Oft expectation fails and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.

-Helena
All’s Well That Ends Well

Expectations are good, right? They can be a useful asset to strive for bettering yourself, but expecting from others is a wish that will end up being misinterpreted. So, if we know we can’t make the person into something they’re not why do we even try? Or a better question… why do we want to?

There’s a quote that kept fluttering in my mind. “To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect”. Ironic how a quote I can’t stop thinking about is from the novel Sense and Sensibility when in all aspects of this situation I had neither sense nor sensibility. Then my inner Spencer Hastings reminds me I should have known better because like she said… hope breeds eternal misery.

Peter would always be there anytime I had a problem. You know when there’s a storm and the lights go out, and you grab your matches and light a candle and no longer are you walking in an aimless void. That’s what it felt like being with him. I made the mistake of viewing him as the candle when he was the matches. There were only a few matches in the box and were only supposed to be used in emergencies, but I was using them every time I shut off the lights. After awhile the matches started running out, but I was so infatuated with the glow from the candle that I didn’t notice… until the candle wouldn’t light.

It was nice knowing that I had a safety net at all times there to catch me. He enjoyed the feeling of being able to be the hero while I on the other hand enjoyed the feeling of constant reassurance. It was a win-win, but was playing damsel in distress a game that was becoming tiresome not just for him but for the both of us? After all, expecting becomes routine and routine becomes exhausting, and there’s only so many times someone will ride to your castle to rescue you from the dragon.

It’s weird and kind of funny in a twisted way. What kept the relationship interesting and fun ended up being the demise and cause of resentment.

He was a good guy, and that frustrates me. So badly I want to say he wasn’t. There are so many guys out there who don’t have half the qualities I admired about him naturally. I made him so great in my head; I saw so much potential in him and all he would do in his life, but that’s where I went wrong. I saw what I wanted to see, what our future could be, and I neglected to see what was in front of me, and it’s that smothering that suffocates the love and makes it hard to breathe.

So I ask… when did good enough stop being enough?

Now, Sitting in a dark room I finally gave myself time to think. All the qualities I projected onto him were qualities I wanted. For some reason I felt as though if I could plant that seed in his garden that somehow the fruit would be sweeter than if I grew it in my soil. But the fruit wasn’t sweeter, the fruit was bitter and hard to chew.

When the thought of what a person could be is more fascinating than they are presently it’s a forewarning. Love must be all-encompassing. The past must be accepted, the future must be desired, and the present must be cherished.

At some point you have to let go of the notion that “they’ve changed”, and change your perspective to “they’re not what I expected”. You can squeeze and stretch and squish together a person like play-doh creating a knight and shining armor, but at the end of the day it’s just play dough, and play dough isn’t permanent. What you created and perceived wasn’t what the reality was. It hurts because the proof was staring at you in the face the whole time, and for some reason as humans we think we know better.

Reality will always triumph expectation. It’s harsh and it’s cruel, but so is the journey of love. Instead of continuing to play legos with boys’ personalities, I believe that one day a prince will come that I won’t want to change. His armor will be made of metal instead of putty, and hubris won’t drive the relationship. I can only hope. I don’t mind if hope breeds eternal misery… because misery loves company.

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