Why We Should Expect Less Of Love

Why We Should Expect Less Of Love

It can feel very weird, and a bit threatening,
to talk about taking the pressure off a relationship. Our collective, inherited Romantic culture
likes to imagine functioning couples doing more or less everything together and being
the centre of each other’s lives. The good couple is, we are told, one in which two people
mean more or less everything to one another.In a sound relationship, we are supposed to meet
each other’s needs in every area of existence – from sex to intellectual stimulation,
cooking styles to bedroom habits. We’re supposed to lead our social life in tandem,
be the primary sounding board for one another’s problems and complete each other in spirit
and in matter. If they’re involved in a sport, we should at once join in or at least
come and support them every weekend; if we want to visit a particular country, they are
supposed to trot along enthusiastically with us; our friends are meant to be their friends…
It sounds sweet but it is – over the long term – a recipe for disaster. No two people
can ever match each other across all areas of existence; and the attempt to do so inevitably
ushers in bitterness and rage. We have, at the collective level, given ourselves a hugely
unhelpful picture of how love should go. Any independent move is read like a sign that
we can’t actually love one another: it is taken to be a sign of imminent danger if we
visit other countries on our own or sleep apart. So we end up badgering each other to
do things that we don’t really like (we force each other to endure tedious hobbies
or see each other’s peculiar old friends), not even because we inherently want to do
so but because any other arrangement has come to seem like evidence of betrayal. A more
realistic and in the proper sense Romantic view of couples would suggest that there have
to be a few strong areas where we can meet each others needs, but that there should also
be plenty of others where we are clearly better off pursuing our goals on our own. Consider
the following list of independent activities and give them stars (from one to five) if
they strike you as relevant: I’d like to … – Travel without my partner – Have
dinner one to one with a friend – Be able to go to a party without my partner, and not
have them feel left out – Visit my parents alone – Have my own financial adviser – Go
for long walks on my own – Have a separate bathroom – Go shopping with a friend rather
than with my partner Look at each other’s stars and list. Is there anything that you
feel you could accommodate? We should recognise that a degree of independence isn’t an attack
on a partner: it’s a guarantee of the solidity of the underlying commitment one has made.
Truly stable couples aren’t those that do everything together, it’s those that have
managed to interpret their differences in non-dramatic, non-disloyal terms. Ultimately,
a reduction of dependence doesn’t mean a relationship is unraveling: it means that
we have learnt to focus more clearly and intently on what the other person can actually bring
us and have stopped blaming them for not being someone they never were. We no longer need
to be upset that their ideal holiday destination strikes us as unappealing, or that their friends
seem boring. We have learnt, instead, to value them for the areas where we truly see eye
to eye. To enjoy a harmonious union with someone, we should ensure that we have plenty of sources
of excitement, reassurance and stimulation outside of them. When we hit problems, we
should be able to lean on other supports. The demand that another person compensate
us for all that’s alarming, wearing or deficient in our lives is a mechanism for systematically
destroying any relationship. Our conflicts and disappointments will at once feel more
manageable when we stop asking our partner to function as our long lost other half. The
more we can survive without a relationship, the greater will be its chances of survival
and fulfillment. We will truly give love a chance when we stop believing it can single-handedly
save us.

Comments (100)

  1. Do you do everything with your partner? Or do you, sometimes, need a bit of time to yourself? Let us know in the comments below and to join your fellow School of Life audience members, be sure to download our new free app:

  2. That's scary. It's exactly what happened to my last relationship.

  3. westerners are too independent and that's bad

  4. you say 'we' but most of us know the truth, these are lady problems.

  5. It took sometime for my wife to understand this but now we are very happy giving ourselves space to grow in all aspects of life. We love to get back together and now doing stuff together doesn't seem like a tedious endeavour. Sharing moments with each other is sweeter because we have the freedom to do things seperatly. Real Love needs realistic solutions, we are romantic every now and then ofcorse but it should not be the end-goal. For us Love is the support within our relationship to live in freedom and explore, most importantly is that only we get to have a say in it.

  6. This video appeared in my feed just at the right time when I needed it. Really helped me understand the situation me and my boyfriend are in. Thank you!

  7. Holy wow it seems like this video is describing the clear and documented behaviors of a manipulative and controlling partner – run!!

  8. I need that pink pen at 4:18 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  9. That's y I stay with a narcissist

  10. A PSA for women who base their love trajectory on Sex and the City?

  11. expectation is like a wishful assumption, both inappropriate. if you do not expect , you never get disappointed. expecting things from other people is a tricky thing. I guess that any relationship should respect the personal freedom of the individual.

  12. As much as I appreciate the work the school of life does to people's mental health. This pessimistic view of things led me to waste two years in a relationship with a cheater and narcissist abuser. Now I'm left here broken and mistrustung everyone. I'm fucking unsubscribing!!

  13. This channel doesn't understand what love is about and is very pessimistic about it. Love is about companionship, so if you feel to need to do so many things on your own maybe that means you're better off alone instead of dating people who crave a partnership that you don't. It's okay to not want a life long partner

  14. Codependence occurs when we rely on the other to meet our needs.

  15. Spending every single second together would drive anyone crazy.

  16. I find a long marriage a prison

  17. I’ve been together with my partner for ten years. We love each other. We have our own friends, hobbies & work. But we get along very well

  18. That list is pretty scary – Anyone who would not chose to do all these things alone some of the time needs a therapist, right?

    But also – $$$ : my own bathroom? I guess many couples who could actually afford two bathrooms fight about bathrooms.

  19. Love is a fraud

  20. "Take pressure off your relationship"

    lmao what relationship ??

  21. Luv is when both r submissive to each other all the time, so it exits no more in this selfish self world

  22. I agree 100%…been married for over 26 years….we have three holidays..hers, mine & ours…we have our own rooms, we have our own bathrooms…we have our own hobbies / sports…we are not connected at the waist…

  23. "◔ ◔¨ *

  24. In short…don't be needy

  25. This is also a case for supporting polyamory

  26. Dang really wish I'd seen this video two weeks ago ?

  27. It’s a minefield and we change as we age/mature. Love the intrinsic personality and hope your skilful enough to deal with life’s pressures as they evolve concerning the relationship. Good luck!

  28. Youtube ML coming up nicer and smarter everytime i hit youtube

  29. Can you please do a video on Enneagram or maybe a series on Enneagram?

  30. this guy sound so calming can i know his name ?

  31. I’ve learned over the years to ask myself to be patient and kind, not to try to change the other person. It makes for better relationship in all aspect of life. At the end of the day, it’s the love and respect I have for myself that enables me to not asking much from people around me. I do have a need for alone time and own space thus I am quite content to be on my own. However, this hinders romantic relationships because the need to be with a mate isn’t strong. Potential mates don’t get a vibe from me so they don’t pursue (it is all unspoken).

  32. That is true… it has better not
    interfering each other.

  33. Life is alone lolol

  34. Hollywood & Disney has ruined so many relationships.

  35. Writing that list is a terrible idea

  36. Also going to a party without ur partner is a recipe for disaster.

  37. 中文翻译的标题不太对, 应该是" 为什么我们不应该对爱期望太高"

  38. I remember when I was dating my boyfriend for the first year. He and his friends wanted to go to Japan. I couldn't afford it but told him to still go and enjoy himself. We don't have to be joined at the hip to enjoy a good life together.

  39. Hang of these comment will come from single mothers or divorced ones I wonder ? And no divorced men are happier not sad but most of them are financially hindered bc of child support or spousal support. In other words they pay to get away from shit women tell me wrong

  40. I disagree, a partner is someone willing to join u in ur passions. If u truly desire to do things alone then do so; but what if u want ur partner to join u? What then? How could u define a partner by stating: Someone u do nothing with.

  41. Expectations lead to dissapointments dissapointments lead to heartbreak

  42. The value of having a partner to day is decreasing.

  43. The depiction of romance society tries to make us belive has caused way too much harm to humanity

  44. Then why the hell would I start a relationship in the first place?

  45. Me and my partner have too much time apart from one another's lives. Makes me feel disconnected. Working on it though.

  46. Cause it's an unconditional gift. Not a payment for an item ?
    Hopefully we find someone that reciprocates (is the biggest challenge of all lol).

  47. Love never made people happy success did!!! Love and success are opposites in a way

  48. Exaaaaaaaaactly!!

  49. This channel needs to get all sides to the subjects its about to put forward. I mean yh expectations is something we all have and it sets us up to be let down. But, truthfully it works for some.

    Might be a little group but it does work, and that should be said here, since there is Never only One Way to See Things.
    The only time u can really come close to seeing things one way is when you've seen all the other ways and got to the middle.
    Still suggesting one way after looking through everything, that will still only be ur own one way. Hence we got to come together and listen to everyones elses one way answer if they've went all round the other ways and then we've got an even better understanding within our circle. Lifes complicated but only cos people make it complicated, just live simple and find beauty within your heart (Empathy).

  50. I've been in a relationship in which the other person would act exactly the opposite of the advices in this video. I can say that everything that was said here is 100% true. That behaviour distroyed a dream relationship and ended the most beautiful days in both our lives.

  51. Fuck y’all are a godsend

  52. I don’t know if you did it on purpose but according to the thumbnail picture of the video you should have named it in French « Pourquoi nous devrions en attendre moins de l’amour ».

    Because the way your wrote it makes no sense, it looks more like a young child sentence.

  53. That is an excellent effort to clear the fog. I am a great admirer of Botton's eloquence and clarity of thought. If people take the key lessons seriously, this video can save millions of relationships and can bring a new life to the Dull, boring and Rusty relationships.

    The real culprit is the expectations. Our mind gives birth to loads of unrealistic and rubbish expectations.

    This video can certainly help us manage our expectations

  54. Romance is a very whimsical thing.

  55. Best YouTube channel

  56. The French title (« Pourquoi nous devrions nous attendre moins d'amour ») is locked but incorrect. Would it be possible to change it to the following?

    Pourquoi nous devrions attendre moins de l'amour

  57. I am 28 years old and I never had a girlfriend

  58. my partner and i don't have third parties. we do a lot of things independently. but he's been lying and hiding a lot. even his friends hide it from me. it sucks.

  59. While I do agree with the general message, I think it could be just as dangerous to take its most poignant form too seriously as it is to excpect too much of one another. Taken to the extreme, a relationship of this sort is one that has been rationalized perfectly, with each bits and pieces fitting together where they do in fact fit naturally while many others go their own ways, developing independently in other areas of life, outside of the two-party-relationship. What is lacking in this kind of relationship, however, is the "act of grace", of suffering for one another, even to the point of endangering one's own wellbeing. The problem of the overly romantic viewpoint is to put this idea on a shrine, the overly rational approach, however, has little room for such acts of love and dedication. In the theoretical ideal combination of the two, a relationship doesn't shy away from rationalization and unromantic complementarization, but still flavors it with just the right amount of romance.

  60. thanks for the free therapy

  61. Emotionally… humans will be humans. Even living your love life with the ideals set in this video will not ensure a long lasting relationship. In the end this video and mostly this channel's idea of having a "healthy" relationship is to always put yourself first and be a strong enough person on your own to handle the shit that will hit the fan. That everything is a variable of some sort that you can calmly handle with the right perspective but life ain't so simple sometimes

  62. I have always subscribed to that same point of view that living in each other's pockets and having to do absolutely everything together is not natural and not healthy. We simply can't expect our partner to meet all our needs, that's not possible and unfair. Sad that not everybody understands that…

  63. If one needs so much Independence and time alone, maybe one needs to be alone.

  64. Remember, your partner isn't your "other half", you're already a whole

  65. because of fucking people that not listen to their parents until they grow.

  66. Jolly good advice here….?

  67. What’s the point then?

  68. But what if i expect nothing?

  69. Is this channel for stupid people? This is common knowledge for anyone around 30? Or not?

  70. Can’t agree more

  71. Do you believe, however, that it is okay to be a hopeless romantic, to believe in destiny, to believe in love, and to long for someone? Isn't longing for company a part of human nature?

  72. Love the new style of filming here. And the content as always 🙂 !

  73. I lay blame on the patriarchal religions of the world who expect women to give up their names, identities for the most part and " become one with their other half"! After a 42 year marriage, this formerly co-dependent HSP empath married to a real Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde sociopathic/psychopathic malignant narcissist not unlike my late father i.e. repeat compulsion there, speaks from experience! Ironically, I kept my maiden name for the first eight years, removed the word "obey" from the marriage vows and had my own bank account while having a career and working outside the home while raising three kids. Thanks for sharing…spot on as usual!

  74. But own logic must mean that love is different for all of us so some of ur advice might actually do the opposite:/

  75. Obviously to much obsession and clingyness becomes problematic. You don't breathe for each other. I might love someone but i don't live for them and i can handle being away from that person, sometimes it's necessary. However you should also have be completely open with one another. Small irrelevant secrets won't be bad to keep and obviously there are things you keep to yourself. You still have to be your own person. You aren't two things that need the other to live but you should have a firm understanding of one another. But smothering someone with to much love can be overwhelming and as bad as no love or the wrong kind of love. You have to be willing to get mad and say things the other doesn't like.

  76. Every area of existence isn't possible and i wouldn't want to put that kind of pressure on someone. Though my love can feel like that's what I'm asking for and that's my fault.

  77. You and your lover should be different person. You can hate what i like and i can hate what you like. As long as it doesn't cause damage or destroy the connection then its fine to have differences. I don't want someone who will diddo me or vis versa. However lying can be problematic and you should communicate about things that are important. You should about alot of your problems and be as open as you are confortable with and still have your boundaries respected and i know i have had issues with boundaries sometimes but i am not the only one who has that problem. Somtimes people are to secretive and you have to dig for information they otherwise wouldn't share and if its anything you should know as a spouse, like something of a torturous sort or a deceitful sort then it needs to be spoken about.

  78. I'd never take it to that extreme. That way of love is unrealistic. I'm not a fool in that regard. I fault when it comes to expectations are in a different category

  79. I never wanted a perfect match. I've said it time and time again. If that was my goal i wouldn't of pursued any of the women that i have pursued. I want trust, devotion. That is all and enough comparability and understanding that any struggles we might have we can work through. My views on love aren't unreasonable in this kind of way. Though, i do have my flaws and sometimes expect to little or to much of a person and choose to pursue a person at the wrong point and time and when they are truly available even if they happen to be single. I have made that mistake way to many times. Where i am not a priority but a option. Which if you are ever a option and aren't anything more until its to late then trust me when i say that bond will also not last. Especially if she or he has other romatic or sexual interest other then you. It doesn't matter if something comes of it or not. Just talking is enough to ruin it. If flirting or anything else is involved its even worse. One night stands even more so and if anything else beyond that is beyond repair.

  80. Expect Less of Love? I think thats the wrong message to send. How about be your own person and allow your partner to be as well. You get one shot at life, shoot high.

  81. Why you are wrong about love, more than that, you don’t know what love is, you are just increasing my madness,..

  82. Love: ? Money: ?? Can you see the difference¿

  83. This video has some truth. The other truth is if you act like you are single you will be. BS I never heard anyone being ok with separate vacations. .

  84. We will truly give love a chance when we stop believing it can singlehandedly save us.

  85. Its more about compatibility, The chinese zodiac sighns helps.

  86. What is the purpose of a partner ?

  87. There are no rules for love. To each is own. I don't like it when someone claims to have the answers

  88. So basically, to do the DLC (Love), you need to complete the Main Game (Self). Excuse me as I try to make sense of this.

  89. This is bullshit. Our daily jobs keep us apart from our partners. If you're suggesting that we should even spend holidays and spare time apart, then I think you don't have a worthy relationship at all. You just share the apartment out of convenience. People who love each other are eager to spend the most time possible together – simple as that.

  90. i just had a fight with my partner and this video changed my thinking mindset, just apologized to him and we are back in a team 🙂

  91. I needed this ❤️

  92. What if my partner just left (for a while) without any excuse, am I entitled to be hurt?

    Maybe I’m being too childish and It’s probably because of a hidden childhood trauma. K, I’ll get sum self love bye

  93. "No women no cry" – Bob Marley

  94. Colder and colder sprituality as meds increase vastly. A connection?

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