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xocrystalnicole / Love Lessons  / Expectations Equal Resentment

Expectations Equal Resentment

We’ve heard it before: expectations lead to disappointments.

If you expect nothing, whatever happens doesn’t affect you as much. At least, that’s the way I see it. Now, that does not mean I don’t expect—and by expect, I mean demand—certain things from people, such as respect; that’s non-negotiable. However, in general, I make every effort not to place expectations on people, especially when they didn’t sign up for my expectations.

But, I’m a work in progress.

Through watching interactions with other people and even reflecting on my own interactions with people, we tend to have preconceived notions of how things should happen or how people should react or behave in certain situations based on our own perceptions. If we believe that cheating is something that should never be forgiven or tolerated, when we see people stay in relationships after they’ve been cheated on, we’re disappointed because, by our beliefs, that’s automatic grounds for a breakup.

We make a habit of placing people in proverbial boxes and when they do anything out of the scope of the box they’ve involuntarily been put in, it becomes an issue for us. If we believe a good mate is someone who sends gifts spontaneously, wakes you up with breakfast in bed, or sends ‘Good morning, beautiful’ texts daily, the minute one or all of those things doesn’t happen, we’re disappointed. When we no longer receive love in the way we’ve expected to, or in the way we give love, it creates problems that, in actuality, may not be a real issue.

If you take nothing else from this, know and understand this: not everyone has the same heart as you.

The sooner you learn this, the better off you’ll be. I have spent so much energy and time waiting for people to give me what I gave them or to do for me what I did or would do for them, and I had to realize that it simply does not work that way. Your love will not be reciprocated to you the same way you gave it. Your kindness will not be reciprocated in the same way. Your mind and heart are not the same as everyone else’s and that’s what makes you you. Embrace that and take pride in that.

While having a conversation with someone, the topic of Love Languages came up, and if you aren’t familiar with it, I highly recommend taking the quiz and getting the book. It’s helpful whether you’re single or in a relationship. But, it occurred to me while having this conversation that many people are confused on what their love language actually means. Now, I am not an expert in love languages by any means, but I know a thing or two about a thing or two.

Reflecting on the conversation, I’ve gathered that whatever your primary love language is, that’s typically how you love others. So, for example, my primary love language is Words of Affirmations, which means I feel loved when people compliment me or express themselves to me through words. I’m a logophile to the core, so it makes sense that this is my primary love language, but, it’s also how I show love to others. I’m the woman who sends long text messages, writes letters, and wants the same in return because words are everything to me, and words coupled with actions is even better. However, this is where the disconnect occurs. Love is not selfish. It should never be about how it makes you feel or what you’re comfortable with. Instead, it should be about how the other person feels, but many of us drop the ball here.

Just because Words of Affirmations is my primary love language, it doesn’t mean it’ll be the same for my partner. So, if their primary love language is Physical Touch, and instead of providing them with physical touch, I’m giving them my words, though they may be beautiful, real, and heartfelt, it won’t be received nearly as well as me hugging them or cuddling with them. It is so important that we learn to show love to others in a way they understand and prefer. Reflecting on past relationships and situations, so many arguments and breakups could have been avoided by understanding this.

I still have to check myself when I become upset or mad because someone didn’t do something the way I expected them to or the way I would have done it. Yes, I try to avoid expectations, but I’m also human, so I fall short, often. People have apologized to me, but because it wasn’t done the way I would have done it, I wasn’t satisfied with it. People have loved me and cared about me, but because it wasn’t done in the way I would have done it, or I expected them to do it, it wasn’t good enough for me.

Don’t make those mistakes. We are all learning and growing, and for some people, they’ve never had to show love, be vulnerable, care for someone else, be a friend, or whatever the case may be. Understand that people will not always do things the way you want them to or the way you would do it, but it doesn’t make them wrong if they’re doing the best they can with what they have.

Expecting people to mirror your actions will lead to disappointment. As long as they’re trying, allow them to be human and make errors until they get it right. Be sensitive to these things, but don’t be naïve.


  • Rikki

    Wonderful post. And how have I never heard of Love Languages before?? I just went and took the quiz and it turns out my love language is Quality Time, which completely makes sense to me. I, too, struggle with people not living up to my expectations and I am really working on that. I don’t want to dismiss or diminish someone’s effort just because it might not be the way I would have done something, or preferred for them to do it. Anyway, I love what I have read so far so keep the posts coming, and congratulations!

  • Sheena Steward

    I’ve taken take love language quiz twice. I took it years apart. My love language changed which made sense due to what was going on in my life. It’s so true we treat people how we desire to be treated. The things is that might not be how they want to be treated. This totally debunks the childhood treating of treat others the way you want to be treated. Expectations are dangerous and we must be careful with them because they usually end up hurting us. I really enjoyed this post. ❤

  • Chelsea

    The Love Languages quiz and book helped me a lot during my pre-marital counseling. Also, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz helped me too. It’s a book that I keep in my rotation.

  • Nanekia Ansari

    Great post! I’ve learned that we are all different and that you can’t expect people to do what you do, but just be the best version of you, that’s all you can really do.

  • Ngumabi

    This is great
    Indeed, not expecting what we give people to come back us to us will prevent disappointments
    Everyone has their own issues to deal with and may hurt us without knowing when they don’t recognize what you did for them
    Good lesson
    Thanks for sharing

  • Crystal Lewis

    Geez, it felt like you were writing about me! I have the same issues and work each day to stop placing expectations on people. Great write up!

  • Kasi

    Totally agree with, I can think of a lot of times when this has happened to me, but I have learned from my mistakes. Like you said, you can’t have the same expectations of someone else that you have of yourself.

  • Natasha

    Lord – I just went through this, this week. I’m glad that my husband and I have a solid foundation, where I can step back from him (and vice versa) and take a moment to bring it back to the middle.

  • Eva

    The 5 love languages is a reelationship saver. People just didn’t make sense to me, and that book helped me understand them and myself.

  • Mimi Green

    I’ve had to adjust my expectations because I would end up disappointed. I love my way but I can’t expect others to love me the same way.

  • Kiwi

    Being an empath I learn a lot of hard lessons on how everyone doesn’t have the same heart as me. It sucks but that’s life just don’t give everyone your kind of heart so expectations doesn’t get crush. Sucks life has to be like that.

  • Tiffany Haywood

    This is such a true look at things. What impact me may not impact you but the result is still there. Being aware of others feeling and sensitivities is so key to successful relationships.

  • Kim

    I do have a hard time dealing with people reciprocating what I do for them. I have to take your advice, and not expect that simply because I’ve helped someone they will do the same in return.

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