Realistic Expectations for Romantic Relationships

Unrealistic expectations destroy romantic relationships. If we expect an immediate emotional bond to guarantee living happily ever after, then we are statistically likely to be disappointed. If I think that a photo-shopped model is what me or my partner is supposed to look like, then I am going to be disappointed. If we think pornography is normal sex, then someone may well get hurt.
But there is a bigger overarching problem with modern western expectations about romantic sexual love. We expect to find meaning, purpose and happiness in just one, albeit wonderful, segment of life. An advertisement for online dating describes the spark of romance as what we are all here for. A movie portrays falling in love as escape from a global extinction event. And if you are happy being single for life, without pursuing a romantic relationship or sex, then you will be treated as a freak. Just try pretending for a week!
The Bible says that romantic sexual love is a picture of what we are all here for – real, mutual, caring, honest, persevering relationship with God and each other. And Jesus came to establish that sort of love between all people, if only we will embrace it! Romantic sexual love is not necessary to be fulfilled as a human being, but it can be a wonderful part of being fulfilled as a human being, if we’re realistic. That’s why this month, we’re celebrating sex.

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