Chronic Loneliness in Relationships: The Effect of Unmet Expectations

To be in a relationship where your expectation needs are not met can result in Chronic loneliness. We have been brain-washed to idealize the romantic culture, where we are made to believe that a functioning couple should make one another happy, fixed, and complete. It is as if being with someone equals the end of all problems. It is common to hear people say “I’ll be happy once I’m in a relationship,” or “I’ll be happy once I have that job,” and other I wills.

It all sounds sweet because it is not real. It is an idea, a concept, but never the truth. Having this in mind and in our expectation is unhealthy and unrealistic. Each individual is unique, therefore it won’t be sane to meet someone who can ever match one another in all aspects of life. In trying to have that, we are only immersing ourselves in pain and loneliness of having unmet expectations.

Bowlby and Weiss in 1973 stated that loneliness is the final product of a person feeling a lack of deep connection with their significant other. Dykstra and Fokkema in 2007 added that emotional loneliness is related to the absence of a partner in terms of emotional connection.

To avoid feeling chronic loneliness within a relationship, it is wise to have a realistic approach in viewing romance. There should be some life aspects where the both of you connect on such a deep level, but then there should also be room for ourselves to grow.

Ways to Save Yourself

People often think that the time to settle down is when you have a bit of money on the bank and work a decent job. Then, it’s just a matter of being deeply in love with someone. But both these criteria should no longer—or ever—be the foundation of building a successful long-term relationship.

To save yourself from all sorts of pain, such as experiencing chronic loneliness while being in a relationship, you must understand these things…

You have to realize that your partner is deeply imperfect. They have flaws upon flaws, they’re maddening in all ways that irritate you and are confusingly hard to deal with. However, there is an important additional realization: everyone is in fact like this. Once you reach the inner layer, no one else will be better. There’s no such thing as a right person, everyone is wrong in their own fascinating ways.

We need to stop thinking that love is about being understood completely, wishing to be understood for our quirks that other people don’t get. No matter how much the other seems to understand us, there will always be huge parts of our thinking that remain to be misunderstood by others.

It’s easy to think that you are normal, quite positive even. But you are only ready to share a life with another person when you are mature enough to have an active sense of what liability you are. To admit that sometimes you lose perspective, you are anxious and maddening. You are mature when you can be deeply embarrassed about your faults and are prepared to apologize for the fact on a regular basis.

We want the convenience and the comfort of being loved, we want a partner who understands us, our needs, our anger, our frustration, our wants, yet still be incredibly patient with us. Let me get the fact straight here, love is not one thing, it is two: being loved and loving. We should settle down once we are able to stop ourselves from always wanting to be loved. Get ready to do the far less familiar activity of actually loving someone.

In a world of romance, people see relationships in terms of emotions. Actually, in order to make a relationship work, a couple has to make effort to work together. That is mostly unromantic things. The two people must figure out how to change diapers, install the kitchen cabinet, and curate their life together. This is not viewed as glamorous or romantic within the view point of current society.

People who put emotion as the number one factor for a relationship to keep going will feel that something has gone wrong with their lives. That they’re not happy, that they’re chronically lonely. Yet these tasks are truly romantic, in the sense of sustaining mature love and acts as the foundation of any successful relationship.

Should it be “accept me as I am” or should it not be? It should not be. There’s a toxic idea that being loved means that your partner will never try to change you. But they should and must want to change you because you are deeply imperfect. If you’re not ready for it, you may respond defensively. But you’re ready to go into a relationship safely once you can bear having things pointed out to you. You should at key point see them as the teacher and you as the pupil, and vice versa, with neither side losing temper. After all, relationships is meant to teach us becoming better people.

With these sober criteria in mind, we can go back into the world of relationships, saving ourselves from ever experiencing chronic loneliness in a relationship created by unmet needs.

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