We have evolved into a culture that encourages ridiculous expectations. Every one should own a house regardless of the reality of their debt. 2009 has evolved into a year of accepting greater reality and reducing our expectations. This is a good thing. 2008 was a well deserved reality check on America being frivolous with money.
In relationships, people have huge piles of expectations. A parent wants their child to go to med school because that’s their profession. A young man dating doesn’t want his date to have her own condoms. A wife wants her husband to be more like her & express his feelings. Accepting reality reduces expectations. Reduce disappointment by exchanging it for acceptance. Therapy is most often about the gap between expectations & reality.
On January 9, 2007 there was an article in the NY Times that reported: “Over the past thirty years, the citizens of Denmark have scored higher than any other Western country on measures of life satisfaction, and scientists think they know why…the country’s secret is a culture of low expectations.” Disappointment is a huge part of life. Consider the first time a child loses a balloon or a pet as small glimpses into reality that prepares them for the future. It’s important work to make disappointment bearable for our entire lives. It’s our job to feel it and comfort ourselves as we all must learn to bear disappointment. Disappointment is a part of every relationship and avoiding disappointment is to avoid life.