Why are my expectations so high in a relationship?

Whether we like it or not, we all have expectations in relationships. And while they can be a positive thing, they can also be damaging.

Unmet expectations can sabotage new relationships and sink long-term ones. Here are some reasons why your expectations may be too high:

1. You think your partner should behave a certain way

One of the most common reasons for arguing in a relationship is because your partner isn’t meeting your expectations. This can be anything from an unexpected gift to how you’re treated after a fight. This can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment.

It’s easy to think that you should feel a certain way in your relationship. This is especially true in the image-driven world we live in. We see photos of couples on vacations, getting engaged, and giving public displays of affection that make us believe everyone else is happy.

It’s important to be open about your expectations in a relationship so that you can discuss them as a couple and find an agreement. This will help prevent feelings of disappointment and resentment, which can damage even the most loving relationships. It can also help you communicate more effectively and develop healthy boundaries for your relationship. To help, consider establishing a regular check-in to identify and discuss your expectations.

2. You think your partner should be responsible

Every couple has a few things they argue about frequently, and many of these are related to what people call “relationship expectations.” While some experts say that expecting anything from your partner will lead to disappointment, other psychologists disagree.

Some of these expectations, such as always having sex, expecting your partner to read your mind, or demanding a social-media-perfect relationship are unrealistic and strain the partnership. But other healthy, realistic expectations, such as love, respect, and loyalty are reasonable to expect from a partner in a romantic relationship.

The key to avoiding pointless arguments in your relationship is learning how to trade your expectations for appreciation. Instead of arguing that your partner didn’t fold the towels correctly, take note of all the other positive qualities they have — such as their kindness, generosity, or dedication to work. That’s a lot more rewarding than focusing on the negative. You and your partner are far better off if you can learn to lower your defenses.

3. You think your partner should do things the way you want

The idea that your partner should magically know what you want without ever having to tell them is a recipe for disappointment. Everyone needs to learn how to communicate effectively and express themselves in their own unique way.

Expecting your partner to be a mind reader is unrealistic and can lead to arguments that may not result in a resolution. Having healthy expectations of your partner includes loving them for who they are, warts and all.

Mismatched expectations are often the source of conflict in a relationship. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to expect your partner to treat you with kindness and decency. These are expectations that fall more into the category of standards than expectations, and they should be discussed openly with your partner to avoid unnecessary tension. You will be glad you did! You may even find that resolving these differences with your partner is more productive than arguing over the color of the towels.

4. You think your partner should be perfect

It is often easy to have unrealistic expectations, especially in this image-driven age. Scrolling Instagram feeds of couples on vacation or receiving gifts from their partners can give rise to expectations that are out of reach.

In reality, no partner is perfect and it is impossible to find a person who will never make mistakes or forget things. It is important to keep this in mind when it comes to managing relationship expectations so that you can avoid fretting over small annoyances.

Instead of focusing on your partner’s flaws, focus on the ways that they make you happy and how they contribute to your relationship. This will help you get out of your unhealthy relationship rut and move forward into a bright new chapter. Our authentic relationship experts can teach you how to manage relationship expectations so that they are in line with what makes your partner unique and special. Schedule a call with us now to learn more!