Setting Good Expectations
Are you looking for love but finding disappointment? You may be asking for too much too soon. Five experts shed some light on what to expect from romance.
Keep It Light at First
While the wisdom may seem a bit conventional, experts say one of
the best ways to win at love is to hold off physical intimacy until you really
get to know someone.
"Sex changes everything," says relationship coach and matchmaker
"I always tell my female clients not to have sex until he says 'I love
you' -- because if you become intimate too soon you'll be thinking 'Oh, now
we're a couple,' while he's thinking 'Oh boy that was sure fun,'" says
Darnay, author of the book Dating 101.
The end result, she says is that one partner is playing by one set of
relationship rules, while the other may not even be on the game board.
To avoid all these complications, Darnay advises both male and female
clients to keep things light and breezy -- and put no expectations on each
other -- for at least a few months.
Deepen Your Commitment Gradually
While expecting too much is sure to kill a relationship, the opposite can
also be true. Indeed, experts say that when a natural sense of entitlement
doesn't rise up and come to the surface of a love affair, it won't last -- no
matter how hot the passion.
As your feelings for one another deepen over time, the relationship should
progress to reflect that, says Sadock. Both partners should give more of
themselves and expect more in return. As such, she says it's reasonable to
expect that you will not only begin to spend more time together, but also give
more to each other emotionally.
"Ideally, you should expect that you and your partner will feel closer
at 10 months than you did at one month," Sadock tells WebMD.
Psychologist Dennis Lowe, PhD, offers this advice to increase your odds of
success: Think a little bit less about what you expect from the
relationship and a little bit more about what you can bring to it.
"When you think of the traditional marriage vows when people are
pledging to honor and cherish, they talk a lot about what they are going to
give to the relationship. Today, when people talk about a relationship they
often talk in consumer terms -- like what am I going to get out of this, and
what are you going to do for me," says Lowe, founding director of the
Center for The Family at Pepperdine University in California.
When partners place at least some responsibility for the success of the
relationship on themselves, Lowe tells WebMD they ultimately will get more from