10 Ways Perfectionism Is Ruining Your Relationship

It’s a good thing to set high standards for yourself and others, but perfectionism takes this way too far. You end up expecting way too much, setting the bar so high that no one could ever reach them. This leads to failure and negative behavioral patterns, especially in relationships. Here’s how you could end up ruining yours.

  1. You have an unrealistic idea of how things are supposed to be. You expect everything in your relationship to be sunshine and rainbows. You don’t like when things go wrong, like when you fight, because this bursts your bubble of idealism. You think your partner is supposed to be a certain way and this expectation is driving a wedge between you two. You have unrealistic expectations of your partner that they can never meet.
  2. You don’t do well with changes in plans. You want things to be just so and any variations from the plan totally freak you out. You’re definitely not one to be spontaneous. In fact, spontaneity kind of freaks you out. If your partner tries to spring a surprise on you or change the plans, you don’t handle it well. This is because you want to have some semblance of control over situations.
  3. You compare your relationship to other people’s. Your relationship isn’t enough, especially when you’re stacking it against what you think someone else’s is like. Really, you have no idea what other people’s relationships are like on a day-to-day basis, yet you can’t help but to wish yours was more like theirs. You think that you two are doing something wrong because it doesn’t look as good.
  4. You expect perfection from your partner. Not only do you expect perfection from yourself, but it seeps over into what you expect from your partner, too. When your partner makes a mistake you’re really hard on them just like you are on yourself. You almost expect them never to make mistakes because things should be as perfect as possible. Meanwhile, you’re also making mistakes.
  5. You keep score. Whenever your partner does something wrong, you commit it to memory. You have a list of things they’ve done wrong and you go back to that list often. You use this as ammo when you make a mistake, coming back to all the things your partner has done or not done to use against them. You also act passive-aggressively about their mistakes.
  6. You try to control your partner. Whether it’s what your partner wears or who they hang out with, you try to have a hand in making those decisions. You think that you know best even when it’s not your life. This drives a partner bonkers because they’re just trying to do their own thing. Your inability to let go and let them live their life may be the downfall of you two.
  7. You’re quick to criticize. You’ve got things all mapped out in your head. You have an idea of what everything is supposed to look like and when things go awry you aren’t happy. You criticize your partner often, leaving them feeling pretty crummy about themselves. Often you have the best of intentions, yet your execution communicates only criticism.
  8. You’re often insecure about your body. Your body is a victim of your constant criticism too. This is perfectionism affecting your relationship because you hating yourself means that you have a hard time accepting love. You don’t believe your partner when they tell you that you’re sexy. Instead, you’re too caught up in thinking that there’s something wrong with you.
  9. You don’t let yourself be seen. Since perfectionism runs your life, you struggle to be vulnerable because that would mean showing your imperfections. You do anything to avoid this like saying “I’m fine” a lot when you really aren’t. You don’t let your feelings out with your partner, so you’re missing the chance to connect with them on a deeper level.
  10. You beat yourself up constantly. When you’re not giving your partner a hard time you’re giving yourself one. You constantly beat yourself up about everything you think you’ve done wrong. You may think that this only affects you, but your self-loathing seeps out and affects your relationship. It’s challenging to be with someone who’s constantly putting themselves down because they think they’re never good enough.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.