Big Expectations

Recently an article went around Facebook about the false expectations of “GYPSYs”. The author of the article explains us GYPSYs as:

“yuppies in the Gen Y age group — I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

Essentially, we GYPSYs are given false hopes for a bright shining future without much effort. We’re told we’re special and we deserve to be recognized for our unique contributions to humanity… by the age of 25. When we don’t achieve this, we are sad. Essentially, we expect too much out of life, and of ourselves.

 But the article fails to mention that even though we have the delusional notion of fulfillment in life and passion-filled careers in our twenties, we also have been very well trained to expect pretty damn near perfection from ourselves (perhaps with the same sad ending when we realize we are unfortunately all far from perfect… and yes, it hurts to even type that).

This is especially true for women. As a friend recently lamented, “women are expected to be perfect in every aspect of their lives. It’s not fair”. This is of course not new news.

Ever since skinny, beautiful, interesting girls first graced our TV screens and magazine covers many years ago, we’ve been simultaneously trying to achieve perfection while trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to reject such absurd ideas. This all has lead us to believe that we’ve got to be attractive, smart, helpful, caring, ambitious, and hardworking, without ever being selfish, aggressive or self-conceited. We must be confident, but not too confident. We must be unique, but not weird. We must be perfect, but never, ever believe it.

And as we try to mold ourselves into our own particular brand of perfect that shimmers in the blinding light of all social media sites, it seems our expectations of relationships have fallen off to the side.

Indeed, what is perhaps most telling about the article is that it doesn’t even mention our expectations for love.

For example, when I develop a new crush, I hear over and over again, “just don’t expect anything”. And when a girl schemes about future romance, a good friend must always chime in, “yes that’s the plan, but remember, no expectations!” And in the case of a girl brave enough to still own a plan of action, she must always offer the disclaimer,  “but still, I’ll expect nothing!” 

So while we women may be busy attempting to achieve a full plate of perfection with a side of love life, guys get away with living in a constant state of awesomeness in which they need neither the absolute perfect GPA nor a girlfriend. In fact, they’re a bit more badass and awesome if they can somehow manage to be smart and loved without such qualifiers.  

For while we may expect less of them in performance, we perhaps expect more self-assuredness. How often do you hear men claiming their excellence, exclaiming, “I’m just that awesome” or “I can’t help but be the best”? When was the last time you heard a girl say that?

Indeed, it seems that somehow men have been able to maintain dominance in society despite the fact that our expectations may not be so high for them, particularly in the world of love expectations.

But of course it’s this way! Why would be expect love from men we don’t expect a lot from? It becomes a question not only of “what do we expect of men in love?” but of “what do we expect of men in society?”

We women may want guys to show loving emotions to us, everything we as a society have taught them is the opposite: never cry, never be weak. The world has contrived a place for men that situates them in a difficult place, for all of us.

Meanwhile, women are living a mantra of “Hey girl, reach for the stars in your career, but don’t you dare expect something resembling true love to walk through the door any time soon. So best not to think about it at all”.

But in the end, am I just being a GYPSY whose expecting too much by saying I want a change? 

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One response to “Big Expectations

  1. Caroline Maker

    I know I’m awesome.

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