"I have a right to expect, with confidence, a romantic partner who":
- Cares about my well-being and shows it (not just words)
- Doesn't play games- effectively communicates (is direct and honest)
- Is reliable and consistent- Yes, maturity
- Turns towards me, not away; doesn't keep intimacy at arm's length
- Treats me with kindness, love, and affection
- Is fully committed and loyal
- Never shames/belittles/abuses - For any reason, whatsoever
- Makes me feel heard, understood, validated
- Makes me feel safe-- emotionally and physically
- Whose life goals are compatible with my own
- Is receptive to compromise; resolving conflict; working through "bad times" when needed
- Doesn't try to rescue me from my problems; can walk 'side-by-side' in support of me helping myself
- Doesn't expect me to rescue or heal his/her problems or be their pathway to spiritual enlightenment
- Shares equal power in our relationship- doesn't act better-than
- Loves and values me no matter what my size or shape
- Can laugh, play, and share positive experiences
- Honors differing opinions/viewpoints – yes, happy couples lovingly agree to disagree
- Desires a mutually satisfying sex life
- Supports my goals, pursuits, dreams- Is my cheerleader
- Accepts who I am, both my strengths and imperfections (doesn't try to control/change me)
- Is emotionally present -- not "checked out", distant, or emotionally unavailable
- Is reassuring whenever I feel down, anxious, or insecure
- Shows empathy when I'm vulnerable (express my needs, feelings, concerns)
- Treats me like a best friend, never an enemy
- Respects my physical and emotional boundaries
- Responsive and caring about my relationship needs (e.g., closeness/intimacy) -- Core relationship needs should always be non-negotiable
- Acts and treats me like an adult; not a child- Indeed, I am a grown-up
- Openly includes me in their life and inner circle- Doesn't hide or keep secrets
- Creates adequate time for our relationship- to spend together; talk, play/have fun, go on dates, etc.
- Makes me feel he/she always "has my back" -- An essential feeling in a secure partnership
All of these expectations are reasonable, healthy, and appropriate.
Secure people embrace them. So can you. You are worthy of it.
Indeed letting go of low expectations and embracing high expectations is crucial to whether or not you will experience a genuinely happy, fulfilled relationship. Adopting them in your life is an act of self-care.
Moreover, doing so is essential to overcoming any love addiction, codependency, and insecure attachment patterns.
Always insist on kindness, love, affection, and respect. And, of course, it's essential to exhibit the same attributes yourself.
A couple more points: Some people may say that having high expectations is asking too much—that such individuals and relationships don't exist.
Never buy into this garbage- It's NOT true.
You also might hear some people, even therapists, suggest that you should expect less if you're unhappy in a relationship.
They may reason that having lower expectations will help you feel more fulfilled and content with a romantic partner. Again, don't buy into this false reasoning- at all!
Remember, we get what we expect.
If you expect little from a relationship, you will likely settle for someone who offers little- and only you pay the price.
And finally, if you currently are in an unhappy relationship- you can still adopt high and reasonable expectations.
You might consider sitting down with your partner and talking about the Relationship Expectation List that is important to each of you - and focus on addressing those first. Patiently and politely let your partner know what you would like them to do differently for the relationship to improve. And indeed, couples therapy can be valuable to your relationship to help both of you satisfy expectations for one another.
But no longer do you have to sell yourself short and settle for 'BS-breadcrumbs.'
If you're an Insecurely Attached and/or a Love Addict and want a happy relationship, commit to upholding high secure-based expectations. It's reasonable, healthy, and appropriate.
And indeed, maintaining high expectations is vital to your growth and recovery from love addiction.