Unrealistic expectations can doom a relationship that otherwise might have had great potential.
You can’t expect your love life to be like a movie or a romance novel. Your idea of a perfect relationship might not match what’s actually possible in reality. You may be setting the bar too high, and that always leads to disappointment.
Think about it for a second. Has anyone ever managed to live up to your expectations? If not, you’re probably expecting too much, or even wishing for something that isn’t possible in real life.
Here are some other major signs that you expect too much from your partner and your relationship:
1. You have too many dealbreakers.
It’s good that you know what you want from a relationship, but if you have a long list of what you don’t want, everyone might end up disqualified. If you have too many dealbreakers, you could be searching for a perfect relationship that might not even exist or be good for you.
Maybe your relationships always end when you encounter one of your dealbreakers. So you find out that your date smokes, that they’re a cat person rather than a dog person, or that they wear socks with sandals.
Then you inevitably end things just like you’ve always done. This pattern will continue until you finally reduce your lengthy list of dealbreakers.
2. You compare relationships to fiction.
Maybe all your knowledge of relationships comes from romance novels and movies. You compare your relationships to fiction and expect the same kind of happy ending.
Hollywood has made you think that there’s one person in the entire world who’ll fulfill all of your needs and that you’re destined to be with them.
When things don’t work out like that in real life, and you encounter a problem in your relationship, you conclude that you deserve better. What you don’t realize is that no relationship is perfect, and they rarely play out like you see in the movies.
3. You compare relationships to those you see on social media.
Maybe you see happy couples on social media, and you expect the same kinds of grand gestures in your relationship. When this doesn’t happen, you are disappointed because you believe that relationships should be like the ones you see on social media. However, what happens offline matters much more than what’s shared with the public.
Your partner might not make the same grand gestures that you’ve seen on social media, but their behavior in the real world is what you should be focused on anyway. Don’t expect them to be some Instagram model.
4. You expect the same relationship you think others have.
You could be comparing your current relationship to your friend’s, your parents’, or your past relationships. This is not a great idea. You’ll come to expect the same kinds of things that these other relationships have to offer. However, you must keep in mind that everyone is unique, and your partner will show you love in their own way.
You could also assume that all other relationships are better than yours, purely because you presume too much about them without knowing all the facts. All relationships look perfect on social media or family events, but they also all have problems, and you’re not going to see much of that part in people’s posts.
5. You expect your partner to read your mind.
Maybe you believe that your partner should “just know” certain things, and it leads you to feel disappointed when they turn out to be a bad mind reader. Don’t expect them to read your mind.
Tell your partner what you want instead of making subtle hints or expecting them to somehow know what it is. Some people are just not that great at reading between the lines, and you need to spell it out for them. Why not simply explain what you need so you don’t end up disappointed?
6. You want your partner to spend all their free time with you.
If you don’t let your partner spend time with their friends because you need them by your side 24/7, you’re asking for too much. What’s more, spending all your free time together is bad for both of you and could cause you to become overly dependent on one another.
You should both have a life outside of the relationship for it to be healthy. Let your partner spend time with their friends and you can spend time with yours. Just like you shouldn’t forbid them from spending time with their friends, you shouldn’t rely solely on them for your social life.
7. You want your partner to be constantly available.
Maybe you don’t expect your partner to spend all of their free time with you, but you want them to be available 24/7 in case you need them. They constantly have to let you know about their whereabouts and respond quickly to your calls and messages.
This is also bad for your relationship, and you should leave your partner some room to breathe. They should have enough alone time, as well as time for friends, family, and hobbies, without having to be on their phone the entire time reassuring you that they’re still thinking about you.
8. You expect your partner to fulfill all your needs.
You can’t expect your partner to meet all your needs. They have their own needs to think about too, and you should have a support system other than your partner, such as your family or friends, so you aren’t so reliant on them.
Depending on one person for all your needs can be overwhelming for them, and they are probably going to let you down. Sure, your partner will want you to be happy, but they can’t be the only one who takes care of you. You need to take care of your own needs and only ask for help with things you can’t handle on your own.
9. You think that you should never fight in a relationship.
The legend says that happy couples don’t fight, but this is why it’s just a legend. All couples occasionally fight. If you expect everything to be smooth sailing in your relationship, you’re in for a big surprise. Arguments happen, and they shouldn’t surprise you.
You and your partner can’t agree on everything, and fighting is sometimes a productive way to resolve your problems. You might be surprised to know that fighting is actually normal, and even good for you, depending on how you fight.
10. You expect things to stay the same.
Maybe you are happy in your relationship, but the problem is, you expect things to stay that way forever. Every relationship goes through certain stages, including rough patches every now and then. Expecting to always stay in the honeymoon phase is just going to leave you disappointed when reality strikes.
Don’t fear change. Welcome and embrace change instead. Know that you and your partner are constantly growing and changing, and so is your relationship—it’s perfectly normal.
Your relationship is going to go through certain stages and change with time, and this means that things are going to be difficult occasionally. Don’t let this come as a surprise.
11. You expect your partner to change who they are.
It’s okay to expect your partner to improve, but expecting them to change who they are entirely is a whole other story. Unfortunately, a lot of times people stay in relationships because they hope that their partners will suddenly become different people. They’ve seen the red flags, but their partners promise to change. The question is, will they?
People can improve when they work on it, but they very rarely, if ever, change their entire personality. Don’t cling to a person in the hope that they’ll turn into someone else. If you can’t love them for who they are, you can’t love them, and that’s it.
12. You want your partner to be perfect.
You might be expecting perfection from your partner. Maybe you expect them to be flawless and always live up to your expectations. This is unrealistic and also unfair to them.
You should love your partner for who they are, with all of their flaws and shortcomings. If you can’t do this, do you even love them? Maybe you’re in love with the image of them that you’ve created in your mind based on fairytales.
13. You expect your relationship to always make you happy.
Your partner shouldn’t be your only source of happiness. You should know how to make yourself happy.
Sometimes, love makes us sad or angry; we can’t always be happy. And that’s okay, it’s normal to experience all these emotions in a relationship. So, don’t assume that your partner’s sole purpose on this earth is to make you happy. Find ways to make yourself happy, and don’t rely on them for your every need.
14. You expect your partner to always say and do the right thing.
Rest assured that your partner is going to make mistakes. So, you can’t expect them to always say and do the right thing. Again, nobody’s perfect, so don’t expect your partner to be.
Sometimes they are going to hurt you, say the wrong thing, make you cry, or make you angry. They are going to do things that they wish they hadn’t done and say things that they wish they could take back. They’re only human, so don’t expect them to be flawless.
15. You expect your partner to do all the chores.
It’s not fair to your partner if you expect them to take care of all the household chores while you sit around and do nothing. You should divide the chores or do them together. For instance, you could cook while your partner cleans, or you could prepare the main dish while your partner makes salad and dessert.
Even if your partner is a homemaker, it doesn’t mean the household chores are their job only. Be fair when you divide the chores and do your part in maintaining the household.
16. You expect to be showered with gifts all the time and to be financially supported.
Sure, your partner should occasionally surprise you with a thoughtful gift, but don’t expect to be showered with luxurious presents. Lower your expectations if you expect to be financially taken care of just because you’re in a relationship.
Your partner shouldn’t pay for everything all the time, and this applies to dinner and drinks, but also serious things such as the rent and bills. Don’t depend financially on your partner or expect them to cover everything while you’re not even looking for a job.
17. You assume that your partner no longer finds you attractive when they’re not in the mood for sex.
A person might not be in the mood for sex because they’re tired or have other things on their mind. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not attracted to you. Don’t assume this when you’re in a relationship with someone that you usually have sex with.
They are still attracted to you even if you’re not constantly rolling in the hay these days. It’s normal for established couples to experience a diminishing spark. It’s not the end of the world if you’re still passionate with each other every week rather than every day.
18. You expect your partner to be your entire social life and the only source of your happiness.
Your partner is a part of your love life, and you should have a social life separate from your relationship with them. Have friends, hobbies, and interests that you can engage in while you’re away from your partner. Remember, you don’t always need to be together, and having some time away from each other to do your own thing is good for you.
As already mentioned, you shouldn’t rely on your partner to be your only source of happiness. Learn to make yourself happy and have a life outside of the relationship. Enjoy your own company and do things that make you happy on your own!
19. You expect things to always be easy.
Movies and books also erroneously teach us that things are going to be easy when you meet the right person. When things turn out to be not so easy with someone, you end the relationship because they’re clearly not “The One” for you!
Things can’t be easy all the time. As already mentioned, all relationships encounter bumps in the road, and all couples occasionally fight. It’s not going to be all smooth sailing just because you’re madly in love. Don’t believe Hollywood when it comes to romantic relationships.
20. You are often left disappointed.
You’re probably often left feeling let down in your relationship. This is a clear sign that you might have unrealistic or overly high expectations. Is it possible for anyone to live up to your demands? Has anyone ever managed to? If not, don’t expect your partner to do something impossible.
Unrealistic expectations are not fair to your partner. They probably know that they’ve let you down but don’t know how to stop doing it. If you keep expecting the impossible, they will continue letting you down, and they’ll probably always feel like they’re not good enough for you.
21. You expect your partner to complete you.
You should be a complete person without your partner. While healthy expectations in a relationship include the feeling of fulfillment that a relationship brings, it shouldn’t be the only thing that brings fulfillment into your life.
Basically, you should have a life separate from your love life and find fulfillment in things you’re passionate about other than your relationship. Ideally, you should feel like a complete person before getting into a relationship with someone, but the least you could do is not expect them to complete you and give your life meaning.
22. You expect your partner to always understand you.
Misunderstandings happen in every relationship. Your partner can’t always know and understand how you feel, and you’re occasionally going to disagree as well. This is all normal, and you shouldn’t expect it to be any different.
Your partner can’t always see things from your perspective, especially if you don’t communicate clearly. So, again, don’t expect them to be a mind reader. Try to communicate clearly instead of hinting at things. Don’t expect your partner to know and understand things that you haven’t clarified with them.
23. You expect your partner to always prioritize your needs.
Your partner should generally put you first, but they also have their own needs to think about, so they can’t always prioritize yours. Don’t expect them to ditch work or friends because you want them to watch a TV show with you.
If you happen to be sick or are having a crisis, sure, they will show up for you and ditch everything. However, when it’s not that serious, it’s okay that they put their own needs first. They are allowed to choose their professional or social life over their love life every now and then.
24. You expect things to work out on their own.
Problems aren’t going to magically resolve themselves on their own. While this always happens in the movies, it basically never happens in real life. And you are going to face problems in your relationship. When that happens, you will both need to work on things.
Romcoms always have happy endings, and sometimes real life does too, but not without effort. You need to put work into maintaining and improving any relationship that you want to succeed. When there are problems, don’t shove them under the rug. Talk to someone who can help you.
A therapist can help you resolve your relationship problems and work on having healthier expectations. So don’t hesitate to talk to someone about this, and don’t let unrealistic expectations sabotage your relationships.