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Great Expectations: How Unrealistic Optimism Hurts Romance

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While optimism is a great quality to have in life, sometimes there’s such thing as too much optimism – or unrealistic optimism. This can be particularly apparent in romantic relationships! Have you ever been in a relationship where one person was full of unbridled optimism (“everything is always going to be fan-freaking-tastic!”) and the other person was, well, not a pessimist, but someone who based things on logic (well, chances are this won’t work out, or we’ll be fighting soon”)?

While you might think that the second person that we mentioned would be the one that could more easily bring down a romance, sometimes the opposite is true. This is particularly apparent in a just burgeoning relationship – especially if they haven’t turned physical just yet, or perhaps have only just turned physical.

When you’re just starting out a relationship – you’ve progressed from some serious flirting, a few dates, and you both feel that real spark – things are really exciting. Suddenly in your mind, you’re planning on overseas trips together to the places you always wanted to go, mind blowing sex multiple times a week, moving into your dream house in an awesome suburb together… (Or maybe your new optimistic partner is thinking this).

There is the change for this rampant optimism for the new relationship that is causing one or both of you to see the potential of the relationship through some seriously rose coloured glasses here. While all that stuff might happen, what’s missing from this line of thought is perhaps you’re both broke so these overseas holidays will not be happening anytime soon, apparently you don’t have the same level of sex drives, and there’s no way you’ll be able to move out to that suburb you want to live in unless it’s a share house with 4 other people.

It’s important to have optimism going into a new relationship, but also to complement it with a dose of reality. When things don’t go according to these dream plans, that’s fine! There’s plenty of time to build things together if it turns out that you do really, really like each other and want to make things work out.

At AMI we help people to have more satisfying sex lives. One of the issues that couples can have is these unrealistic expectations in the bedroom. Putting extra pressure on certainly doesn’t help if you’re having issues either.

There are a wealth of expectations that people have in the bedroom going into relationships. That both partners will be satisfied every time. That both partners will be able to physically perform when they want to. That bedroom encounters will always be romantic. It’s time to stop putting expectations onto people like this. We are all different, and all different across different times of the day, the week, the year.

If you and your partner are having issues in the bedroom, either from unrealistic expectations, arousal issues, physical issues, or anything else, why not give us a call? Our doctors can help work through the underlying causes and help increase satisfaction on all counts.

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