How To Deal With Expectations In A Relationship?
Summary: In many ways, the quality of relationship one holds, determines their quality of life. Relationships are formed to fulfill various needs - physical, psychological, emotional, social, financial... Sadhguru says - "The needs within a human being have risen because there is a certain sense of incompleteness and people are forming relationships to experience a certain sense of completeness within themselves". This is the source of expectations. Sadhguru says - "If you are happy by your own nature, the relationships will become a means for you to express your happiness not to seek happiness."
article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org
Relationships Beyond Expectations
Sadhguru: For most people, the quality of relationships that they hold in their lives largely decides the very quality of life that they live. When it is playing such an important role in your life, it needs to be looked at. What is the basis of a relationship? Why do human beings need a relationship? Relationships are formed on different levels; there are various types of relationships to fulfill different types of needs. The needs may be physical, psychological, emotional, social, financial or political – they could be of any kind.
This piece of life is a complete entity by itself – why is it feeling incomplete? Why is it trying to fulfill itself by making a partnership with another piece of life?
Whatever be the nature of the relationship, whatever be the type of relationship, still the fundamental aspect is you have a need to fulfill. “No, I have nothing to get, I want to give.” Giving is also as much a need as receiving. “I have to give something to somebody” – this is also as much a need as “I have to receive something.” There is a need. Needs may be diverse, accordingly relationships could be diverse.
The needs within a human being have risen because there is a certain sense of incompleteness and people are forming relationships to experience a certain sense of completeness within themselves. When you have a good relationship with someone dear to you, you feel complete. When you do not have that, you feel incomplete. Why is this so? This piece of life is a complete entity by itself – why is it feeling incomplete? Why is it trying to fulfill itself by making a partnership with another piece of life? The fundamental reason is we have not explored this life in its full depth and dimension. Though that is the basis, there is a complex process of relationships.
The Source of Expectations
Where there is a relationship, there is an expectation. The expectations that most people are creating are such that there is no human being on the planet who could ever fulfill those expectations. Especially in a man-woman relationship, the expectations are so much that even if you marry a God or a Goddess, they will fail you. When you are unable to understand the expectations or the source of expectations, you cannot fulfill the expectations. But if you understand what the source of these expectations is, you could form a very beautiful partnership.
If you are happy by your own nature, the relationships will become a means for you to express your happiness not to seek happiness.
Fundamentally, why have you sought a relationship? Because you will find that without any kind of relationship in your life, you would become depressed. You are seeking a relationship because you want to be happy, you want to be joyful. Or in other words you are trying to use the other person as a source of your happiness. If you are happy by your own nature, the relationships will become a means for you to express your happiness not to seek happiness. If you are trying to squeeze happiness out of somebody and that person is trying to squeeze happiness out of you, it is going to be a painful relationship after some time. Initially it may be okay because something is being fulfilled. But if you are forming relationships because you want to express your happiness, nobody is going to complain about you because you are in the process of expressing your joy not seeking joy from the other person.
If your life becomes an expression of your joy, not a pursuit of happiness then relationships will be naturally wonderful. You can hold a million relationships and still hold them well. This whole circus of trying to fulfill somebody else’s expectations does not arise because if you are an expression of joy, anyway they would want to be with you. Shifting your life from pursuit of happiness to an expression of joyfulness is what needs to happen if relationships have to really work on all levels, because they are of many kinds.
Many Kinds of Relationships
Your body is right now made in such way that it is still in a condition where it needs a relationship. Your mind is made in such a way that it still needs a relationship. Your emotions are in such a way that it still needs a relationship. And on a deeper level, your very energies are made in such way that you still need a relationship on that level also. If your body goes in search of a relationship, we call this sexuality. If you mind goes in search of relationships, we call this companionship. If your emotion goes in search of relationships, we call this love. If your energies go in search of a relationship, we call this Yoga.
Once there is no compulsion within you and everything that you do becomes conscious, relationship will become a true blessing, no more a longing or a struggle.
You will see that with all these efforts, whether it is sexuality, companionship, love or Yoga, you are trying to become one with something else because somehow being who you are right now is not enough. How can you become one with somebody else? Physically you have tried. It looks like you are going to make it, but you know you fall apart. Mentally you have tried, many times you thought you are really there but you know two minds are never one. Emotionally you thought you really made it, but divisions come up very easily.
What is the way to fulfill this longing to become one with something? There are many ways to look at it. You might have noticed this at some time in your life, suppose you were very joyful, or loving or ecstatic and your life energies are feeling very exuberant, you feel a certain sense of extension. This extension, what does it mean? First of all, what is it that you call as ‘myself’? What is the basis for you to know “this is me and this is not me?” Sensation, isn’t it? Whatever is within the boundaries of your sensation is you. Whatever is outside the boundaries of this sensation is “the other” and the other is always the hell. You do not want to experience this hell, so you want to experience at least a small part of humanity as a part of yourself. This longing to include somebody or the other as a part of your life is what is called as relationships. If you include the other, the hell could be your heaven. To experience that heaven, to have that piece of heaven in your life is what the desperation to have a relationship is.
Whatever is the longing behind any relationship, either if you try through the body, or through the mind, or through the emotion, you will only long; you will never know that oneness. You will know moments of oneness but it will never really happen. If you experience all this life around you as a part of yourself – Yoga is the means to experience this oneness – the way you exist here will be very different. When this happens, relationship will only become a way of looking towards the other’s need, not about your own because you have no need of your own anymore. Once there is no compulsion within you and everything that you do becomes conscious, relationship will become a true blessing, no more a longing or a struggle.