Single and ready to mingle? Coupled and ready to settle down? Regardless of your relationship status, I think we can all agree on one thing: being in a relationship is like a trip up to Genting Highlands. It\u2019s curvy, might make you upset, and you don\u2019t even know if you\u2019ll survive the trip. Some of us do well with the pressure, others don\u2019t. At the end of the day, we either move on with the relationship or move on from it. Looking back on the years, I realized that there were several hidden pressures in my relationship that made me feel pressured and anxious. Here\u2019s 5 unspoken expectations you will likely always face in a relationship: 1. Celebrating important dates When you\u2019re single, the only thing you need to plan is your birthday. For me, it\u2019s pretty simple and low-key that at times, I didn\u2019t need the tradition of a cake, blowing candles and making a wish. Now that I\u2019m in a relationship, the pressure is on to make my partner\u2019s birthday, anniversary, Valentine\u2019s Day, Christmas, New Year\u2019s Day, etc. special and meaningful. The words \u201cWe don\u2019t need to celebrate it\u201d or \u201cI don\u2019t need a gift\u201d can feel like a landmine at times. Does my partner really not want to celebrate it or are they trying to subtly hint that they want something else, something special? I never grew up with the tradition of gift-giving (my closest friends just receive a \u2018Happy Birthday\u2019 message or we\u2019ll go out to eat), so it was a whole different type of stress trying to find the perfect gift\/experience at least three times a year for my partner (birthday, Valentine\u2019s, Christmas). It also doesn\u2019t help that every other day, there\u2019s a post on social media showing an extravagant birthday gift\/surprise with the caption \u201cI wish my partner was like this\u201d. I too wish that I could make big bucks and surprise my partner with everything they\u2019ve ever wanted, but let\u2019s face it: I can\u2019t. Luckily for us though, we\u2019ve come to an agreement to only spend on necessary items and nothing wasteful. 2. Expectations vs. Reality I think what we see and consume on social media plays a big part of how we shape our reality. On the surface, a relationship may seem all sunshine, cotton candy, and roses, but who are we to know what\u2019s really simmering under the surface? Unfortunately and without us knowing it, we consume social media the most and that\u2019s where we form our expectations. Your friend or that influencer you follow might show off the lavish gifts and surprise escapades they\u2019ve received from their partners, but do they show the ugly moments of a couple\u2019s argument complete with foul words and tears? The unspoken expectation to conform to social norms \u2014 as can be seen on social media \u2014 can be overwhelming, which makes clear communication and reaching a mutual understanding with your partner extremely important. I thought that when I had a partner, they could help me take nice photographs and be a typical #instabf \u2014 those were my expectations. After a long period together, I\u2019ve resigned to the fact that nope, my partner cannot be an #instabf and that\u2019s the reality of things that I accept. I\u2019ll just ask a friend to help me take photos then. *insert sad smile here* 3. Getting along with their friends\/family As an introvert, I struggle to form relationships with people I don\u2019t spend a lot of time with. Adding on to the fact that my partner\u2019s family communicates in a language I\u2019m not very well-versed in, I definitely felt a lot of unspoken expectation to fit in. And it\u2019s not just limited to fitting in, but also whether I\u2019m doing or saying the right thing. For example, I was and still get very nervous when I meet and talk to my partner\u2019s extended family because I\u2019m afraid of addressing them wrongly. In English, we call our cousins \u2018cousin\u2019 no matter the age and gender. In Mandarin however, there are different ways to address your cousin: biao jie, biao mei, biao ge, biao di. Don\u2019t get me started on addressing uncles and aunties, and these titles depend on the dialect too! At a certain point, I\u2019d feel so nervous that I could barely eat and keep food down, which doesn\u2019t really help when you\u2019re trying to smile and be polite but worry about producing vomit instead of words. I faced the same when meeting my partner\u2019s friends for the first time too \u2014 in fact, it was probably even more stressful because these are the people my partner is closest to. Even if I made a good impression, I always felt anxious of being judged and being studied intently like a new specimen, analysing if I was a worthy match for their friend. Which brings me to my next point\u2026 4. The concept of \u201cAm I enough?\u201d This was something I struggled with a lot in my relationship. I\u2019d constantly compare myself to others and struggled with feeling enough for my partner, often saying things like, \u201cI\u2019m not good enough, we should break up so you can find someone better.\u201d Although my partner would always reassure me that yes, I\u2019m enough, I never felt like it. In fact, I hated that I couldn\u2019t be better for my partner. I hated that I couldn\u2019t be more athletic or more outgoing, perhaps prettier, friendlier, smarter, kinder \u2014 any reasonable characteristic I could think of that would make a better partner, for my partner. It\u2019s an overwhelming pressure that I still struggle with to this day, but if there\u2019s one thing I\u2019ve learned, it\u2019s to take your partner\u2019s word for it when they say \u201cYou are enough\u201d. If you are not enough for them, why are they still with you? 5. Navigating comfort zones Comfort zones include everything from daily life and behaviour to intimacy. What\u2019s comfortable for you, might not be comfortable for your partner and that means finding a way to work around it. My partner is the touchy-feely kind while I\u2019m perfectly happy with zero physical contact. In the beginning, I felt pressured to reciprocate my partner\u2019s advances because well, I thought, that\u2019s what relationships are supposed to be, right? But no. If you\u2019re not comfortable doing something with your partner, don\u2019t bow into the pressure or expectation of it. Communicate that with your partner and find a way to meet halfway. That\u2019s what relationships are: give and take. On the other hand, sometimes challenging comfort zones gives you a great way to learn and discover something new, or to get out of your shell. We all know just how comfortable a comfort zone can be, but newsflash! If you don\u2019t get uncomfortable, you\u2019ll never learn something new. In terms of a relationship, discuss your comfort zones and levels of risk you are willing to take and\/or explore with each other. The best partner is one who understands and respects your decision, and if they\u2019re willing to sacrifice so much for you, they\u2019re a keeper. For more stories like this, read: My Husband Has a \u2018Rich Person\u2019 Mindset While I Have a \u2018Frugal\u2019 Mindset \u2013 Here\u2019s How We Make Our Marriage Work and Making a Relationship Work for 30 Years; What I Wished I Knew Then.