I’m trying to get my head around relationships.

On the one hand drop the manual and all expectations. Got it.

But there are times when I have communicated things to my partner that I like and he has responded positively. For example I told him I like it when we both go to bed at the same time and 9/10 he makes an effort to do this. And I don’t get mad on the one time out of 10 that he doesn’t.

Likewise I know he doesn’t like my phone making noises so I make an effort to put it on silent when he’s around.

I know his favourite meals so I try to make them often and I always keep the pantry stocked with his favourite snacks.

He buys me flowers on special occasions or just because.

Perfect right.

But when it comes to the sticky stuff, it’s so much harder. For example I want him to speak kindly to me always and never raise his voice. I want him to be patient with me always. I want him to never walk away from me mid-conversation. He wants me to not get emotional. He wants me to not repeat myself and not talk about stuff for hours.

Is it just the other stuff is easy to comply with each other’s preferences because there’s no negative consequence for us? Ie: putting my phone on silent is not a big deal for me even though I don’t do that when he’s around. But him asking me to not be so emotional is like him trying to tell me to be a different person. And I guess the same applies to him when I ask him not to raise his voice.

I’m trying to reconcile when to drop an expectation and let them be them OR make a request. And if I do make a request I want to know how to do it constructively without it causing WWIII.