Have you ever watched a romantic comedy, or even a young couple newly in love, and find yourself wishing that your own love life had that much unrestricted devotion and passion? Or perhaps the more jaded among you look at those starry-eyed couples and think, "Just wait a few years and see if the thrill is still there when you have children/a mortgage/a job you hate/etc."

The difficult reality is that those initial feelings are far from permanent. In fact, researchers have found that the excitement of romantic love lasts for only a year before fading away.

While we all want to feel loved and accepted, maintaining a constant state of bliss in a romantic relationship is not going to happen. Successful long term relationships require adjusting your expectations and learning to compromise and adapt.

Here are four tips that will guide you in setting realistic relationship expectations.

High Expectations Lead to Disappointment

When you're browsing online dating profiles, you probably have an idea of what kind of person you're hoping to find. If you've been talking to someone online for a little while, you may have a difficult time separating the reality of who they are with the fantasy you've built up in your mind. Expecting your partner to always be the "right" person and behave in the "right" way will only lead to disappointment. The truth is that your partner will not always reach your ideal standard, and you will not always reach theirs. By adjusting your expectations and being willing to allow for imperfections, you can enjoy a healthy and lasting relationship.

Recognising Your Deep-Rooted Expectations

Maybe you grew up in a family where heated debates and openly expressed emotions were a normal part of everyday life. Maybe the opposite was true. Your expectations are often shaped by your early family life, and if your partner's upbringing was different from your own, you may have different ways of communicating. Recognising your deep-rooted expectations can save you from a lot of heartache by helping you see how you and your partner can adapt to each other's communication styles.

Expect to Work Hard

In the movies, the perfect couple has a perfect relationship where any problem is a minor inconvenience that will only endear them to each other all the more. There's a reason that romantic comedies feature these perfect relationships: they are unrealistic, and as fun as they may be to watch, they don't reflect our imperfect realities. In your own romantic relationship, expect to work hard. Your partner is not always going to say the right thing, you will not always feel desirable and attractive and you will occasionally feel lonely and misunderstood. This doesn't mean that the relationship is doomed; it just means that you and your significant other have the opportunity to grow and improve.

SEE ALSO: Run Your Way to the Perfect Relationship


By opening up the lines of communication, you and your partner can better understand the expectations that you have of each other. You'll both have the opportunity to let each other know what is not realistic in your own relationship while being more sensitive toward each other's hot button issues.

If you are ready to begin a relationship, an online dating community is a great place to start. At Love2Date Singles, we have a wide range of lifestyle sites, making it easy to find singles near you who share your interests and goals. Signing up is free, so create your account today.