I think the word "demanding" rightly has a negative connotation in relationships. In a real sense, we can't "demand" something from another person. They are other than us (separate and out of our control) and that is a good thing (we can't be in a relationship if there is not an "other" person to be in relationship with.)
Relationships are a free gift of self to an other. That can't be "demanded" or forced if it is genuine and freely given. Even "demanding" respect is pointless since we can't "make" the other person do something which requires freedom in the giving. Somehow the demanding negates the freedom.
I liked the distinction made between "demands" and "expectations". Expectations are good especially when they are shared! Expressed needs are also good. It gives the other person the opportunity to respond in freedom and express love. Demands? Not a fan. It implies one person is above/better/stronger/etc. than the other. And it introduces "force" into love . . . which is freely given.
Thanks for adding your thoughts
I agree that the word, "demanding" has a negative "feel" to it. I meant to ask whether a person who harbors a definite capacity to be demanding in appropriate situations is, other things being equal, thereby less desirable as a serious dating prospect compared to someone with no such capacity.
Although no friendly relationship could be based mainly on the voicing of demands by one or both parties, I think it can happen that one party feels that the other party has been unfair and that the first party demands a correction of the matter if the second party delays too long in setting things right. A lot of relationships may not reach one of these "demanding" points if all the bumps are miniature molehills, but that is not always the case.
I'd like to say something about these words of yours:
Relationships are a free gift of self to an other. That can't be "demanded" or forced if it is genuine and freely given.
Relationships are build not just on freedom, but also on self-revelation, not all at once but over time. If one party feels so aggrieved that he or she cannot show the degree of his or her feelings without assuming a demanding tone, then real self-revelation is cut off at a critical point. I think that is not helpful.