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Perfectionism In Relationships (9 Ways To Stop Perfectionism From Ruining Your Love Life)

by Sonya Schwartz

Why do many couples develop negative feelings such as anxiety and burnout when the honeymoon phase ends? Why do you begin to doubt if your partner loves you? Or worry that you made a mistake by pledging a lifetime of commitment to them? 

This is someone you fell in love with, and they mean the world to you. Why then do you start fussing over the things that didn’t matter before? 

If you have perfectionist traits it becomes more difficult to control your fear of the unknown. You begin to focus less on what you are doing right and magnify the things you’re doing wrong. 

Perfectionists tend to create high standards for themselves, but this is also the reason for most of their frustrations. While it is great to set lofty standards, you should ask yourself if that’s what your relationship needs at the time.

Unfortunately, most couples allow themselves to be carried on whatever is the current wave, forgetting what is best for them. Understanding what is wrong in any situation is the first step to fixing it. In this article, you’ll learn if you have perfectionist traits, and how you can control/prevent them from ruining your relationships

9 Ways To Stop Perfectionism From Ruining Your Love Life

1. Avoid projecting unrealistic expectations

avoid projecting unrealistic expectations

As a perfectionist, your major cause of frustration is the high expectations you set for yourself and your partner. Expectations are good and important to have a progressive relationship. However, it is horrible to project expectations that you know your partner is incapable of executing.

You’ll be setting the love of your life for unavoidable failure if you don’t give them a chance to create their expectations. If you don’t want to end up with a partner who feels they have fallen short and failed you, stop projecting goals they don’t want to take on.

Projecting your desires on an unwilling partner is similar to asking them to remove a good tooth because you’re removing a bad tooth too. It wouldn’t be only selfish of you, but also cruel to expect them to feel unnecessary pain. Such partners can only take so much until they say no more!

2. Step back from over seriousness

Perfectionists tend to be very serious people who always take life at face value. They apply literal meaning to every situation, and there’s no grey area for them. A situation is either black or white; they don’t like to believe in blind spots they cannot explain.

Perfectionists who display obsessive-compulsive traits find it difficult to be laid back because they are always raising the bar. They want to succeed at everything they do, including their relationships. As such, they handle their relationships as they would any other part of their life. 

They obsess over gaining excellence and beat themselves up if they are merely ‘good enough'. If you don’t learn to step back from being too serious and have fun in your relationships, you’ll find yourself single over and again.

3. Stop playing the comparison game

Misplaced priorities lead to needless pressures that end up ruining the beautiful things you have going for you. When you allow criticism to take the place of encouragement, your partner will feel inadequate most of the time.

To avoid ruining your love life, stop comparing your life with other people. Stay away from people who constantly make you feel like comparing your accomplishments with theirs. If you don’t, they will influence you directly or indirectly, and you’ll make life unpleasant for your partner. 

Instead of pithing yourself against those you perceive as competitors, learn what you can from them and move on. Don’t force your partner to pick sides, or feel the way you do.

4. Learn to tolerate mistakes

Perfectionists find it hard to accept that every disappointment doesn’t mean failure. It is alright to feel embarrassed about failing at something that you consider simple. What is not alright is seeing yourself as a failure for the same reason. 

Tolerance is one of the traits couples find difficult to adjust to because each party has a different personality. You’re getting to know someone quite different from who you are, it’s okay to fear what you’ll find. However, like every human, they will make mistakes, and you’ll have to deal with that. 

If you cannot learn to forgive the mistakes your partner makes, you’ll find it hard to build a healthy life with them. When you learn to tolerate and forgive mistakes, you’ll be able to shun the desire for perfection in everything. 

5. Cultivate good relationships, not perfection

cultivate good relationships, not perfection

Most times, movies and fairytales paint different scenarios or what love or relationships should look like. However, they don’t give a breakdown of how to achieve the perfection they paint. If they did, many perfectionists would find their idea or happily ever after easily.

Unfortunately, the reality isn’t fantasy, and you need to understand that cultivating good enough relationships trumps chasing after a perfectly preconceived love life. When you realize that you have to work at building a love life that gives you peace of mind, you will feel no need to have a fairytale ending. 

After all, real life only ends at death. Your life is on a continuum; if you want a consistently beautiful life, you’ll need to work for it. Perfection is elusive, a good love life is achievable. 

6. Expect your partner to exhibit conflicting traits

It’s normal to have shared interests, but many couples don’t seem to expect that their partners would have beliefs different from theirs. It is ridiculous to think your partner will think, see or feel about everything the same way you do. If every couple thinks alike, there will be evident stagnancy in society. 

Each couple is a small unit of society and they contribute greatly to how that society turns out. Conflict of interest is only bad when it is not serving any purpose. If your partner brings up a conflicting idea, stop seeing it as a betrayal of your shared interests. 

You can have a perfectly normal love life with someone whose thought pattern is different from yours. Accepting their differences and yours will lead to a more fulfilling existence. 

7. Throw out your perfectionist bucket list

A perfectly lived life with very few mistakes is possible but very rare. Except you are a monk/nun who entered service as a teenager, you’ll make many errors along the way.

If your perfectionism is geared towards ticking items off your bucket list, you might find it difficult to live a fulfilling life. You’ll be so focused on the idea of perfectionism that you’ll miss out on the spontaneous things you should try in your life's journey. 

Forcing your partner to follow your perfectionism ideas will breed passive resentment they might not tell you they have. You can either readjust your rigid bucket list or discard it altogether. 

8. Make clear communication the basic ingredient

Regardless of your perfectionist tendencies, making clear communication a major tool will make you and your partner have fewer conflicting moments. As a perfectionist, you want everything in place. You avoid errors as much as possible. You’ll have less desire for perfectionism if both of you constantly and communicate your needs to each other.

Perfectionism can also make you think your communication skills need to be perfect, but that’s just another faulty thinking. Practicing open communication means making yourself so open that your partner has access to communicate with you verbally and non-verbally.

As such, either of you wouldn’t need to say too much or over-gesticulate to understand what the other person needs. Being in sync will give you fewer reasons to want to get your partner’s attention at all costs. 

9. Stop being hard on yourself

stop being hard on yourself

Eight out of ten people practice perfectionism, struggle with criticism, and project high standards on their partners because they feel less than perfect themselves. They struggle so much with the fear of failure that they make the people around them feel like failures.

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Perfectionism makes you unnecessarily hard on yourself. You make undeserved criticism a lifestyle, and treat yourself like a robot that should be packed up because of an error. However, you’re human, you’re expected to fall into errors. You’re not expected to project excellence all the time.

Accepting the reality of your normal frailty will help you stop chasing perfectionism, and focus on living your best life in every moment. 

FAQs

How do you deal with a perfectionist in a relationship?

You can deal with a perfectionist by first understanding their fears. Why do they feel the need to be perfect? What is their background like? What associated traits have you noticed, and how do you think you can help them deal with them?

A perfectionist doesn’t trust anyone else except themselves to handle their lives. As such, you sort of need their permission to help them. And so, communicating that you want to help is the best way to go.

Can a perfectionist fall in love?

Yes, a perfectionist can fall in love, but they will feel compelled to control the outcome of the fact. A perfectionist in love is constantly nervous and seeking ways to make your love life the best.

What is romantic perfectionism?

Romantic perfectionism is expecting that you will enjoy every moment of your love life. You think everything will be rosy, so you experience disappointment whenever things don’t turn out the way you want them to. 

Are narcissists perfectionists?

Many perfectionists have narcissistic tendencies, but not all perfectionists are full-blown narcissistic. 

Are perfectionists controlling?

Most perfectionists are controlling, which is why many people perceive them as narcissistic. They are obsessed with the idea of a spotless life and would try to crush anyone in the way of attaining a perfect life.

In Summary 

People say little things count, but perfectionists miss out on these things because they only have perfection in mind. Living and feeling every moment are the things that truly define perfection, even in relationships. By following the tips in this post, you’ll feel less obsessed with the idea of perfection. 

Did you find this article enjoyable? Please leave a comment below and share the post with others. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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