Ups and downs in love are a common occurrence, whether you’re single, dating, divorced, in a good relationship, in a complicated relationship, or married. When love is going well, you’re in sync with “what is”, life is more effortless and you have a sense of well being. What happens when love becomes difficult?
The Problem: Our Expectations
Shutting down and stress go hand-in-hand when love isn’t going so well. Difficult experiences in love — such as miscommunication leading to misunderstanding, passive aggressive behavior towards a partner who’s upset you, being mistreated by a partner, etc. — make it hard to respond from a loving place. We instinctively respond negatively because what’s happened isn’t what we want, our needs aren’t being met and we’re not able to “just be” with what’s happened.
In other words, our expectations of how someone or something should be cause unnecessary pain. This can make things seem worse than they really are. Expectations are draining because we’re looking for a certain outcome to happen. Trying to control the outcome keeps our mind closed and unable to see other possibilities. Expectations keep us locked into the way we’ve always done things and allow for no flexibility and no trust that the outcome may be even better than we expected.
Consider that expectations about yourself, your partner and your love life don’t allow you to move with ease through the difficulties of love. What if there’s a healthier, more productive way to move through these tough situations?
The Solution: Set Intentions
Instead of having expectations on how your love life should be, set intentions. Intentions open up perspectives and possibilities that better support you on your journey to love. You’ll travel with more ease without the internal struggle and judgment of having to have things be a certain way. Intentions soothe your soul because you’re able to be with what is. Intentions are more flexible because you’re open to receiving what you’re supposed to have for where you are on your life’s path.
Set an intention by being clear on what you want and being detached from the outcome. Don’t be concerned with “how” things are going to happen. When you’re clear on what you want, then behave and take action in ways that support your heart’s desire, your results may be even better than you could have imagined. For instance, if you clearly want to be treated like a lady, leave your masculine energy at work and tap into your feminine traits in your love life. Do this consistently and great results will happen naturally.
Do You Have Expectations or Intentions?
Here are some ways to determine whether you have expectations or intentions.
You have expectations when you’re:
- Holding tightly to your point of view
- Unable or unwilling to see the other person’s perspectives
- Feelings are draining you (e.g. unhappy, disappointed, depressed, etc.)
- Closed off to someone for superficial reasons
- Wanting things to happen a certain way
- Trying to control your partner (or the outcome)
- Not able to lighten up about love
- Looking to someone else to fulfill your unmet needs
You have intentions when you:
- Would rather be loved than right
- Feel open and inspired
- Have a sense of freedom
- Have faith that all is and will be well
- Don’t take things too seriously
- Are open to learning and making improvements from within
- Are open to the outcome
Shift from Expectations to Intentions
Setting intentions doesn’t happen naturally. I make a conscious effort to set intentions in certain situations to keep from falling into expectations. I’m hopeful that in time and with practice, intentions will come more naturally to me.
My intention for you is that you practice shifting from expectations to intentions. I promise that when you consistently set intentions, you’ll notice a big improvement in love. What are three intentions you can set for your love life?