfilled but these needs are different for different people. 

While it would be perfect to have a partner that would believe in having open, honest communication and would pamper you by taking you on frequent date nights, the reality is that every person is different and their ways of handling things are also different. 

However, nobody is perfect and everyone has his own weaknesses; therefore, you should make it a point to accept them as they are. Once your bond is stronger, you can work with your partner and let them know your needs in a positive way. If they love you, they will try to fulfill your needs and you should always give them points for trying.


Do expectations ruin relationships?

Yes, expectations ruin relationships as they are a breeding ground for resentment and disappointment. When we want our partners to fulfill our needs we forget that they are normal human beings who cannot read our minds and do things as we want them to do, which makes us feel hurt and not important, which in turn affects our bond.

How do you let go of expectations?

To let go of expectations, first of all, you need to understand what your expectations are and are they really your needs or all influenced by people around you. You also need to be honest with your partner and let them know what your needs are and how much you need them to be fulfilled. The above-given steps can also help you in this area.

What are the three C's in a healthy relationship?

The three C's in a healthy relationship are communication, compromise, and commitment. All three of them are important to make the bond with your partner stronger. No matter whatever the issue is, you must communicate it to your partner. After this, you must make a compromise and choose a middle ground and stick to it.

What should a woman expect from a man in a relationship?

A woman needs a man who is compassionate, kind, empathetic, ethical, and one who supports the woman in each step of life. Other than that, different women need different things, which can vary from person to person.

How do you stop expecting from someone you love?

You should start by trying to accept the person as they are, without any judgments or changes. Understand that your partner was like this when they met you and it is not right to make them change themselves now. Focus on loving them unconditionally, the way they are, and don’t forget to compliment them. 

To Sum Up

How has this content spoken to you? Do you also feel that sometimes you want too much from your loved ones? Do you have any tips to stop being a needy woman in your relationship? We’d love to hear a word from you in order to help our readers. Please comment below!


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