9 Things People Are Not 'Morally Entitled' To From Their Partners, But Often Expect Anyway

We can't expect perfection from our partners.

man and woman walking Trinity Kubassek / Pexels 

It’s a common misconception that entering a romantic relationship should make our lives perfect. The reality is that successful relationships take a major amount of practical and emotional labor. Our partnerships are something to always be working on, just as we work to improve ourselves.

Putting pressure on our partners to be exactly what we want or need them to be at all times isn’t realistic. Those kinds of expectations are bound to harm your relationship and get in the way of connecting with your partner.


Therapist Todd Baratz shared different aspects of partnership we might expect but don’t actually need.

Here are 9 things people aren’t ‘morally' entitled to from their partners:

1. Constant emotional validation

Baratz explained that seeking validation is an entirely normal part of being human, no one person can validate us at all times.

He noted that there will be moments when our partner is unable to validate us, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean they’re unavailable or that the relationship is failing; it just means that they don’t have the capacity to perform that kind of caregiving at that given time.


Learning how to validate ourselves, instead of looking to our partners for everything, is a healthy tool to implement. 

RELATED: 21 Small Things To Do Together As A Couple That'll Bring You Closer Than Ever

2. Being together all the time

Loving each other doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment together. While this instinct to merge completely is fairly common, it’s not the healthiest decision. In fact, having time away from one another is an indication of a solid relationship.



Cultivating alone time makes your time together even more valuable.


3. Unconditional love

You don’t need unconditional love in order to feel safe,” Baratz said. “Adult love is a collaboration centralized around a conditional experience of satisfaction.”

The overarching narrative around relationships in the U.S. pushes the idea that love has to be unconditional to be the truest form of romance. Yet we don’t owe anyone blind fidelity, just because. If a partnership becomes unsatisfying or harmful to one person, they don’t have to stay there, even if they love their partner.

9 Things People Are Not Morally Entitled To From Their PartnersPhoto: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels 


4. Absolute admiration

We don’t need our partners to love and admire us 100% of the time. As Baratz explained, “This isn’t about lack of love, but a trusting in the presence of love even when it’s not explicitly expressed.”

This relates back to seeking outside and constant validation from a partner, in that we can’t expect our partners to fill any hole or wound we might have: That work of healing is up to us.

5. Similar communication styles

Part of having a successful relationship is maintaining direct and honest communication, yet it’s not realistic to expect that one individual in a relationship processes their emotions in the exact same way that the other person does. 

One partner might have a different communication style from the other, and that’s okay. It’s about learning how to bridge the gap between the two styles. Different people have different emotional experiences, based on their personhood and histories. Respecting those differences is key to a healthy partnership.




RELATED: 4 Things That Couples In Love Always Do (That Other Couples Don’t)

6. The same interests and hobbies

It’s important to have shared interests, but it’s just as important to have interests and activities that you do separately from your partner. Maybe your partner is super into puzzles, but you think all those little cardboard shapes look like absolute chaos. That’s okay! In fact, that’s more than okay.

9 Things People Are Not Morally Entitled To From Their PartnersPhoto: Samson Katt / Pexels 


You don’t have to have the same interests to stay connected. It’s healthy to have some things in life that are just for you.

7. Perfect conflict resolution

Fighting with your partner is inevitable, so it’s important that people learn how to fight in healthy ways.

9 Things People Are Not Morally Entitled To From Their PartnersPhoto: RDNE Stock Project / Pexels 


The idea that people need to solve every conflict they experience isn’t necessarily helpful, as not everything has a clear, concise resolution.



The act of talking it out is highly valuable; so is the experience of putting an argument down and moving on to other things. 

8. Equal amounts of professional motivation

Professional success is a highly personal aspect of a person’s life, and there’s no one version of what success looks like. It’s okay for you and your partner to have differing views on how to approach work and how to integrate a career into the rest of your life.


9. Having sex every day

The physical element of a relationship is bound to ebb and flow. No one person owes the other constant physical intimacy. You and your partner might have different libidos; what's important is holding and hearing each other in conversations about sex, desire, and what your sex life looks like.

By letting go of rigid expectations of how our partners should act, we make space for nuance and flexibility and are better able to accept our partners for who they are, on their terms. 

RELATED: Couples In The Healthiest Relationships Show Their Partners Love In One Super Specific Way

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.