We time travel everyday into both the future and the past. Our modes of transportation are our imagination and our memories, respectively. This leads us to living in two places at one time, always. The images in our mind of how life was, is, or is supposed to be versus what it actually was, is, and will be. It may be possible to link nearly every feeling of dissatisfaction and discontent to one simple notion- expectation versus reality. And, we aren’t the ones to be blamed. Society literally structures us to live with expectations. Whether they be the expectations of what the surrounding world wants from us or the expectation of what we want our lives to become, the only we we can progress is by setting up these imaginary heights that we will do anything to reach. While the latter may be our greatest asset, it also has the potential to be our greatest downfall, IF and only if, we don’t understand the difference between reality and expectation. Perhaps the most salient aspect of life that can be negatively impacted by this tension is our relationships. No matter if it is between lovers, friends, family, tangible objects etc., we place ourselves in this lane to be let down when we devise our expectations. It’s like a very potent to do list. They can really be the most helpful tool, but if you put too many items on the list and can’t get to them all in the time you set for yourself (your expectation), there’s a small tinge of regret and/or disappointment. However, when you understand what you are actually capable of accomplishing in a set period of time (the reality), you are able to make a more rational decision concerning the items for the list. Ultimately, we draw up this movie-like, romanticized image of our relationships in our head. Thus, when they fall anything short of what we expect, madness ensues. We pit up potential lovers to our ideal imagined partner, and of course, they will not match our creation exactly. So, when we compare what we want to what we have, what else is there to feel but a sense of not getting what you want? (Which leads to another so-called human trait…. never wanting what you have, and always realizing what you want when you don’t have it- I’ll spare you the details). Basically, expectations can really mess something up before it even comes to fruition, and that’s the danger I am speaking of. The good news is that there’s a cure, and it’s simple. I’ve reiterated it multiple times. We just have to understand that despite this imagined life, even if our desires are obtainable, they will almost never fit EXACTLY into our molded mental image. So, by simply acknowledging this fact, namely the innate difference between reality, or what you see, and expectation, what you imagine, you can take one step (possibly a giant leap) closer to obtaining satisfaction. If happiness is considered a pursuit, understanding is the key to its acquisition.