Peter Kane – Relationship Theorist and author "The Monogamy Challenge"

Expectations, Context and Acknowledgement

Does the history or context of a relationship effect what you need to feel acknowledged? For example, if you have a history of shared finances, are you then more likely to need to feel credited or acknowledged for your history of working hard or sharing money? If you are in a new monogamous relationship, do you then find yourself expecting to be included in other ways like having your needs considered with your partner’s plans? Can the history or context of a relationship result in our having fair and reasonable expectations?

I ask these questions because I hear a lot of talk of how expectations are not healthy. While I agree that expectations can be stifling, I also think it is helpful to honor the context or history of a relationship, and seek ways to express our appreciation for the many connections we share, both past and present.

IMG_4052Does a relationships context result in expectations that are a natural aspect of our desire to be valued? Is it an understandable problem if we feel our past contributions are not acknowledged? Is it congruent if we choose to be solely in the moment when a relationship is also comprised of a shared history? If we work to honor a friends or partners past contributions will they be more likely to feel valued and acknowledged?

I ask these questions to begin the next layers of my discourse about our needs and how we can create more nurturing relationships. As I have been sharing in recent blogs, I think it can take some deep work to remember to value another’s point of view and continue to develop our ability to acknowledge them. What do you think?

More soon,


  1. I bounce between the concept of not expecting anything from my partner, not needing them to do or be anything other than who they are, and reacting to my own imperfect desires and feelings to feel valued. I think striving for one but acknowledging the other creates balance in the end. Does that make sense?

    • Most Certainly Stuart – to me its like giving as much space and unconditional love as I can but also embracing the validity of my needs.

  2. For me, expectations are a firmament. Like the foundation of a building, expectations take many varied forms, i.e. the materials can be concrete, stone, metal or even wood or straw. In a relationship, the foundation is always present. We build expectations slowly, quickly, haphazardly, intermittently. The building process is different and varied for each of us but it is always present in some form.

    • Thanks Susan, those are nice images that honor the past and all that we contribute to our relationships. Blessings, Peter

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