THE BLOG

Why It's OK to Have Expectations in Dating

06/01/2015 01:00 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2016
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I see so many women who are afraid to want what they want when it comes to relationships that it breaks my heart.

Women have come so far in our world. We can ask for equal pay. We can entertain any career and educational aspirations we wish, but we are so afraid to want a fulfilling romantic relationship. It's as if the mere desire of these things will turn us into desperate 1950s throwbacks or some version of a Stepford Wife.

Instead we're told we can "date like a man" and that it is somehow liberating to have a different man in our beds every weekend.

Since when? Women have always been able to do this. If you are under 90 years old you can probably go to a bar on any night and come home with someone. If you find a man to have no-strings sex with you but your needs aren't being met, what's so liberating about it?

When you go to work every day, you expect to get paid. When you make an investment, you hope to receive a return. Every action, great or small, is undertaken with a hoped-for result in mind. There's nothing wrong with having some expectations in dating and relationships.

Admit that you have expectations because you do! Pretending you don't in order to "play it cool" isn't going to do you any favors.

Having expectations for how you will be treated identifies you as a quality person. When you have expectations, it shows that you value yourself. You value your time. You know what you want and you're going for it. You're not just hanging out and seeing how it goes, you know what kind of life you want to have and you are on your way to achieving it.

This is awesome! We all respect and admire people who are on a mission, who are reaching for their dreams. They are so much more inspiring than those who are just waiting to see what life hands them.

Having expectations provides internal structure. When you have some expectations you have direction.You know where you're heading, what you're reaching for.

If you have expectations of a beautiful relationship, you won't be so hot for a "friends with benefits" arrangement. You'll know you're reaching for more and you won't get sidetracked by things that don't lead to your end goal. You'll make decisions that are consistent with what you want instead of sabotaging yourself.

Have expectations for your life and relationship goals, not necessarily for outcomes on individual dates. You can still go out with a new man and enjoy an evening getting to know him. Having goals for your life doesn't mean that you have to be so laser-focused that you never have any fun or that you interrogate every man you go out on a date with.

You can still be a nice person, fun to be around, loving and friendly. You can still have a perfectly wonderful date with someone who doesn't end up being the One. You just don't need to spend years dating someone who's a terrible fit for you or having casual relationships that go nowhere because you're not valuing your own dreams.

Expectations are a good, natural part of life as long as you are honest about them and take responsibility for them. Hidden expectations cause trouble.

Own your desires, don't apologize for them or deny their existence. Once you're ok with them, you'll probably find that most other people are too and are very supportive in helping you attain them. After all, they have expectations and desires too.