Realistic Relationship Expectations
If I were to tell you about a young lady who is waiting for a rich handsome prince riding on a white horse to appear one day and marry her, surely you would say that this young lady is living in the dream world.
However, if we could peek into the hearts of a large number of the individuals that are hoping to be married, we would find similar dreams of no small proportions.
Living in a dream world
In many areas of life we find that we have our dreams juxtaposed with reality. It is possible to continue living in our dreams, and thus to be disappointed. Or we can accept reality and seek to enjoy the blessings of God in our actual lives.
When it comes to finding a life partner, we may have dreams and expectations with regard to the physical appearance of our spouse, the place where we will live, the standard of living, and the life as a family. But what are realistic expectations?
The physical appearance
There should be a physical attraction to our spouse, but this does not mean that our life partner needs to be the most attractive person in the world. We need to be realistic in our expectations. Given that most people are average in beauty, it is not reasonable to expect our spouse will be the most stunningly beautiful or handsome.
It may be that we think ourselves to be very attractive, and that therefore we deserve someone as beautiful as we are. The question is, are you as beautiful as you think you are?
If most people are average in beauty, chances are small that you will find someone more beautiful than average. It is important not to live with a delusion about your own appearance and about what you can expect with regard to the appearance of your future spouse.
If we understand reality, we are not going to expect something that does not exist, and also we will not have bitterness toward God because He does not give us what we want.
As you become acquainted with your partner, you learn to appreciate the both the inner and outer beauty that God has given him or her. You learn to love not only the outer person, but the combination of the inner person together with the outer person.
The character of your partner combined with his or her appearance gives you a fuller picture of your spouse. In addition, when we love someone truly and in a mature way, according to the will of God, the outer appearance is not so important.
Character trumps appearance any day of the week.
The place where you live
Where you can live is affected by various factors such as where you work, proximity to family and the local assembly, and your financial situation.
Perhaps you desire to live in a particular location and you are waiting for a spouse who will help you fulfill this dream. But it is quite possible that one of the factors listed above will clash with your desire.
Is this a sufficient and justified reason to disqualify a potential spouse? Will I give up a relationship because I would have to let go of my dream dwelling place?
Everyone has his own order of priorities, but one should remember that the person that you will share your life with is more important than the place where you will live. And of course it’s always possible to find some way to compromise on the place of residence without losing out on the spouse.
The standard of living
We all have a certain standard of living that we are used to. Usually we expect that for the rest of our lives we will be able to enjoy the same (or a higher) standard of living.
For example, there are people that cannot envision themselves living in an apartment rather than in their own private house. Is this a justified reason for rejecting a potential life partner?
Will I give up a spouse to not have to lower my standard of living?
It’s important to note that it is possible to improve the standard of living if we know how to plan our family life and how to manage the family finances properly. One shouldn’t disqualify a particular individual due to his financial situation.
Life as a family
Surely you have heard it said that life is no picnic . Well, it’s true. It is important to understand what family life is before getting married, that we may not be caught by surprise later on, when we are dealing with the reality.
The husband has to know beforehand that he needs to care for all the needs of his wife, and to love her. The wife needs to know that she needs to accept the authority of her husband. One must always remember that both are people who are sinners, and therefore one must expect difficulties. Whoever thinks that everything is pink in the married life needs to wake up to reality and to understand what he is approaching.
I want to encourage you that the most important part of reality is that God is good and gives good gifts to His children. We need to know how to be appreciative of His gifts, and to rejoice in them.