Couple sitting on a couch discussing their relationship and expectations.

What are Your New Relationship Expectations? Realistic or Not?

20 July 2023

Are you in a new relationship? How exciting and scary at the same time. Right? One of the most important things to consider is “What are the new relationship expectations you each bring with you as you boldly explore long-term expectations?”

Couple sitting on a couch discussing their relationship and expectations.

Are your new relationship expectations aligned or totally out of line with your partner’s? This is where the real adventure begins!

Let me share my top new-relationship expectations that can get in the way. These are those important conversations you need to have sooner than later so you can start finding common ground.

These are the make-it-or-break-it new relationship expectations I see my clients run into time and time again:

How often you’ll see one another?

Some couples want to spend lots of time together, especially in the beginning. And other couples spend time on the weekends and maybe once a week if they live in the same city or town. Long-distance relationships take effort and a lot depends on the distance and other factors for how often you can see each other in real life.

How much time will you spend with one another?

One widowed male client expected to spend the whole weekend with his love interest. And to many ladies, that was too confining with their need for self-care and other interests. However, he met a woman who was on the same page and wanted to spend that kind of time with him. And now they’re married.

Are you an exclusive couple? 

This is one new relationship expectation that trips up many couples. And it starts with understanding what being exclusive means to each of you. Defining exclusivity will prevent misunderstandings in the future.

When a couple becomes exclusive is also something to discuss. If you don’t have this conversation, you may be assuming you’re exclusive when your partner doesn’t see it that way. 

Who pays for what? 

Stress around money is often in the mix when considering your new relationship expectations. Neither of you should assume the man pays for everything. Much depends on your stage of life, your income levels, and your individual living expenses. Does your partner still have to give child support? Does your partner have to pay for the care of an ailing parent? Sensitivity goes a long way here.

How often do you expect to hear from one another and how will you communicate?

There are so many options today. I found one of my clients was having a texting relationship with her so-called boyfriend. Other clients talk on the phone every day or even set up Zoom/Facetime video calls with one another. When it comes to communication, a lot depends on your proximity to one another and the time you each have available to put toward the relationship. Each couple must find what works for them.

Where will you meet? In public, your place, or mine?

Where you spend your time is telling and fits into new relationship expectations. What if he takes you out all the time and you spend all your time at your place only to find out when you finally do go to his place that he’s a raging slob? In this case, expressing your desire for a neat and orderly home is something you want to check out sooner than later – not 6 months down the road.

Watch out for those people who are hiding their faults by avoiding inviting you to their home!

Meeting your partner’s friends or vice versa.

Seeing how you get along with your partner’s friends or you theirs can be very insightful. One important new relationship expectation is to feel comfortable with each other’s friends. Besides this, we often value our friends’ opinions, if they offer them. Meeting friends can be a big milestone in relationship building or a signal you’re not headed for the alter. 

Traveling together – are you compatible?

Traveling brings up so many potential issues. How do you travel? To where do you travel? At what level of luxury do you travel? These 3 questions alone can expose a lot of new relationship expectations.

But wait, there are plenty more. Do you go touring all day or do you make time to relax? How much time do you spend in the room versus out and about exploring?

How a couple travels together can make or break a relationship. Personally, I’ve had this experience of traveling together breaking one relationship and solidifying another. I’ve seen the positive and negative experiences my clients have with traveling together. Traveling together is a very quick way to figure out how compatible and flexible each of you really are.   

What’s the pace of being physical (from holding hands to being sexually intimate)?

Most people want a physical connection with their life partner. How soon one gets physical is different for everyone and is ripe for differing new relationship expectations. One person wants to take it slowly and another wants to find out quickly if they’re physically compatible. I’ve seen couples take 6 months to become fully intimate, as well as, within 6 dates!

This is something each couple needs to discuss and navigate according to beliefs and comfort level.  

Meeting your partner’s family, parents, or kids.

Just like meeting friends, for many couples, meeting your partner’s family is a big step toward becoming a serious relationship. So, there are many expectations for a new relationship around this.

One client hired me because she was dating a man for two years and she hadn’t yet met his adult kids. Other times, people want you to meet their family right away. There are many factors here that need to be taken into consideration.

Based on my nearly 20 years as a dating and relationship coach, these are the most important new relationship expectations I believe you need to discuss with your partner sooner than later.

However, don’t stop here. There are always more expectations to discuss. I encourage you to think about what your new relationship expectations were in the past, are now (if you’re in a relationship), or want them to become for your next relationship. 

What conversations do you need to have sooner than later to make sure your expectations are aligned? 

If you need support with managing or exploring your expectations for a current or future relationship, this is my expertise. So, let’s talk. 

Identifying, managing, and adjusting your new relationship expectations is a big part of my coaching program. I don’t leave my clients once they meet someone. It’s when they meet someone that the real work begins! Navigating a new relationship and managing your expectations will either solidify your relationship or break it up. 

So, seriously, let’s talk! Go to, fill out the form, and schedule some time with me. Let’s make sure you have the knowledge and confidence to take your relationship to the next level. 

PS: Do you know that I do new couples/pre-engagement couples coaching? I love witnessing my couples getting ready for the next step and building greater connection by feeling heard by their partner. If you want to explore new relationship couples coaching, go to, and let’s find a time to connect!