7 Ways He’s Deliberately Trying to Lower Your Expectations

Ever wondered why some relationships seem like a constant battle for the minimum? This often stems from a calculated effort to set the bar low. Recognizing when someone is trying to dial down your expectations is crucial, not just for avoiding the wrong partner, but for empowering yourself to command the respect and consideration you deserve.

Understanding the Dynamics

Why is it that right from the start, some men seem intent on setting the bar low?  Unfortunately, this is sometimes an intentional tactic, and it’s more common than you might think. Understanding why can be the first step in turning the tables.

Insecurity often drives this behavior. Some men feel inadequate and think by setting expectations low, they won’t have to rise to challenging occasions or expose their vulnerabilities. It’s a defense mechanism that protects them, not the relationship.

Manipulation is another dark but real reason. By establishing a baseline that’s barely above the ground, they create a skewed sense of normalcy. It’s psychological warfare where they control the pace and progress of the relationship, often keeping their partner grateful for the minimum.

Past Relationships also play a role. If a man has been in relationships where his minimal effort was accepted or even praised, he’s likely to continue this behavior. It’s a learned habit that can be unlearned, but only if recognized and challenged.

Recognizing these patterns enables you to date smarter and empower yourself to demand a fair deal. When you understand the game, you can change the rules. Awareness is your ally.

The 7 Signs

The “Bad Texter” Excuse. “Sorry, I’m just bad at texting,” might sound like a minor flaw, but it’s a strategic maneuver to set low communication standards from the outset. If he’s excusing himself this early, anticipate continued minimal effort. Effective communication isn’t about constant chatting but about meaningful exchanges that foster connection and understanding. Don’t settle for less. Communication is the spine of any strong relationship.

Minimizing Romantic Gestures. When he claims, “I’m not the romantic type,” he’s essentially preparing you to receive little to no effort in making moments special. Romance isn’t about grand gestures but about expressing care and thoughtfulness through actions. If his efforts are missing, you’re left with a relationship that feels undervalued. Assert your need for expressions of affection. They’re not frivolous. They’re foundational.

Flaky Commitments. Regularly canceled plans and ambiguous commitments are not just inconveniences. They’re signs of a deeper reliability issue. This pattern teaches you to lower your expectations and trust in his commitment. A relationship needs dependability like a building needs a solid foundation. Without it, everything else crumbles. Stand firm on your expectation for reliability. It’s essential, not a luxury.

Managing Emotional Intimacy.  Avoiding deep conversations and keeping interactions shallow prevents the relationship from reaching a meaningful depth. Relationships thrive on mutual vulnerability and shared emotional landscapes. If he shies away from this, challenge the dynamic. Push for deeper engagement and see if he’s willing to meet you halfway. Emotional depth is not just a bonus. It’s the core of a lasting bond.

Lowering Standards for Behavior. His excuse that poor behavior is “just how I am” shouldn’t be acceptable. This stance not only stunts personal and relational growth but also sets a tone of complacency about issues that matter. Challenge this attitude and encourage change. Growth is part of any healthy relationship, and both partners should strive to improve and adapt.

Keeping Things Casual. His insistence on “keeping things casual” might seem like a no-pressure situation initially, but if it persists, it can prevent the relationship from progressing to deeper emotional and commitment levels. Be clear about what you want. A relationship should evolve and deepen over time. If his intentions don’t align with yours, it might be time to reassess the relationship’s direction.

Questioning Your Needs. When he suggests your expectations are too high, it might be designed to make you question your standards. Firmly believing in the legitimacy of your needs is imperative. They aren’t just preferences. They are your compass for navigating a healthy relationship. Stand by them. Lowering your standards means diminishing your worth, and that’s something you should never compromise on.

Recognizing when someone is deliberately lowering your expectations in a relationship involves more than identifying red flags. It’s an important step in claiming your right to a relationship that meets your standards. Now, it’s up to you to stand firm. Uphold your standards and demand the respect you deserve. Remember, settling for less doesn’t get you more—it just gets you less.

Now, it’s not enough to just recognize these tactics. You need to actively counter them. If something feels off, trust your instincts, speak up for your needs, and never settle. You know what you deserve in a relationship, so demand it unapologetically. Feeling overwhelmed? Let’s talk it through. Book a call with me and let’s strategize on how you can hold your ground in any relationship.

Until next time,

Ash Pariseau

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