Personally I find that when interacting with those individuals in my life that I have an established close relationship with that seems to be floundering or experiencing a great amount of conflict, defining expectations can be a great source for self-evaluation. When seeking to clearly define what I expect from the relationship and the person I am engaged in it with in order to feel respected and valued, I am able to safely assess my feelings about the other person and the feelings I hold about myself and my role in the relationship. I find that many times relationship expectations are never discussed and are usually just assumed, and well, I’m sure you’ve heard that saying: When you assume, you’re making an ASS out of U and ME! I find that even though it is cliché, it still holds a great deal of truth. Assuming that the other person in the relationship with you knows what you want, what you feel you need, will more than likely not gain you those wants and needs and could end up destroying the relationship, which could hold the potential for something greater and long lasting.
My husband and I, in the very beginning stages of our relationship exchanged many emails as it was a long distance relationship for the first year and a half; he lived on the West coast, I on the East coast, and in those emails we detailed the expectations of our relationship after a number of very heated and hurtful phone conversations. What were the parameters of our relationship? With such a great physical distance between us, what was acceptable behavior and what was not? I believe it was the key point to maintaining our relationship in those early months, but it required each of us to be honest with ourselves and vulnerable with the other. It required us to be willing to communicate and discuss what we expected when we encountered ambiguity. Just recently, thirteen years after the email exchanges about our expectations within our relationship, we were reminded of them while we were watching The Big Bang Theory. The character of Sheldon Cooper, who is well-known for his Relationship Agreements, drew one up for Penny and Leonard Hofstadter, who were going through a difficult time in their marriage. Now as silly as it is made out to be on the TV series, I honestly have the belief that these Relationship Agreements or Relationship Contracts or a simple but honest conversation about what each person expects from the relationship can manifest a stable and authentic relationship, whether it is of a romantic nature or just an intimate friendship between two individuals who truly support and care about each other’s over-all well-being.
From the perspective of witchcraft, taking the thoughts, which are infused with your personal feelings about those thoughts and either writing them down, typing them out, or speaking them aloud manifests those thoughts into the physical realm, which enables them to manifest. Remember my beliefs about The Power of Words? If a ritual is held within a cast Circle and these expectations are exchanged between the individuals engaged in this relationship then they are witnessed by the spiritual beings, Ancestors, deities and all other energies that were evoked or invoked into that Circle as well. This could be a very powerful experience and strong foundation for this relationship if both parties are invested in it. This idea is reflected in the Study-Dedication Rituals and Coven Initiation Rites that our coven held.