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Expectations and Dealbreakers in a Relationship

In any relationship, honest communication is key.

Andreas Haslinger/ Unsplash
Andreas Haslinger/ Unsplash

“I would love to get into a relationship. I want to be in one because I do not like being alone and I would like to share my life with someone.”

“I am looking for someone who respects me and does not judge me.”

“I am looking for imperfect partner.”

“I am looking for my best friend.”

These are some of the broad expectations that single urban Indians who are looking for a life-partner shared with us. Interestingly when we asked them to be more specific and break down their expectations further, most of them could not. So, we are doing it for them and you. We share below some of the specific expectations from a relationship that single urban Indians have.

Judgments vs Understanding

Being judgmental or condescending is a dealbreaker. For example telling your partner that he is not attractive because he wears glasses or is bald, telling your partner that she is unattractive because she is dark skinned or overweight – are criticisms that are judgmental and hurtful to your partner and therefore dealbreakers. There may be disagreements about why something is important to your partner. For example: in Indian families it is expected that women wear a traditional Indian outfit when meeting elders or during festivals. You may not be someone who holds this belief but if you take the effort to understand why this is important to your partner you can agree to comply. Give and take is a normal part of any relationship. Your differences in perspective can enrich your relationship. They don’t have to be points of contention.

Respect vs Ego

Respect is the foundation of any relationship and lack of it should be a dealbreaker. There may be instances where one partner gets upset in front of family or friends or cracks a joke which is personal or may take a decision without checking with the other partner. Egos may be hurt but if done rarely, these may not be signs of disrespect. It may their personality or some external issue. Understand the reason and learn the difference. 

Parents and siblings are an important part of our lives and it is expected that partners treat them with respect. However, there may be instances when your partner may not show the level of appreciation for your family members as per your expectation. This may not be a dealbreaker if you try to understand the situation and agree to a middle ground. 

Communication vs Perception 

Each of us have our own approach when it comes to communicating. Issues arise when your expectations about how your partner should communicate are different from the way they are comfortable communicating. Take time to understand your partner’s style of communication rather than forcing them to communicate in your style. Do not break your relationship if your communication style does not match.

In any relationship there will be disagreements. It is not possible to always agree on things. Implied or overt pressure to agree with everything is a dealbreaker. For the relationship to be healthy, there will be and should be disagreements. Each partner should be able to share their perspective. Sometimes it’s acceptable to agree to disagree. 

Love language vs Material love

Many people believe that gifts are the true love language. It may be for some. For others it may be words of affirmation, acts of service or spending quality time. People show their love in different ways. Understand your partner’s love language, do not limit your concept of love to physical intimacy and material love. Love can be shown beyond this expectation. Do not break your relationship if your love language styles do not match.

A relationship is what you make out of it – no two relationship experiences are identical. Dealbreakers differ for each individual. Communicating your expectations and on occasion compromising on them is an expression of love too. 

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