image of Tachina Lee on Unsplash

High expectations

It is not wrong to have people you admire and look up to but have room for disappointment. I am sure you might have heard this several times. When you engage in a new business initiative, job, and relationship you move from being nervous to being worried. Worried about any loss. Loss of this job, partner, and maybe the money you invested in the business. People along the way also add to those fears.

A friend has just once asked, “what is the number one cause of all relationship failures and breakups?” My answer to that was based only on my experiences and what I’ve seen. It was “High expectations.” Getting in a relationship with those kinda expectations leaves you with nothing but disappointment and ending up cutting ties with whoever you were involved with most times.

When we get into a relationship, one of the biggest mistakes is to only expect to get and hardly think about how much you can invest. It is the getting involved with high hopes and only focused on sharing good times and best memories with this potential partner. The thing is to be aware that you are also going to be sharing sorrows, problems, troubles, and cleaning up dirty laundries with this person, company, and friend.

What you see now is somehow mostly what you will always get. Let it sink in. There is absolutely nothing wrong in giving love and expecting a favour in return. We all want that. It is somehow not always ideal to think that you can always give love without some kind of reciprocity. We tend to brainwash ourselves to think that loving someone unconditionally comes automatically. In fact, you decide to forgive and move on with or without the same person(s) after all the flaws and against all odds.

The measure you put up for people you engage with as to how much you will get will sometimes frustrate you. It is because people including yourselves are vulnerable to mistakes, flaws and maybe deliberately sabotage the relationship into failure so to get away with it.

You subscribe to a MegaChurch or small one it doesn’t really matter and you somehow feel exhausted because you’ve never expected your senior pastor to be involved in molestation of kids. High expectations! These people are humans and they have similar challenges and weaknesses as you do. Never put your trust on any of the men or women of the cloth and hoping to be safe. Fellowship when you can and never to think you are safe at all.

Maybe you join a big company with the highest good moral values kept. Great team of people, friends and the culture is up to the standards. You go into it without thinking anything will ever happen against those values. As long as it is all humans running the organisation be alert. Hyper friendly people in public somehow are the worst in private life. It is because that is the face for the public that they only rehearse for. Not all of them but some. My point is to check your blindspots when you associate yourself with someone, something and everyone. The root cause of all relationship failures is high expectations.

There are horrible people in public that you get surprised how they treat people in private and their surroundings. Some politicians sound so very troublesome yet in their lives are soft and caring people, very sound when it comes to family matters. You expect them to be dictators at home. Celebrities being the nicest people with all successful career looking and affording people yet are not getting along with their neighbours, relatives and families. Some even become activists for change but struggling to keep up at home. High expectations.




I'm a freelance writer, a runner and a public servant in South Africa. I write about everyday life experiences.

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Malibongwe Sithelo

Malibongwe Sithelo

I'm a freelance writer, a runner and a public servant in South Africa. I write about everyday life experiences.

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