no expectations not low expectations

Illustration: Jen Troyer

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I am a big fan of having no expectations. I don't know exactly how to achieve that goal in all cases. But the less I picture how things should go or might go, the better they do go. I let myself show up and enjoy the experience rather than kill it before it begins with my huge, soul-gobbling, predetermined fantasy life that no real experience can ever rival This approach also works very well in love. Showing up at restaurant, having zero idea of what the blind-date guy will be like (because you did not Google him, you did not grill your friends, you did not hope he might be a 6-foot-2 veterinarian) allows you the possibility of having an amazing time with the short, hilarious barber who is sitting there waiting for you.

Low expectations are something else entirely. An example: You just want the guy to be straight, funny and not a cheater (the word just is always a tip-off). In my experience, these are not low at all. They are simply revised expectations—after high ones were not met (he was straight, he was funny, and he was a cheater). You created these lower ones to keep from getting burned again. You’re telling yourself to want less than you want, so you might get something instead of nothing. But what happens end up with something that you don’t want. The whole problem, I really, really believe, is the wanting. Going into a date and just letting it be what it is—and later deciding if you like it (or not)—allows for the possibility of the delightful unexpected, which is the official lightning rod of love.



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