There has been much said about expectations. From “your expectations are too high” to “you have no expectations” to “your expectations are too low”.
Some become disillusioned when their expectations are not met. Does that mean their expectations were unrealistic, or simply that the other party involved wasn’t concerned or aiming to meet those stated expectations?
Conversely, what of those who are devoid of expectations, as life has washed them dry, leaving them to believe any expectations they may have could not or would not be met?
Is there a middle ground that fits all? Or is it incumbent upon the two parties involved in any given situation to hash out what their expectations are and whether they are realistic for both parties? Must one walk away, realizing they can’t possibly fulfill said expectations, or can the other party live with and acknowledge an attempt at reaching those loftily held hopes by the other(s) involved is acceptable? Must someone participating in the relationship become completely overwhelmed in their attempt?
A presumption by one party that the other(s) will automatically conform or reach their unstated goals for the relationship whether working or personal, is folly in and of itself. Presume “makes an ass of u and me” and it does.
What of assumptions? Without speaking your mind, stating your hopes, everyone involved is left in a quandary, left guessing, and thereby open to making a mistake and “assuming” they understand the situation, thereby leaving both parties unfulfilled. One because their unspoken expectations were left unmet, the other disappointed they haven’t met those expectations, thereby feeling they “missed the mark” and everyone is left dissatisfied.
A working relationship requires effort, clear communication, respect, dedication, and yes, expectations. Expectations clearly outlined and a thorough discussion that leaves everyone in a position of understanding, therefore acceptance. If a party in the relationship doesn’t make any attempt to reach the agreed upon expectations, reevaluate the situation, make sure you can live with the status quo to remain happy.
In hindsight, I realized why our relationship failed. My expectations weren’t met by Kevin. He hadn’t tried. In reality, I’d never really outlined what I expected of him, nor him of me. We floated, literally, mistakenly, on a cloud of “love”. The cloud dissipated over time and I was left disillusioned and saddened. It took me awhile to understand that had been the problem, our problem. We’de parted ways, perhaps because we were too young, too immature, too unaware of the stressors of life, and perhaps we didn’t try hard enough.
Thankfully, our folly hadn’t involved anyone else. We parted on fairly good terms. There was no bitterness, hatred, jealousy or revenge involved. We simply had nothing left to work towards.
Today was the fateful day. We were to meet for the first time in over eight years. I was surprised it hadn’t happened sooner since we were both involved in similar professions. While Marco was a builder, I was in real estate and our company was contracted to find available land for projects involving mid-level buildings that were designed to encourage entry and lower level professionals to obtain apartments and condos that were available for sale.
I felt both trepidation and excitement. After all, we hadn’t parted on bad terms, and I wasn’t expecting acrimony of any kind. Certainly, for my part, I had no bitterness toward our failed partnership.
Speak of the devil, there he is. I’d spotted him immediately across a crowded lobby. He looked more attractive, with his tall and fuller build. He’d obviously been working out. He was always health conscious, not obsessively so, but he took care of himself eating well and working out daily.
I knew the moment he spotted me. He turned, faced me, and eyebrows lifted, sending that sexy smile my way as his brown eyes warmed. He headed to me, hand outstretched. “Ava, lovely to see you again.”
“Marco, you’re looking very fit and happy.”
“I am, Ava, very. This new project purports to be a special one, close to my heart.”
Marco seemed surprised at my answer as if unsure I’d remember.”
“How is your family?”
“They are well. Emma and Jason have two little ones and a third on the way. Gary is finishing college and entering university.”
I laughed, “He still hanging on to your every word?”
Marco laughed, “Yeah, somewhat.” His following smile was slightly embarassed.
He looked over at me, “I have something to do, but after, would you join me for dinner?”
“I’d like that, Marco. I won’t be free for a couple hours, say 7:00 at Angelo’s?”
“Sounds good. I’ll meet you there. I remember how independent you are. You like having control over coming and going.”
He remembered that. “Yes, I do. Although hopefully I’ve grown some and control isn’t quite such an issue.” He seemed surprised.
“And you, as I recall, railed against my independence. You felt I should be handled with gloves. Gloves I didn’t require.”
“So, we have both changed, grown.”
“Perhaps our expectations of each other . . .”
“I’m sorry, Ava, I have to go, I’m on a tight schedule today. But I’d love to continue this discussion over dinner.”
“I’m looking forward to it.” He reached out and touched my cheek with his fingers an expression of anticipation and perhaps pleasure momentarily lit his eyes and certainly in his tentative touch.
As I walked away I thought, this could be something. I decided, I’d like that. From his reaction, perhaps Marco felt the same. Time would tell.