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Part 2: Are My Expectations Too High?

Jonathan Riley

“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed” – Sylvia Plath

Navigating relationships is a constant journey of self-discovery and understanding. One critical aspect of this journey is managing expectations. Sometimes, we hit it off with someone on the first date; other times, we find ourselves deep in a relationship before realizing that it might not be the best fit. Recognising that no potential partner will be perfect is critical, as is recognising that a number of red flags may indicate a mismatch.

Do You Have an Extensive List of Dealbreakers?

An overlong list of dealbreakers can be an early warning sign of excessively high expectations. Everyone has non-negotiables in relationships, but if your list seems to stretch out endlessly, it might be time to reflect. While certain dealbreakers are essential for your happiness and safety, an overly stringent list can close off the potential for meaningful connections.

Has No One Been Able to Live Up to Your Demands?

If you find that no one can quite live up to your standards, it may be a reflection of unreasonable expectations rather than a commentary on the potential partners you’ve encountered. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and expecting a flawless person might set you up for constant disappointment.

Does Your Partner Never Feel Good Enough?

If your partner often feels inadequate despite their best efforts, it could be a sign that your expectations are too high. While it’s normal to have desires and wants, it’s essential to appreciate the efforts your partner puts into the relationship and recognize their feelings of self-worth.

Is Your Self-Esteem Tied to Your Partner?

Expecting your partner to be the sole source of your self-esteem is not only an unfair burden but also an unhealthy dynamic. Self-esteem should come from self- love and acceptance, not solely from another person’s validation.

Do You Compare Your Relationships to Those on Social Media?

The glamorous world of social media often presents idealized versions of relationships that can skew our expectations. If you find yourself comparing your relationships to these polished narratives, you’re setting unrealistic expectations that real-life relationships rarely meet.

Do You Have Unrealistic Expectations About Your Partner’s Appearance and Time?

Expecting your partner always to look attractive or to spend all their free time with you disregards their individuality and personal needs. Healthy relationships involve mutual respect for personal space, time, and the understanding that appearance isn’t always a priority.

Do You Always Expect Your Partner to Apologize First

Such expectations can lead to an imbalance in the relationship, leaving your partner feeling unheard or unfairly burdened. Remember, a relationship is a partnership, which includes sharing responsibility for apologies and understanding differing viewpoints.

Do You Expect Your Partner to Read Your Mind

Expecting your partner to know your thoughts without communication or to be the cure-all for any void in your life, is unrealistic and unhealthy. Open communication is key in any relationship, and personal fulfillment should not rely solely on your partner.

Are You Misguided by the “Chemistry” Fallacy?

While chemistry is vital, it’s not the only ingredient for a successful relationship. Expecting constant sparks to fly can lead to overlooking other critical aspects like compatibility, mutual respect, and shared values.

Are Your Feelings the Sole Barometer of Your Relationship?

Using your emotions as the sole determinant of your relationship’s health can be misleading. Emotions fluctuate, and it’s crucial to look at the broader picture, including your partner’s actions, your mutual understanding, and shared experiences.

In conclusion, overly high expectations can damage relationships. Instead of pursuing unattainable perfection, focus on mutual respect, communication, and shared values. Remember, no one is perfect. Balance your needs with appreciating your partner’s efforts. Keep your expectations realistic, be mindful of each other’s emotions, and maintain open dialogue for a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

At My Practice Counselling Melbourne, we understand the intricacies of managing expectations in relationships. Our approach is designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of your emotions and expectations, fostering more fulfilling and rewarding connections with your loved ones. You’re not alone in this; reach out to us today to start your journey toward healthier relationships.