Managing Expectations In Your Courtship

Online shopping; most of us do it. I truly enjoy buying things online, I just love the whole process. I pick the clothes, the shoes, or whatever item I like, place them in my shopping cart, then head over to the last page to place my order. Then comes the waiting. I wait excitedly for my items to arrive on a certain date, but then something happens, the shipment is delayed. How do I feel at such a point? Disappointed. Finally, the items arrive. I open up my package and look inside, it looks nothing like what I had imagined. Once again, I’m disappointed. Okay, even though the items aren’t exactly how I expect them to be, I’ll still try them on and see how that will go. I wear the clothes and it just doesn’t look right. Can you guess how I’m feeling? That’s right: disappointed. When reality does not meet our expectations, disappointment occurs. This is why it is pivotal for us to manage our expectations, especially when it involves an expectation from another person.

When we finally start courting that guy whom we see as a potential husband, we sometimes think that we’ve made it. Nothing can go wrong from this point, because he is the God-fearing, patient, loyal, funny guy we prayed for. He possesses all the right qualities; there’s nothing else to wish for. However, as time progresses, certain things start to bother us and the complaints pour out like rain. He doesn’t text me “Hey beautiful” every morning. He only asks me out once a week. He did not send me 100 roses for Valentine’s Day. The issue here is that in our minds we’ve created an (unrealistic) image of how a guy should be in a courtship. When the actual actions don’t match the imagination or expectation, we resort to complaints. But do we ever think about why we complain? The reason is that we create an idea by ourselves and then subtly try to impose that idea on someone else, often without them even knowing. Galatians 6:7 teaches us that we reap what we sow. Placing an expectation somewhere it does not belong (we’re sowing), will lead to an unmet expectation, which ultimately causes disappointment (we’re reaping).

Am I saying that having expectations is wrong? No. What I’m saying, is that when we have expectations, we must manage them and consider the chances of these expectations not becoming reality. Right now, I have an idea of how my future courtship should be. I want to see him at least twice a week. We will have Bible studies on Tuesdays or Thursdays. We will have long phone conversations and talk about anything. And, we will make it a sure thing to have date nights on Friday evenings. As I’m writing this, I am confident that these are completely normal things to ask for. But this is what I want, I don’t know what my man may want.  My expectations aren’t wrong, but I need to discuss this with the one I’ll be in a courtship with. “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” (Amos 3:3, NLT) Yes, we can have our ideas on what we want to happen, but if the other person does not agree or does not know of them, we are bound to be disappointed.

Therefore, ladies, if there’s anything you expect from your partner, make it known to him. He may not have the required time, resources, or zeal for what you’re asking for. Having expectations is not a bad thing. Just make sure that they are realistic and not solely yours. By the way, there is Someone you can always expect anything from: our Heavenly Father. Don’t put all that pressure on your man. You’ve got God, and God never disappoints.

God Bless,
Ruth Osei

 

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