5 Expectations That Are Keeping You Out Of The Relationship You Want

by Scott Alden for HowAboutWe

We have to have standards. No one wants to end up with a loser/psycho/cheater/secretly married person/insert-worst-fear-here, right? But sometimes, our fear of being with Mr. or Mrs. Wrong can stop us from actually getting to know Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Here are 5 expectations that could be hurting more than they're helping in your quest for The One.

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1. They have to get along with ALL your friends

Think about it. YOU don't even always get along with all of your friends. You probably have some friends who you've known forever and love dearly, but can't be sure be sure that you'd be friends if you met for the first time today. And you have friends who don't get along with each other, right? As long as the person you're dating is making an effort, you should cut them some slack.

2. The sex has to ALWAYS be good

Even if you have crazy animal chemistry, certain factors will sometimes get in the way. It's inevitable and there can be all kinds of good reason for so-so sex. Maybe things have become more emotionally complex and you need to have a talk about where things stand. Maybe he or she was suddenly reminded of something that they're not comfortable talking about yet. Maybe you're both just exhausted. As long as there's good sexual chemistry in general, try not to get hung up on the occasional dud.

Related: What Sex Means To Men: 6 Deep Dark Secrets

3. They have to be close to your age

Every online dating site has an "age range" function, and, like any other search filter, it will save you time. However, "age ain't nothin' but a number," and being too specific in your age requirements could be stopping you from meeting someone perfect for you. Consider whether or not your cut-off is arbitrary. Why 25 instead of 23? Why 40 instead of 45? You'd probably date Colin Firth or Madonna, right? They're both over 50.

4. They have to have a job

This one's a bit controversial. Unemployment is an almost universally accepted red flag. It's important to make the distinction between temporarily unemployed and chronically unemployed. Maybe they just quit their job to pursue their passion. Maybe they've got money saved. Maybe they got laid off and they're a generally responsible, capable person. There's a lot of reasons that a person can be unemployed, especially in this economy, that don't necessarily reflect on their character.

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5. You have to love them more than you've ever loved anyone before

Love is different every time, and it's often not as intense or all-consuming as it was when we were young. I'm not saying that anyone should settle for less than head-over-heels. But, head-over-heels might feel differently than it used to. It's not always easy, but try not compare.

The ghost of an ex-lover can scare you away from the next love of your life. Don't let it.

What unrealistic expectations have you learned to let go of? Tell us in the comments.

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