I have noticed that when it comes to others expectations, my mother and my boyfriend are scary similar. Both hate being subject to any kind of demands and react rather aggressively on dependency and other people’s expectations. This is extremely problematic when you are raising a kid as witnessed from my childhood.
Understanding my mother’s problematic relationship with expectations has made me reframe the relationship and cut down any kind of reliance. It is not that she would not do things for me, it is just that this is in no way any kind of reliable source. Furthermore, I never know how and when she will react to me asking favors from her. So I generally do not.
After all the fight me and my boyfriend have had on the topic of expectations, I have taken similar kind of attitude with him. He keeps repeating that his problem is not in my expectations on him, but rather in the fact that I am unwilling to return any kind of favors, but this is just a mere circular logic. My boyfriend likes to keep himself independent and does not easily trust other people with anything. The more autonomous he is, the better. Hence, he does not even ask for anything from me and my attempts to do something for him usually end with me hearing how badly this was done. However, the unbalanced ratio of expectations in the relationship is working as a shield for him.
Avoiding expectations is one of the signs of commitment issues. Commitment phobic people do not want create any dependency in others, because that would make them feel overwhelmed rather easily. They are so afraid of being swallowed by other people and their needs that, they fight rather vigorously for their independence. It is usually subconscious procedure which is rationalized with different explanations such as – your demands are not reasonable; it is about how you express them etc etc.
Long story short, after I noticed the similarity and furthermore my adaptation of non expectations to my boyfriend, I also realized the tragic around the issue. Me adapting non- expectation attitude with my boyfriend has improved the relationship significantly, but I am not sure I want to live without ever discussing the future, without calling him when I need emotional support or without discussing finances or being taken care of when I am sick. However, as usual, we do indeed repeat earlier patterns in our life, because they feel so convenient. I have my own role in it – I am used to chasing people, longing for more commitment and attention. However, when I am not together with someone I can chase, my engulfment fear might kick in.