Can Unmet Childhood Needs Cause a Person to Expect too Much

woman holds hand closed eyes thinking
by Oliver Cooper

Before one gets into a relationship, they can have a rough idea of the kind of person who they want to be with. Along with this, there can be what they expect to receive when they are with them.

If this is the case, there can be what they would like someone to look like and there can be how they would like to be treated by them. One might be willing to change their mind when it comes to the former, but this might not be an option when it comes to the latter.

The Priority

Now, this is not to say that they will be happy to end up with someone who they are not physically attracted to; what it means is that this is not going to be something that is fixed. For example, they might want to be with someone who has brown hair, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t go with someone who has blond.

When it comes to what they expect in a relationship, this could be something that is non-negotiable. If one was to think about what they expect, they could say that they want to be with someone who is: respectful, compassionate, empathetic, affectionate, generous, intimate and considerate.

A Realistic List

It is then not going to be as though they expect too much from another person, and one might not expect another person to behave in this way all the time. They might believe that this is not possible; the other person is human, after all.

One could realise that it is not going to be possible for them to always behave in this manner, let alone another person. Through having this understanding, it will make it easier for them to handle the moments when these expectations are not met.

Down to Earth

In other words, one will be aware of the fact that they have their own needs and so do other people. This will be why another person won’t always be able to be there for them and to behave exactly how they would like them to.

Therefore, the level of understanding that one would show their partner when they can’t be there for them will be no different to how one will expect their partner to behave. There is the chance that one has been in a relationship like this in the past, or they might not have been with someone like this before.

Time for a Change

If one hasn’t been in a relationship like before, they may have got to the point where they could no longer put up with the kind of relationships that they were having. The pain that they experienced might have caused them to take a step back and to reflect, and they may have read different articles and books on relationships.

This may have been a time when they worked with a therapist or a healer, which may have allowed them to look into and work through what was taking place within them. This will allow them to find out how effective this work has been.

Couple Sharing Jacket

Another Scenario

However, while this is the kind of approach that some people will have when it comes to finding someone to be with, there are others who have another approach entirely. Here, one can simply have the desire to be with someone, or they can have a long list of expectations.

If they just want to be with someone, they might not even be aware of what their expectations are. They are not going to want to be by themselves, so just about anyone might do.

High Expectations

When one has a long list of expectations, it is likely to mean that they will expect another person to do a lot for them. One might not even have taken the time to think about whether their expectations are realistic or not.

And if they were to look back on what their relationships have been like in this past, they may see that they haven’t worked out well. Even so, these experiences won’t have caused them to step back and to reflect on their own behaviour.

Destined to Fail

So, whether one just wants to be with someone or if they have a long list, they could still experience the same outcome. Once they are in a relationship, it might only be a matter of time before they start to feel frustrated and let down.

At this point, they could start to blame their partner, and they might even believe that they need to find someone else to be with. It is then not that they expect too much; it is that their partner is not right for them.

A Closer Look

What this could show is that one expects their partner to spend all their free time with them, to make them happy, to accept everything about them, and to make them the centre of their world, amongst other things. It could then be said that these are the kinds of needs that a child has.

As a child is dependent on their caregivers, it is going to be normal for them to have the above expectations. But when one is an adult and they are in a relationship with another adult, it is going to be impossible for them to be treated in this manner.

Emotionally Stuck

If one has these needs and they expect another adult to fulfil them, it can be a sign that these needs were not met on a consistent basis when they were younger. One is then looking for what they didn’t receive as a child.

For as long as one expects another person to fulfil these needs, they will suffer in one way or another. One will need to get in touch with how they feel and to work through this pain and, as this takes place, they will no longer expect so much.


If one can relate to this, and they want to change their life, it might be a good idea for them to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer.

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