Being in a relationship can bring up several different feelings that you might have about yourself and your partner, and there’s a balance of equality that can help increase relationship satisfaction. Thus, having too low of standards in a relationship (or high, but for this article, I’ll focus on low), can interfere with you and your partner’s ability to move forward in a happy, secure manner, as explained by experts at eHarmony.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding themselves and feeling empowered within the relationships they have, while still thinking of their partner as an equal factor in decision making, lifestyle choices and long-term goals. There’s a level of respect that must exist within a partnership, and that respect can be absent when the parties do not have reasonable expectations about the other person or the relationship’s progression. To have high or low expectations can be damaging, as it can set someone up for disappointment if those expectations are not met (and often, expectations can be unreasonable). Here are eleven ways to know that your standards are too low in your relationship and that you should re-evaluate where you stand, as an individual and as a couple, in order to decide what’s best for you.
1. You Are Constantly Compromising Your Needs
While great relationships may require times to negotiate on decisions and put the other person first, there’s a fine line, as you should not feel as though you are always “losing” or putting your partner’s needs above your own. “If you consistently feel like you are compromising your wants and needs in your relationship, you might need to take a look at what you are getting out of the relationship,” says Chicago-based licensed marriage and family counselor, Erika Fay, LMFT, over email with me.
2. You Don’t Ask That Your Partner Support You
When things get tough or you’re handling certain responsibilities on your own, it’s nice to be able to look to someone for comfort, support and care, and often times, that person is your partner. However, if he or she doesn’t offer support, and you don’t expect it from them, you might want to rethink the relationship, suggests Fay. “Being with someone just to be with someone is very different than being in a mutually supportive and caring relationship,” she says.
3. You’re Constantly Bored
“Boredom” within a relationship can be a sign of someone having low standards regarding his or her partner’s ability to be the one to inject happiness, humor and fun into the environment, and it can hurt a relationship overall, advises New York City based psychiatrist Dr. Judith H. Tanenbaum, over email with me. It’s okay to want some excitement in your relationship!
4. You Show Lack Of Respect
According to Tanenbaum, “lack of respect for your partner in the area that the bar is too low,” could be a sign that you have low standards for your partner and that you don’t provide respect for him or her regarding your perceived sense of his or her worth. Try to either lose the expectation, or chance the attitude to make your partner feel more valued.
5. You’re Shown Lack Of Respect
On the flipside, if you accept a sense of entitlement, unconstructive criticism or rude remarks from your partner, then you have low standards in the relationship and could definitely do better, say experts at Madame Noire. Discuss with your partner or move on to someone who can give you more respect.
6. You Don’t Care About Emotional Connection
If you are only concerned about what type of job, salary, or physical attributes a partner has, you might be thinking your standards are too high, but rather, they’re actually too low, as they dismiss the need for emotional value and compatibility, suggests Stewart. Instead, look for more.
7. You Get Into Relationships Right Away
If you are too quick to establish a committed relationship, without truly understanding your partner and what makes him or her different than other people and previous relationships you might have had, it means you have lower expectations of what you deserve and can attain, suggests Anita Chlipala, a dating and relationship expert over interview with Shape.
8. They Don’t Communicate Well
If your partner is lazy over phone, email and in-person conversations, where he or she waits too long to answer messages or is too sparse with details when engaging in a discussion with you, then you might be settling, said Natalie Lue, author of the No Contact Rule and Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl on her website.
9. You Think You Have A “Place”
If you think that your “place” is to put dreams and work on hold, or to stay at home while your partner works, or to sacrifice your career or travel plans for your partner’s (which are all OK if these are your own desires and decisions!), then you might be settling, said Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. in Psychology Today. Do what’s right for you!
No matter how you are feeling in your partnership, if you go in with low expectations, you could be setting yourself up for a relationship that will not benefit you, or your partner, long-term. Focus on your needs and how they can complement his or hers and then figure out how best to move forward.
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