Monday, February 16, 2015

here's hoping.

I really, really detest that age old tradition that takes place at weddings and baby showers. You know, the one where you write advice for the happy couple or the soon-to-be-parents?

Let's be real. For people like me, that's a difficult feat. What do I really know about keeping a marriage alive? Or a baby for that matter...KIDDING! Sort of. 

I find it hard to give advice (aside from the fact that I have none to give,) because I don't feel like any couple, parent, or individual should try to commit to all of the advice that's given to them. If we tried to do all of the advice we are given all of the time, it's bound to counteract and all of them to be ineffective. My coworker had an experience with this when her throat was sore and she attempted every single home remedy she could find for a sore throat. The end result? Her throat felt worse. 

I feel like in every situation, you have to pick the advice, the remedy, the metaphor, that works best for you. Every couple, every individual, every child-rearing parent is different, and all should be able to deal with their situation as they see fit.

That being said, I also have a strong affinity for Buzzfeed articles. Now, I do not always find them useful or even bother to commit them to memory, but this one really stood out to me despite it's complete sappiness.  36 Invaluable Pieces of Relationship Advice Though a lot of the advice kind of "umbrellas" under more broad statements, there are several that stood out to me. Above them all, however, was the 3rd piece of advice.

3. “There are two boxes in every relationship: hope and expectation.”

“Resentment builds when you put petty things into the expectation box (he needs to give me flowers, he needs to take me places, etc.). Put petty things in the hope box and be clear about what is in your expectation box.”

I found this deeply profound. How many times have I found myself upset with a significant other because he didn't do something that, upon reflection, he probably never knew I wanted him to do? I was always hoping that he would do it. I had no right to be annoyed that he couldn't read my mind. Once I took time to really think about this statement, I realized how important the idea of a hope and an expectation is.

Though what is petty for some might be an expectation for another is irrelevant. It's important to be upfront about what is in your expectation box, and maybe give your partner some ideas for things that would be in your hope box. Things are much more likely to be pulled out of your hope box if people know what they are, obviously.  Even after you've discussed what is in your hope and your expectation box, it's always nice to verbally say the words when you do the action. Last night, we went to an event that is not particularly of any interest to me, but is to my beau. While we were there, he looked at me and said, "Thank you for coming with me, this was in my hope box." (Which I of course, already knew, but still.) I am also aware of his expectations and he is of mine (fortunately, they're very similar.)

So, here's my advice to you. Make a hope and an expectation box. Write down what's in yours. Share it with your partner, your kid, whoever. Maybe make goals out of it. But always remember that the expectations are just that. Expected.

Elle Goulding: Love Me Like You Do
Lil Wayne: How to Love
Katy Perry: Fingerprints
Jewel: You Were Meant for Me
Trey Songz: Neighbors Know My Name
Billy Joel: Piano Man

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