Other’s Expectations and Life Decisions

“Oh, that’s fast!”

“Don’t move in with him right away, live apart first”

“You know your grandparents got engaged after one week”

“But you barely know him”

“I’m so happy for you, don’t listen to anyone else and continue to live your life unapologetically”

When circumstances completely aligned and I decided in a minimal amount of time (minimal is relative to me and to you the reader so I won’t define it) to move my life from Toronto to Ottawa I was met with a gamut of opinions. I’ve learned from sharing parts of my life with the world whether it be calling off my wedding in 2012 and leaving a toxic relationship to being diagnosed with MS that people will comment based on their expectations for the situation and how they frame things.

People reach conclusions based on the framework within which a situation is presented.

I realized I had been presenting information in a manner where I would say things like “I know it’s really soon”, and “I know I’ve just met him” and thus send certain signals for reactions.

When I tell people I have MS I usually start the sentence with “please don’t say I’m sorry” as I consider sorries as pity so now I frame the “announcement” appropriately. I should be doing that with any type of news and framing it for the reactions I would like to support me.

I believe that we also provide comments on other people’s lives based on our expectations for the situation and based on our experiences. Here is a great article on Mark and Angel Hack Life’s blog called: 18 Reasons to Give Up Trying To Live Up To Other’s Expectations that was a great read as I delved into my thoughts on this subject.

So when I met the man I want to spend my life with and decided in a relatively short amount of time to make firm, concise but swift decisions to move my life to Ottawa I was met with opinions based on other expectations for life and for how things should be. But this time I was prepared for it and didn’t let it rattle me too much. There is no guidebook on relationships, when to move in with someone, when to start a life with someone and everyone and their bunny rabbit has an opinion sometimes on what you should do. Since I’m still a recovering people pleaser I was rattled a little bit by some comments.

To the “relationship expert” on the app, anchor, who posted an open question to which I replied how I was thinking about what it would mean for me to transition my life back to my hometown to allow my relationship with my boyfriend to thrive and her only response to me without knowing any details about us, me or the situation was “make sure you live separately and date.” Thank you but no thank you for your advice. You gave it without having a connection with me or context from me. Your “advice” is invalid and wasn’t received in any sort of positive way.

To my parents, who reminded me of my grandparent’s whirlwind courting thank you for in your own way being so supportive of the perceived speed our relationship is taking.

To my friends that have not once questioned it but are beyond excited for me and don’t even have any second thoughts about it, thank you for being my biggest cheerleaders.

To the cliché, “when you know you know”. I hate you because I hate clichés but I thank you for providing the easiest way to explain what’s going on in my life.

My world has been turned upside down in a relative (I keep using that word because it’s the easiest way to categorize time) short amount of time. My life is going through monumental changes. Routine is being upended. Life and possessions are being moved. I’m adopting a new area code for my phone number. And I couldn’t be more calm, happy, excited and in a way scared about everything.

On Monday, I said goodbye to my career at Kobo. A fulfilling and valuable one. On Wednesday, I say hello to choosing love and putting life first. My boyfriend, future fiancée/husband/father to our children, Mike is a huge priority for me. When I look at quadrants of my life I’ve always been really good at building a career, taking care of my health, playing and discovering new hobbies, tackling fitness goals and growing relationships with my family and friends so now I can excitedly say I’m going to focus on the romantic relationship in my life in this next season of my life.


We are starting our life together and I couldn’t be more excited. This Alpha Female will still have a rewarding career in Ottawa, but I’m excited for this new season of my life that involves working together at building an amazing relationship that fills us up, challenges us and provides a comfortable space for us to continue to grow as individuals and as a family unit.

Mike and I

This weekend I’m moving home. I grew up in Ottawa from the age of 5 years old so my parents are on cloud nine. I’m super excited to be able to attend church with them again and for Sunday night dinners. Last but definitely not least. This man stole my heart, broke down a crap ton of walls I have built up over the years and I’m all in with him. Where he is, is my home.

What decisions are you making in life that you are considering others’ opinions?

Enjoy making your own decisions unapologetically. We all have to learn as we go and trust our gut. My gut is shooting off fireworks & staying extremely calm all at the same time.

6 thoughts on “Other’s Expectations and Life Decisions

  1. Great post, Robyn!! I think this is great & wish you so much love + happiness in this move. My hubby actually grew up in Pembroke & my SIL lives in Ottawa {I’ll actually be running a wellness weekend with her there in June – I would love to meet up with you!}. It’s so great you get to move back there & like you said, time is very relative to whatever. Pretty sure I knew I wanted to marry my hubby the moment I saw him and thought…ummm ya, he’s really hot! haha!

  2. Robyn, I’m so happy for you. When you truly know yourself, and it is is very clear that you do, you need not explain our actions, your decisions, your likes, your dislikes. The only people’s opinions that matter are those that YOU feel matter. And guess what? You know who those people are too. Here’s what I think: life’s too short not to go after what you want with all your heart. Go for it!!

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