Are you expecting perfection in your relationship?

They may not meet every one of each other's needs, but that doesn't mean they don't love each other.

From the outside, Ryan Gosling probably seems like a flawless boyfriend – there’s certainly no denying that he’s a handsome star. But maintaining a relationship, as he and Eva Mendes have done for well over a year, requires so much more than that. We all want the ideal relationship with the best partner, right? In our minds that person is very clear: always thoughtful, tuned into our needs, knowing what we hope for before we even have to voice it. So when you are dating someone, and they don’t act like that, do you immediately assume they aren’t right for you, or might they be worth a little more time and effort? More important, how can you make the distinction?

When it comes to your partner, many people’s notion is: if you loved me you would. If you loved me, you would be willing to spend Saturday with my parents. If you loved me, you would agree to eat vegetarian. If you loved me, you would shave every day because I ask you to. In fact, it sums up so much about our expectations that If You Loved Me You Would is a whole chapter in my book What About Me? The problem is, when your partner doesn’t do these things, it seems like they are being selfish and purposefully disappointing you. That is not always the case at all. In fact, often your partner’s choices are more about their own preferences and not a measure of their love for you. It is the act of placing your judgment on those actions that puts the negative spin on them.

We all come at things from a varied perspective, and much of that has to do with the families we grew up in. It might seem perfectly natural to spend every Saturday with your parents, but he is used to seeing his own parents twice a year. Or you might want to stop eating meat for one reason or another; but she loves meat, and that has nothing to do with how she feels about you.

Disrespectful behavior that makes you feel devalued or bad requires other considerations. But if it is just a matter of dealing with your differences, despite the few bumps they might generate, it doesn’t have to mean the end of the journey. The goal is not to eradicate the disappointments, but to learn how to handle them, work through them, and move on. No partner is perfect, probably not even Ryan, so you want to be equipped to face the let-downs without letting the whole thing falling apart.

Find me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter: @DrJaneGreer.
For more on Dr. Greer, visit http://www.drjanegreer.com.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Local

Attorney at heart of alleged insurance fraud took…

A Center City personal injury lawyer took his own life last week, days before D.A. Seth Williams released an indictment putting the lawyer at the heart of an alleged insurance…

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

NHL

Gary Bettman praises Philly prior to NHL draft

Gary Bettman will bring the NHL draft to Philadelphia this summer.

NHL

Flyers can’t solve Rangers shot blockers

The Rangers blocked a remarkable 28 Flyers' shots Tuesday night.

NHL

Flyers need much more from Claude Giroux

The Rangers have successfully shut down Claude Giroux so far, leading the Flyers 2-1 in the best of seven series.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."