14 Signs You Need To Raise Your Standards When It Comes To Love

14 Signs You Need To Raise Your Standards When It Comes To Love

You already know it’s important to set boundaries and have standards in a relationship, but you might insist on keeping your expectations low to avoid being disappointed or ending up alone. While there’s definitely such a thing as being unrealistic when it comes to your checklist for a potential partner, that doesn’t mean you should be setting the bar on the ground. In fact, if you relate to these things, chances are, you actually need to raise your standards in love rather than lowering them any further.

1. You feel pretty miserable.

If you often find yourself unhappy in your relationship, it’s a clear sign something isn’t right. It’s normal to have occasional disagreements or bad days, but if these are the norm rather than the exception, it’s a problem. Constant unhappiness could be due to a mismatch in expectations, needs not being met, or simply being in a relationship that isn’t the right fit. It’s crucial to reflect on why you’re unhappy – whether it’s due to specific behaviors from your partner or a general feeling about the relationship. Remember, being in a relationship should overall add to your happiness, not detract from it.

2. Your Needs Are Regularly Ignored.

If your partner consistently overlooks or dismisses your needs, it’s a serious red flag. This could be emotional needs, like the need for understanding and support, or practical needs, like help around the house. When your needs are ignored, it can make you feel undervalued and unimportant. A healthy relationship involves both partners recognizing and striving to meet each other’s needs. If you find yourself repeatedly expressing what you need without any response or change, it might be time to reconsider the standards you’ve set for how you should be treated.

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4. You Make Excuses for Their Behavior.

Making excuses for your partner’s poor behavior is a sign you’re compromising your standards. Whether it’s explaining away their rudeness to others, justifying their lack of commitment, or dismissing your own feelings of disappointment, these excuses indicate you’re accepting less than you deserve. It’s important to be honest with yourself about why you’re making these excuses. Are you afraid of confronting the truth about your relationship, or worried about being alone? Acknowledging that you deserve a partner whose behavior doesn’t need to be constantly excused is a step towards healthier self-esteem and relationships.

5. You always feel Drained around them.

A relationship should generally make you feel energized and uplifted, not drained. If you’re consistently feeling exhausted after spending time with your partner or thinking about your relationship, it’s a sign to reassess. This exhaustion could be emotional, stemming from constant conflicts or unmet emotional needs, or even physical, if you’re overextending yourself to meet your partner’s demands. Healthy relationships have a balance of give and take where both partners feel supported and energized by each other. If your relationship leaves you feeling depleted, it could be due to a mismatch in effort or a lack of supportive dynamics.

6. There’s a serious Lack of Trust.

Trust is a crucial element in any healthy relationship. If you find yourself constantly doubting your partner’s words or actions, or if they seem to doubt you, it’s a problem that needs attention. Trust issues can stem from past experiences, but in a current relationship, they can create an environment of suspicion and unease. Without trust, you may feel anxious, insecure, and constantly on edge, which is not conducive to a healthy partnership. Building trust takes time and effort from both sides, so if trust is chronically lacking, it’s a sign that your relationship standards might need a lift.

7. Your Friends and Family Have Concerns.

Sometimes, friends and family can provide valuable outside perspectives on your relationship. If they express concerns, it’s worth considering their viewpoints. They might observe things you’re too close to see, like patterns of disrespect or unhappiness. While the ultimate decision about your relationship is yours, consistent concerns from people who care about you can be a sign that you need to reevaluate your relationship standards.

8. You Feel the Need to Change Yourself.

In a relationship, you should feel accepted and loved for who you are. If you find yourself trying to change fundamental aspects of your personality or beliefs to fit into the relationship, it’s a red flag. While compromise is part of any relationship, losing your sense of self is not. Feeling the need to change to make your relationship work can indicate that your standards for respect and acceptance are not being met.

9. You have poor Communication Patterns as a couple.

Communication is key to understanding and resolving issues in a relationship. If communication with your partner is consistently poor, unclear, or negative, it can lead to a buildup of misunderstandings and resentment. This might manifest as avoiding important discussions, frequent arguments, or feeling like your concerns are not heard. Effective communication is fundamental, and if it’s lacking, it’s a sign to reassess what you expect and deserve from a relationship.

10. You’re the Only One Making An Effort.

A balanced relationship requires effort from both partners. If you’re always the one initiating plans, resolving conflicts, or making compromises, it can become exhausting and feel unfair. This imbalance can lead to feelings of resentment and being taken for granted. A healthy relationship involves mutual effort and investment, so if you’re doing all the work, it’s time to consider raising your standards to ensure a more balanced and fulfilling partnership.

11. Your Personal Goals Are Regularly Sidelined.

In a relationship that respects your individuality, your personal goals and ambitions should be encouraged, not sidelined. If you find that your aspirations are often dismissed or ignored by your partner, it’s a clear indication that your standards may need adjusting. A supportive partner should celebrate your achievements and encourage your growth, not make you feel guilty for having ambitions. If pursuing your goals always leads to conflict or is made to seem less important, it’s a sign that the relationship is not adequately supportive of your personal development.

12. You feel insecure in the Relationship.

Consistently feeling insecure or unsure about where you stand in a relationship is a significant concern. Healthy relationships provide a sense of security and reassurance. If you’re frequently left questioning your partner’s feelings, commitment, or loyalty, it can be emotionally draining. This constant insecurity might stem from a lack of open communication, emotional availability, or consistent affection. Feeling secure and stable is a basic requirement in a relationship; if that’s missing, it’s worth considering raising your standards.

13. Your connection Lacks Emotional Depth.

Emotional depth is key to a meaningful relationship. If your interactions with your partner feel superficial or you struggle to connect on a deeper emotional level, it may indicate a mismatch in your needs for intimacy. Relationships should involve more than just surface-level conversations; they should include sharing fears, hopes, dreams, and feelings. If you crave a deeper emotional connection and it’s consistently absent, it’s a sign to reassess what you’re looking for in a relationship.

14. Your Values just don’t align.

Having shared values is fundamental to a compatible and satisfying relationship. If there’s a significant misalignment in core values and beliefs, it can lead to ongoing conflicts and dissatisfaction. This might relate to views on honesty, loyalty, family, work, or life goals. While some differences are normal and can even be enriching, a wide gap in fundamental values can be challenging to bridge. If you find yourself constantly at odds with your partner’s values, it may be time to consider if the relationship meets your standards for compatibility.

15. You Often Feel Alone in the Relationship.

Feeling lonely or isolated within your relationship is a strong indicator that something is amiss. A healthy relationship should provide companionship and a sense of partnership. If you often feel alone, unsupported, or disconnected from your partner, it suggests a lack of emotional intimacy and understanding. A relationship should offer a sense of togetherness and mutual support, so if you’re feeling alone despite being in a partnership, it’s a sign that your emotional needs are not being met and that your standards might need re-evaluating.

Sinitta Weston grew up in Edinburgh but moved to Sydney, Australia to for college and never came back. She works as a chemical engineer during the day and at night, she writes articles about love and relationships. She's her friends' go-to for dating advice (though she struggles to take the same advice herself). Her INFJ personality makes her extra sensitive to others' feelings and this allows her to help people through tough times with ease. Hopefully, her articles can do that for you.