THE PARADOX OF INTIMACY

There are several practical reasons why partners cannot always live up to each other’s expectations. To begin with, we tend to place some unrealistic expectations on our partners, our relationships, and love in general. Unrealistic expectations stem from the very act of falling in love. Love is a powerful emotion, which causes many people to view their partners in idealistic but unrealistic ways. For example, when people fall in love, they often assume that they should understand each other completely, that they should even know what the other person is thinking without having to say a word, that love should be based on complete intimacy, and that couples should create a joint identity and downplay or even completely forgo their individual identities.

Common Examples of Unrealistic
Expectations and Beliefs

  • Relationships should be based on the complete truth.
  • Partners should share everything with each other including thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
  • Disagreements and conflicts are detrimental to relationships.
  • Romantic relationships should always be full of desire and passion.
  • Sexual desire should be exclusive; one should never have sexual feelings or thoughts for someone else.
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