It breaks my heart every time I see someone write off a potential romantic partner base on expectations put on that individual without their knowledge. It breaks my heart because I know I've done the same over and over in my life, and only recently realized what I was doing. I did this because I didn't want to get hurt like I had so many times before, but it truly is unfair when projected on someone new.
I remember when I was 25, I moved back to Nova Scotia after living in Vancouver for a while, and I was in limbo before I started my new job in Calgary. I had no money and a lot of time on my hands. In comes Brad, an old friend from high school. He took me on the best first date I have every been on (that story is for another day). I was hooked. I imagined this amazing whirlwind romance. I pictured crazy adventures, like that first date, over and over again until I moved to Calgary. I knew he was going to fall head over heals for me, and never want to let me go.
None of that ever happened. This was not a conversation we had. Instead I sat by my phone as hours and days went by with very half-hearted responses to my messages, every now and then. I went fricken crazy! I had come into this romantic relationship with far too much time and way too many expectations. He had a life before he took me out. He had a full time job, lots of friends, family and interests that I didn't know anything about, because I didn't know him. Yet, the fact that he did not clear his schedule to take me on a whirlwind romance was selfish and a dickhead move, according to 25 year old me.
In hindsight I realized it wasn't Brad who disappointed me, I disappointed myself. Now, if a man came to me and expected me to carve out a ton of time from my life to spend with him, after a couple of dates, I would tell him to go pound sand. I have told them to go bound sand!
For my sanity and theirs, I no longer place expectations on someone new. I live my fun, busy life and slowly allow other into it. This lack of expectation doesn't come from anger or disappointment, it come for my ability to see myself in these people. How I would feel and react to someone expecting more from me than I'm willing to give. Give someone leeway to be who they are, and live the life they have lived before you. People respond way better to someone kind and understanding, than someone aggressive and trying to monopolize their time. Date kindly.