If I Have to Ask You for Something, I Really Want You to Respond

Your partner isn't aware of everything that you're thinking and feeling. Therefore, good communication is what helps you to manage everyone's expectations.
If I Have to Ask You for Something, I Really Want You to Respond

Last update: 10 July, 2021

If I have to ask you f0r something, I’ll know that you don’t know what I’m thinking at any given moment, so I’ll appreciate it if you do it. This idea is born as a counterpoint to the erroneous conception of love, “If I have to ask you, I don’t want it”, which is unfortunately very common.

With “If I have to ask you, I really want it”, we admit the fact that being a partner doesn’t grant you the supernatural powers to know everything you expect and desire, therefore acting accordingly. For example, you expect your partner to wish you a good night every day. However, that person doesn’t need or give importance to that habit, so they don’t act accordingly.

This is the point when you become angry because you’re producing a conflict in the relationship. Wouldn’t it be simpler to express to your partner that you’d like to have a specific routine instead of waiting for them to do it and getting angry if they don’t.

“Emotional upset isn’t created by the situation, but by the interpretation that you give the situation.

-Albert Ellis-

The power of expectations

All human beings enter into relationships with a partner with an idea of what this type of relationship entails. Within this relationship, there are expectations. Actually, they’re often based on previous experiences and on the relationship models we’ve learned in the family system. In addition, literature and movies also influence beliefs about love.

Having certain expectations can be adaptive and is part of the relationship. However, the danger of expectations arises when you believe that they’re part of the list of obligations of the other. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the subjective part of these types of projections, as well as the need to communicate them.

On the other hand, there are certain myths about the couple that, along with expectations, are an explosive formula to generate conflicts in any relationship. Below, we explain what these myths consist of.

What’s a myth?

A myth is a shared and false belief that isn’t true. This belief is often based on a biased argument that ignores part of reality. This assumption of the myth as a real fact leads the individual (and also collectives) to make a series of mistakes.

Each person has their own idea of love, based on personal, familial, and cultural experiences. In this situation, there may be ideas such as, “For love, anything goes” and “Jealousy is a proof of love”. This type of conception of love is biased, as it shows a love that’s destined to fade away.

Types of myths regarding “if I have to ask”

  • Love can do anything. Respect and trust come as a standard in love, so conflicts can’t exist. If they do exist, they’ll disappear on their own. It isn’t necessary to talk and resolve conflicts, due to the existing love. Consequently, an erroneous misconception is possible.
  • Your partner should satisfy all your needs, including the deficiencies you have. You usually aren’t aware of the needs that you bring to your partner from your childhood. Most likely, if you suffer a deficiency, you’ll be hoping to compensate with the help of your partner. This reason will take you to a level of demand from the other person. As a result, it may not satisfy “If I have to ask you, I don’t want it”.
  • A certain amount of jealousy is proof of love. This proves that they love me, which is a completely erroneous idea, since jealousy proves this but it’s also insecurity in oneself.
  • The better half. To think that there’s someone perfect for oneself, like two peas in a pod. This concept leads to clinging to a bond, thinking that you’ll never find someone as perfect for yourself, or that if you found them and you broke up, they don’t have a chance of finding love again.
  • When you’re in love, it’s impossible to feel attraction for another person. It’s very common to experience some kind of affinity and attraction throughout our lives with other people without this meaning that you no longer love your partner, as they aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.

“Don’t let your partner occupy your whole being and mind so that there’s no place for you. To love is not to disappear.”

-Walter Riso-

This is a couple embracing maybe thinking "if I have to ask"....

How do I overcome my partner’s high expectations?

  • If I have to ask because I want something. Communicate to your partner what your priorities are. Everyone is different, and what’s important to you may not be as important to that person. Your partner doesn’t have to take what you expect for granted. That’s why communication is essential for each partner to express where their limits are regarding the relationship and what they expect from it. If I have to ask you, I’ll understand that you can’t read my mind.
  • Establish where your own boundaries are. The aspects that are non-negotiable for you. Be clear and think about the boundaries that are important to you. What aspect won’t you tolerate under any circumstances in a partner?

 Evaluate your thinking

  • What part of the conflict is from the relationship and what part is from an unmet personal expectation? Putting the blame on the other for not fulfilling what you long for when it’s possible that the partner has no idea what you want. Identify whether or not the conflict is based on the expectation or if it’s really a problem in the relationship.
  • Identify our own deficiencies, which you may be putting on the other. Express these needs and avoid putting this responsibility on your partner.
  • Flexibility. Think that your partner isn’t going to fit into any mold, no matter how much idealization you may have come to believe that they do. Looking for a relationship in which the other must fulfill everything you want is a mistake. It’s advisable to have certain expectations, as long as they aren’t extreme and invade the relationship.
  • Respect. Be willing to negotiate the differences in the couple. Accept that person as they are, without trying to change them continuously.

In short, it’s fundamental in healthy relationships to start from the idea “If I have to ask you, I’ll value that you take my needs into account, and if you don’t, I’ll understand that you’re different and you don’t have to do everything I want”.

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  • Sánchez Aragón, Rozzana; (2009). Expectativas, percepción y estrategias de mantenimiento en las relaciones amorosas. Enseñanza e Investigación en Psicología, Julio-Diciembre, 229-243