Lowering Your Expectations To Improve Your Relationships

Nina wrote:

Lower Your Expectations – Is This A New Trend?
“Did you advise your friend one way or the other on this?”

I would like to clarify; when I used the phrase “lower your standards”, I was not thinking about “settling”. I was thinking about the idea most relationships fail because people expect too much of them. And this doesn’t have anything to do with “settling”.

It has to do with expecting another person to make your life okay. Or expecting them to solve all problems, both yours and their own. It has to do with expecting them to make up for the times that others have let you down and just in general, expecting them to be super-human.

Because the fact is we are all besieged more often than not and if you have the expectation this other person should do, x,y,z, so that things will be better for you, are you considering they have their own life to manage? Would your relationship fare better if you took care of x and y yourself and just asked for z?  Probably.  I think not only would your relationships fare better; you would fare better as well because you would gain confidence. This is like building your own stock.

I think people trash perfectly good relationships by having unrealistic expectations of what another can do to fulfill your life. Because in reality there is very little another person can do.

Where is your Venus?

36 thoughts on “Lowering Your Expectations To Improve Your Relationships”

  1. venus in libra. I dont expect much from my friends at all. Just being there for each other when we can is enough.

  2. Oh, now I get it. Because I was confused (why would I settle for less in a friend or a man?) but now that you’re talking about solving your own problems and self-sufficiency and so forth I understand. No one person can solve all your problems and you’re in for some hurt if you think they can.

  3. Venus in Sagde. That’s what I thought you meant the first time but after reading the other comments it’s clear why you choose further clarification.

    BTW – personally I believe it’s just as important to have deliverable expectations for one’s self too. It’s a whole lot easier to make progress if you don’t expect to achieve perfection in a day . . . or in my case, this lifetime!! 🙂

    Is this unrealistic expectation thing cultural to the USA? IMO, it sure ain’t healthy!!

  4. @Neith: It may not be cultural to the US (however, I have never been in a relationship with a non-American) but it does tie in with this sort of instant-gratification-no-responsibility attitude that I’ve noticed, like people suing McDonald’s because they made them fat or this awful story I heard about a twenty two-year-old woman getting thigh work done instead of exercising … she was only twenty two.

  5. I used to be a super-romantic (Jupiter and Neptune in 7th) when I was younger, but not now, not at all. I used to think I wasn’t complete without a partner, but after getting into relationships and finding I actually wanted a lot of space, I had to think about what I really wanted.

    Expecting relationships to be magical elixirs for hurt and pain and loneliness never works. You have to find out who YOU are first. All the time I spent alone, which made me very upset when I was younger, is something I cherish now.

    Venus in Virgo, conjunct Pluto and Uranus.

  6. Venus in Gemini in the seventh: almost conjunct Sun (10 degrees orb is a bit much for me), conjunct Mercury (9 degrees), trine Moon (7 degrees), opposite Uranus (5 degrees), trine Jupiter (3 degrees), and, most importantly, trine Saturn (off by minutes).

    My expectations have gone from being dangerously low to high, but fair. By that I don’t mean that I now necessarily desire some sort of godlike youth figure, but I do demand someone who has a sense of independence and enough autonomy that he can responsibly entertain himself while I spend time with my close friends (I have lots of close friends of both genders, and we hug and all that stuff, and if someone can’t handle that, he and I will not work out).

    Do you think that the fact that the move to Virgo also coincides with the move out of Neptune’s grip (more or less) will contribute to the dropping of the scales, as it were? Saturn will have more room to be himself AND he will be moving out his sign of classical detriment.

  7. I understand the need to be realistic about relationships (Venus-Saturn conjunction) and I think that is what you meant.
    But with Venus in Scorpio in the 7th (also conj. Pluto) what else can I expect apart from a transforming and deep relationship?
    That doesn’t mean it will sort out all my problems, probably why I’m not in a relationship at all! 😉

    But crucial to me is what you said: never settle for less. Never, never, never!

  8. your dog isn’t going to break out meowing and your cat isn’t going to bark — every person has his/her own set of limitations and horizons. but tell me my head is in the clouds or i’m dreaming (it wouldn’t be the first time ;-)) i just want the best from those around me and i’ll do whatever i can to give that back — even give first. when someone i just know has it in him to be a wonderful, warm and caring human — i’ve seen it — backtracks into some kind of selfish, unresponsive and lazy lifestyle, it drives me nuts. i try and try to reach out — you should see me dance — until i totally give up. what do you do about that? in other words, what do you do, when someone that you have excellent reasons to think you ‘know’ morphs into a stranger?

  9. SaturnineScholar writes>>> – Do you think that the fact that the move to Virgo also coincides with the move out of Neptune’s grip (more or less) will contribute to the dropping of the scales, as it were? Saturn will have more room to be himself AND he will be moving out his sign of classical detriment.>>>>

    I wasn’t thinking in such technical terms. I had just come across this idea of lowering standards and was more thinking of the shift from Jupiter and Pluto in high flying Sag… into the EARTH signs. Saturn also moving into earth seems it will ground people, plus you have Saturn moving out and away from Neptune. That’s why in the original post I think (too lazy to verify!) I wrote something about having a relationship that was real if not ideal. There is just going to be a major shift into Earth here pretty quick…. whole new movie! Anyway, I was thinking broadly here… it’s a theory.

  10. I have asked elsa a question about “why does he not want to be an ‘official boyfriend’?” and she told me i should take his feelings into consideration as it is not easy for all men to make the kind of commitment as quickly as I wish and allow what really matters be my main concern and focus…
    to be honest, it took me awhile until I fully digest what she meant and try to see things not only from my perspective, from “what I think it’s best for US”…
    anyway, so it’s been over a year now, he and i have grown closer and more emotionally intimate than I ever have with anyone before; especially these few recent weeks… it sounds crazy but all of a sudden it seems as though it has become MORE OBVIOUS than ever before that he REALLY tries and make special efforts to keep this relationship growing…. needless to say, we have become closer, more open with one another- with affection AND vulnerabilites, fears….
    anyway, before you start wondering what does it have to do with the “lowering expectation” topic… well, it sure does! It doesn’t mean settling at all, but it means looking at things with a different pair of eyes, getting over your own self when you are in a RELATIONSHIIP with another person… also, finding what is really right for YOU despite what you used to think, or by any type of “standards” …it used to bother me to no ends when he just won’t make it “offical” with me and call ourselves boyfriend girlfriends… it made me think that he is un trustworthy, that he’s keeping his options open, etc…. well, even if things aren’t the way they are today, even if he indeed is mr. playboy… when it comes down to it, no one will ever be able to satisfy me unless I take responsibility to make it happen for myself- be it becoming more self-reliant, self-assured, thru self-improvement, etc…. and i think by honoring the “live and let live” attitude, this man becomes more willing to be around, more willing to make it work, to go the extra mile to keep meet me half way…does it make sense? i hope so… it’s just funny how once you lower your so-called expectations and take a look at yourself and ask if you are being fair… lowering your expectation is far from settling… it’s becoming realistic… see things as THEY ARE and take responsbility for yourself. You will find one of two things- you are either happy or you are not… but remember, no matter what you want, it’s completely up to you.

  11. Venus in Cancer. I am very giving in relationships and have learned to have very good boundaries and realistic expectations of people. I love this theory and I think it could be really good for all of us to take a more realistic approach to relationships.

  12. I voted sky-high. That’s right, baby! I want love, respect, kindness and attentive sex on demand or I’m outta here.
    I’m not kidding: I give %110 percent in my relationships. But what are my expectations?
    They ALL relate to emotions: see above. I need kindness, I need a gentle voice, I need honesty and I need sex. I don’t need you to call me every day, or buy me presents, or whisper sweet nothings in my ear.
    I need you to be GOOD to me. If you can’t do it, so be it. No hard feelings, but goodbye.

    (Venus conjunct Mars in Aries)

  13. Elsa – as always, thank you!!
    And upon a re-read, I can see that I misunderstood the intent of your post by using the word “settling”. 🙂

  14. um, venus in aquarius in the 8th house.

    I demand transformative experiences with intense people. I can’t stand shallowness. and i am not an easy person to get close to either. i’ve never been in relationships but i have know i want a best friend and a good lover with my package.

  15. I have Venus in Scorpio. I voted “High.” I expect both of us in any relationship to do our best, but understand at times, we’ll be on different wavelengths, you know?

  16. The concept of lowering expectations (not standards!) is priceless. Still – I have my expectations up at ‘high’ – that’s virgo for you I suppose. But I can drop and adjust them – they’re not a fixed rigid thing. Venus in scorp.

  17. Amber!! Bless you! My poor brain has fried circuits from this Mercury Rx so I missed the distinction you found!! Standards = High!! Expectations = Low!

    And that’s why Virgos are very high on my list!! 🙂

  18. Scorpio Sun, Venus in Libra here.

    I think standards get adjusted as one grows older. Mine are now what you may call “realistic”.

    Less expectations = less disappointments 🙂

    And I believe we should not measure our partner against our “the right one” scale, but strive to be the right one for them.

  19. Who knows?! I think they’re reasonable but have been told repeatedly that they’re sky high. Grrr.

  20. Venus is in Leo conjunct other personal planets. Trine Saturn. Trine Uranus.

    I didn’t know that venus had to do with expectations in love, and so on.

    I don’t have high expectations, in the unrealistic sense “he MUST be tall and he MUST be rich and he MUST be handsome!!!” No. I have expectations of good behavior and good conduct. However, practicality aside, if I feel that my ideals are not in any way mirrored with, understood by, or aligned with his actions and thoughts, I’m out. That’s when neptune jumps in, and all of a sudden I can go from “okay” to “wow. disillusioned, must get out.” Guess what’s Neptune on the angles for you.

    (Don’t know if my self assessment here in relation to astrology is even correct, hehehe).

  21. P.s. re: Kashmiri’s post on “sky high!” expectations – I read yesterday that Kashmiri had v conjunct m in a grand fire trine. It’s funny that we have similar configuration but we voted so differently 😛

  22. I asked this really nice guy out to a baseball game & he proposed 2 weeks later BEFORE SEX BTW! We were married 8 months from our 1st date, I was 22 he was 26. On 2/22/11 we celebrated our 26th anniversary.

    I’m Cancer in 10th, moon in Pisces, w/SIX planets in water signs. He’s Capricorn in 6th, moon in Aquaries w/ 3 planets in Fire, Earth & Air, 1 in water. He’s balanced, me – NOT SO MUCH! I have to work very hard to be a grownup & a good partner sometimes.

    With 6 planets in water signs my imagination is always on overdrive but for whatever reason it works for us – HE works for us. He does say sometimes “It must be so nice to not be bound by reality”. I say “I reject you’re reality and insert my own”!

    We’ve successfully maneuvered through these waters but what’s really bad is when our daughter brought home this really nice guy I had the grandchildren named pretty early on in their friendship! She’s Pisces in 10th, moon in Virgo w/6 planets in Earth, he’s Leo in 10th, moon in Gemini w/ 4 Fire, 3 Earth, 2 Air & 1 water.

    Even though the guy is MARRIED to someone else now I just felt they weren’t DONE YET!!

    Like my husband said “It must be nice to not be bound by reality”. HAHAHA!!!


  23. My Venus is in 7th house Virgo. I completely agree with what you are saying. It’s not standards..it is expectation. This venus placement expects A LOT out of “other” in a relationship. I’ve lowered that significantly. You have no idea how much ease it brings and how much stress leaves with the release of expectation.

    Not the expert at it yet..but I do know enough to tell ya it pays to get rid of the expectation part. Just ditch it.

  24. debdeb I have to say reading old posts from 4 years ago..is an eye opener for me. I’m in a totally different kind of relationship, for one. I can see how purposefully I deluded myself, for another. Now that relationship is over and there is distance I can see things more clearly (I WOULD like you to call me everyday; I DO appreciate the gifts from Leoman and I DO love him telling me how much I mean to him! Right now I’m having a Pluto transit to my Venus:)

  25. I have learned to way lower my expectations and take care of my own shit if possible. Nobody’s gonna take care of me but me.

  26. I am right there with you Josi. Venus in Virgo too here and I have had to learn a lot of hard lessons about too many expectations in relationships. Demanding that people ‘be’ a certain way is futile. They either are that way or they aren’t, you can’t change that. You just have to decide if what they ARE is worth it/good for you/what you want.

    I’ve learned a lot about putting people on pedestals (as this is a form of expectation as well) and also about expecting 100% back based on what I put in. If you spend $20,000 on a new deck and privacy fence for your house, do you expect to be able to add that $20,000 to the top of your asking price when you sell? Not hardly. Will it help you sell faster? Probably, but you don’t make the investment because you expect to get it back dollar for dollar. We invest in our relationships because having them enriches us. Not because we expect tit for tat from our partner. Pros and cons are weighted depending on MANY factors – some are more important than others. I still struggle with this sometimes but I seem to be able to correct myself when I feel derailed. Thanks for the post Elsa. Great reinforcement for me!

  27. Avatar
    Anna in Canada

    I do think this unrealistic expectation thing is far more common and accepted in North America. I’ve almost always dated Europeans and my husband is from Barcelona as am I. I’ve noticed that my “immigrant friends” and family have a far more realistic attitude towards relationships. North American women seem obsessed with making over everything: themselves, their men, their children. European women do not put their men OR their children on pedestals. We also know that our husbands are our husbands–they should not be saddled with multiple roles: best friend, therapist, daddy figure, brother (ick!). American sitcoms that involve “stupid dads” and mouthy know-it-all kids make me cringe. And don’t even get me started on talking animals…

  28. I guess I’ve never really had high expectations for anyone I’ve ever dated. I mean, treat me well, accept my flaws & quirks (and there are many), don’t lie to me, occasionally read a book. In return I’ll do the same. I’ve never looked at a guy as a project. I mean if you want a person to be a certain way….look for someone that already embodies what you want.

  29. This resonates with me highly today. Last night my husband told me he wants to move out. The things he expects from me are in my view sky high, but to him they are normal. It’s a recipe for dissatisfaction all around.

  30. Venus conjoined Pluto in Virgo – picky picky and wanting intense love. And sextile Jupiter and Neptune in Scorpio – once hooked, delusionally optimistic! Took a long time to get bad patterns knocked out of me. I also have Moon conjunct Uranus in Leo that wants emotional freedom (and gives it, too) and someone a bit unusual/interesting. Conflicting aspects are hard to meet in a relationship partner. I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of expectations, and appreciate the good things that keep my relationship satisfying.

  31. I have Venus in Libra in the 11th and it trines my Mars and conjoins my Uranus. I don’t think I have unrealistic expectations. Just the golden rule: Treat me the way you’d like to be treated. It’s really that simple, or should be. If not, then all bets are off.

  32. this is still a great article for many people, even if it’s not in saturn in virgo.

    “I think people trash perfectly good relationships by having unrealistic expectations of what another can do to fulfill your life. Because in reality there is very little another person can do.”

    -very true.

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