That's what a relationship is, a set of expectations. That's generally most explicit in business relationships, where the expectations are transactional and governed by laws, but I think it's just as true in personal connections.
What I think you're saying here is that dating and marriage (which has always been contractual) involve a certain KIND of expectations, such as sexual exclusivity, frequency of communication, and possibly cohabitation. Traditional thinking says people shouldn't have sex without those expectations. In fact, traditional thinking (as I see it) enslaves women by making those "protections" the sole reason for being intimate with a man.
Of course you have expectations in your friendships. And you'd know it if those expectations were violated. You expect your friends to care about you, stay in touch however loosely, be candid with you, pay attention to you when you do spend time together, and generally comport themselves as adults. To be, in other words, people you can trust.
Kudos to you for avoiding the traditional pitfall of relationships built on mutual need instead of mutual choice. Kudos also for the quality of your writing. I'll be following you.