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Once we learn to identify our own individual, healthy needs, we must also learn not to be attached to the expectation of how those needs get fulfilled. This will always generate lots of surprises. That is when the adventure begins; the adventure the heart was crying for. Surprises create a sense of adventure; surprises you can enjoy together; surprises that create new and exciting possibilities for the two of you to experience.



Some of the surprises may show up as challenges for the relationship. They bring couples together and give them something to share. When two people really love each other and are committed to work together, those kind of surprises create the kind of conversation that empowers both love partners to continue to self-inquire, to investigate their curiosities about what they can do to stand together, to be challenged by the surprise and know that everything is going to be okay.



Problems are not to break us. Working together on problems makes us stong.



While there is something to be said about "expecting the best," we must remember that disappointment comes from unfulfilled expectations. This does not mean that when your expectations do not get met, that the results are always bad. It only means that if your expectations don't get met. Disappointment usually follows.



By thinking in terms of needs instead of expectations, we create vulnerability. Having needs with no expectations about how they will be fulfilled causes us to feel vulnerable. We have more to lose because now we know what we want. The outcome is less predictable. There is some risk involved. And we have a responsibility for getting our needs met.



Never give yourself away in the relationship. By "give yourself away," I mean making sacrifices that conflict with what you need from the relationship. Never sacrifice your own personal integrity with regard to getting your needs met. The healthier image you have of yourself, the less likely this will occur.



There is a difference between duty and responsibility. When duty does not meet our needs, it is something to be avoided. For example, if there are children in the relationship you have a responsibility to take care of them. When it feels like duty, you have a responsibility to take care of your need to not have it feel like duty.



We all experience the need to have healthy choices exercised and when they don't show up in our relationship, we either choose to have conversations about them or not. If the choices are abusive and therefore unacceptable, we begin to think about making a responsible choice to leave the relationship. However, always picking our lover apart because their choices are not the ones we would make can only point the relationship in the wrong direction.



If we could accept the notion that everyone is doing the best they can, regardless of whether their choices are our choices, our attitude about our relationship would improve and perhaps the relationship we have would become the relationship we enjoy being in.



We must learn to distinguish between expectations and needs. Everyone has a need to be loved, to be understood, to be accepted and to be forgiven when necessary. For us to have expectations about how those needs get fulfilled can only cause disappointment.



The number one problem in relationships is undelivered communication. It's the things we don't communicate because the last time we did, it caused a confrontation, argument, anger, frustration and we want to avoid these feelings so we stuff them. The next thing you know is, your partner didn't take out the garbage and you want a divorce and it's not about the garbage.



In my opinion, the number two problem in relationships revolves around unfulfilled expectations.



So, how do you sidestep the disappointment that always comes from unfulfilled expectations? Who wins the "expectations versus needs" dilemma? Needs, of course! You focus on your needs and make a commitment to never have any undelivered communication about them. Talk about what you need with your partner. Express your needs with love.



Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems.



We often call things that happen that cause disappointment, problems. To avoid disappointment or problems. . . as best you can, have no expectations, good or bad. When you have expectations there are never any surprises because the outcome is almost always predictable.



Disappointment follows unfulfilled expectations. The predicaments that follow are predictable. If your relationship is not full of surprises, it is most likely very boring and may border on being unhealthy. Having healthy needs is a natural and creative attitude to embrace.



It is important to allow your love partner the freedom to fulfill your needs in their own best way.



What you can be with in life lets you be!



When you know what you need from your relationship and can express those needs to your partner and be okay with allowing them to love you the way they can love you, you will see a shift in your relationship that goes far beyond what you ever could have imagined!




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