11 signs that your expectations are so high that you’re scaring people away

Does it seem like the potential partners you meet don’t stick around for too long? Are you looking for someone to sweep you off your feet and care for you like you’re royalty?  

I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is these two things are connected. And the good news is, you’re still not beyond repair. 

But first, let’s see what signs show your expectations are so high that you’re scaring people away.

1) Projecting personal goals onto others

When you project your personal goals onto others, you assume your goals are universal or that everyone should naturally align with them. 

For instance, if you’re ambitious about your career, you expect your partner or friends to have the same level of career focus.

That’s why assuming that others should share and prioritize your personal goals, dreams, and ambitions results in disappointment when that’s not the case.

They simply have their own dreams and aspirations. 

Healthy relationships typically involve two people with different interests and ambitions. While shared goals are a great source of connection, it’s equally important to respect and support each other’s individuality.

2) Expecting mind-reading

Another sign your expectations are so high you’re scaring people away is assuming that others should intuitively know your desires or needs without clearly speaking with them.

When you excessively demand people’s time, attention, or resources, that’s too much for them. 

Naturally, this results in misunderstandings and unmet expectations. Potentially even making people avoid you like the plague.

For example, you expect your partner to know exactly what gift you want for your birthday or anniversary without dropping any hints or sharing what you’d like.

And so, your partner gives you a book for your birthday, but you have been hoping for a new camera. Ouch.

You feel disappointed. But it’s also your fault for not mentioning your newly-found interest in photography. A camera might also be outside their budget. 

Obviously, effective communication is the key here to resolving these issues. As is the following.

3) Impatience

I have to admit, I’m pretty, pretty, pretty impatient. I expect others to act or do things immediately because I do the same. 

However, expecting immediate responses or results from others doesn’t consider their schedules or priorities. Different people also respond differently to things.

And having lived in different countries, I quickly realized you need to adjust to how they do things. Or rather, don’t do. 

Here’s an example of impatience that affects you, the people around you, and your relationships with them:

You send a text message to your partner or friend and expect an immediate response. When they don’t reply within a few minutes, you become agitated or anxious, assuming something must be wrong.

Or, you want important decisions to be made quickly and without much discussion. When the other person needs more time to think or deliberate, you become frustrated.

Ultimately, it’s important to be patient and recognize that people have their own timetables and constraints.

4) Expecting perpetual happiness

Another big, big mistake some people make is believing you should always feel happy in a relationship and that any negative emotions are a sign of failure.

There’s no question about it – this type of expectation sets unrealistic emotional standards

Like everything in life and nature, relationships have ups and downs, and a range of emotions is normal.

Thinking there’s no place for negativity or unhappiness is an incredibly unrealistic expectation that makes people distance themselves from you. 

As does the following thing. 

5) Constant comparison to past relationships

Continuously comparing your current relationships to past ones suggests you’re holding onto idealized memories of previous partners. 

What this does is it prevents you from fully appreciating and understanding the unique dynamics of your current relationship.

Each relationship is unique, and every individual brings their own set of strengths and weaknesses to this partnership.

But, more than anything, we view past relationships through a lens of nostalgia, which distorts our perception of reality. We also forget the challenges and conflicts that existed in those relationships. 

To build healthier relationships, you need to recognize that the past isn’t a fair benchmark for evaluating the present. 

Instead, focus on understanding and appreciating your current partner’s unique qualities.

6) Perfectionism

When you expect perfection from others, you’re setting an unattainable standard. This results in frustration and disappointment on both sides when people inevitably make mistakes or have flaws. 

For example, you become deeply upset when your partner gains a few pounds, and you constantly comment on their appearance or pressure them to undergo cosmetic procedures to maintain a certain look.

Or you constantly pressure your partner to achieve more in their career, even if they’re content with their current position. 

You struggle to celebrate their achievements because they don’t meet your exceptionally high standards.

Remember that everyone is human, and imperfections are a part of life.

7) Excessive criticism

Constantly criticizing others for minor flaws or mistakes is also something that creates a negative atmosphere in your relationships. 

It makes people feel anxious and insecure, and over time, they may withdraw to avoid your criticism.

If that sounds like something you do, try being more compassionate and putting yourself in their shoes. 

How would you feel if someone criticized you day in and day out?

8) Expecting others to fulfill all your needs

When we get into a relationship, we typically spend most of our free time with our new partner. It makes sense, right? 

It’s all so new, and we want to know them better and simply love spending time around them. 

That’s all good if the other person thinks so too. But what if they don’t share the same feelings? 

Expecting a single person to fulfill all your emotional, social, and practical needs is unrealistic. 

You’re probably overstepping their boundaries without even being aware of it because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. 

In fact, you might be scaring them away with your “all-in” nature, which again, is understood. 

If you’re doing this in every relationship, you have to think about your behavior and maintain a diverse support network so you aren’t placing an undue burden on one person.

9) Ignoring boundaries

Disregarding personal boundaries and the space of others because you’re expecting them to always be available for you also results in discomfort and strain in relationships. 

For example, you constantly expect your partner to share their location and activities with you throughout the day. 

If they don’t respond promptly or if they want some privacy, you become upset.

There are countless examples of overstepping boundaries I could mention here, but they mostly boil down to two things:

A lack of respect and unclear communication. 

In healthy relationships, it’s crucial to respect and honor each person’s boundaries – physical, emotional, or personal. 

Also, open and empathetic communication is another key to understanding and setting them.

10) Fantasizing about an idealized future

If you’re anything like me, you often daydream about your future. It’s something that keeps me going through the day, especially when I lack motivation. 

On the other side, excessively daydreaming about a perfect future with someone can set you up for disappointment when reality doesn’t align with your fantasies. 

While it’s okay to daydream, it’s important that you have realistic expectations about the challenges and compromises that come with any relationship.

If you lived more than a month with someone, I don’t have to tell you how challenging it can be at times. 

You’re also familiar with the following:

11) Overinvestment in the early stages

I already mentioned this earlier, but it’s just something that many people do and, in the process, sabotage the future of their relationships. 

Becoming overly emotionally invested early in a relationship can put undue pressure on both you and the other person. Especially if they aren’t used to it, or they don’t feel the same.

For example, you’ve only been dating someone for a few weeks, but you already declare your love for them and expect them to reciprocate with the same intensity.

Or you expect your new partner or friend to be available to you 24/7, even in the initial stages when both of you should still have some independence.

Ultimately, it’s important to allow relationships to develop naturally and not rush into intense emotions prematurely.

Final thoughts

What are your thoughts on this topic? Did you recognize yourself or your partner, friend, or family member in some of these? 

Maybe share this article with them and help them realize how much their behavior is sabotaging their relationship with others. 

Having certain expectations is good, and you should never set the bar (too) low. On the other side, expecting people to have or uphold incredibly high standards for you and around you isn’t realistic and will probably scare them away.  

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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