My Best Isn’t Good Enough, Why Does She Hate Me? Coping With Relationship Conflict

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated October 9, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

In a relationship, setting your expectations, hopes, and goals for the future can be healthy. However, setting realistic expectations and ensuring everyone involved in the relationship feels seen, heard, and respected can also be healthy.

If you feel like your best efforts in your relationship aren’t enough for your partner, checking in with yourself and your relationship may be beneficial. Several strategies exist to cope with these feelings, compromise and communicate with your partner, and work through your relationship challenges.  

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Feel Like You Can’t Meet Their Expectations?

Why Do I Feel I’m Not Enough For Her? 

If you feel like your efforts aren’t enough to meet the expectations or needs of your partner, there are several reasons these feelings may be coming up, including but not limited to the following. 

Low Self-Esteem

Your self-esteem is comprised of your unique qualities and characteristics. People with higher self-esteem may have a more positive view of themselves, while those with low self-esteem may have less faith in their capabilities and perceived success. 

If you enter a relationship with low self-esteem, building a healthy connection on an unsteady foundation can be difficult. Without realizing it, you may surround yourself with mental “walls” and boundaries, making it difficult for others to express their appreciation, respect, and love for you.

High Expectations

When executed thoughtfully, expectations set the “ground rules” and ensure that everyone’s needs are met in a relationship. However, expectations can also be taken to extremes and strain your connection.

High expectations can take many forms but could include:

  • Expecting to spend all extra time with your partner 
  • Comparing your relationship to examples from fiction or celebrity culture 
  • Expecting constant gifts and praise
  • Feeling frustrated when your friend or partner can’t “read your mind”

Healthy relationships are often based on expectations everyone can agree on, making each person feel like their best efforts are more than enough. 

Fear Of Loss Or Rejection

If you’ve experienced rejection, infidelity, or loss in a past relationship, it can be difficult to feel assured in your current relationships and friendships. The fear of rejection can be rooted in low self-esteem, but it may also stem from past connections with romantic partners and experiences in early childhood.

Childhood Experiences

Some individuals spend many years processing events from childhood, early adulthood, and other formative periods of life. 

While some degree of criticism and accountability can be constructive, repeated exposure to harsh criticism as a child can negatively affect your self-esteem and confidence as an adult. As you pursue relationships in adulthood, you may continue to wrestle with memories of harsh criticism from your parents and other adult figures.


How To Cope With Feelings Of Inadequacy

Feelings of inadequacy often develop throughout a lifetime and may take time to resolve. Like many long-term mental health goals, the work can take time and patience. However, implementing the following four strategies may help you overcome the belief that you’re “not enough” in your relationships.

Start With You

If you’re feeling like your best effort isn’t enough for your girlfriend or partner, take a moment to focus on yourself. Consider your needs, your relationship history, and your goals. Blaming a particular scenario or your partner for your emotions may feel tempting. However, take responsibility for your feelings. 

Instead of finding a way to assign blame for these emotions, try to explore their root causes. Do your feelings of inadequacy stem from a past relationship or a perceived mistake? Do they feel more intense after an overwhelming day at work or a fight with your partner? 

Journaling and discussing these emotions with a therapist can help you identify common trends in your thought patterns and communicate your emotions more openly with your partner, friends, and other people in your life.

Reevaluate The Expectations In Your Relationship

Feelings of inadequacy may also develop in response to unrealistic expectations and ideals. A partner or friend might expect you to show up whenever they need help or to shower them with gifts, praise, and other forms of affirmation.

In a healthy relationship, helping behaviors extend both ways, and the occasional gift or word of praise can be deeply meaningful. However, when someone constantly expects these gestures, it can leave the other person feeling emotionally depleted.

If you’re feeling the weight of another person’s expectations, it may benefit you to reevaluate these standards and share honestly about how they make you feel. 

In addition to your partner’s standards, you may have high expectations of yourself. Do you feel healthily challenged and motivated by your expectations, or could they damage your self-esteem? High expectations can take you to new heights – but pushed to the extreme, they can make you feel unworthy unless you achieve everything you expect of yourself, which can cause stress. 

Focus On Communication

Many experts agree that communication is one of the core areas of a healthy relationship, with some studies showing that communication can be more important than commitment. For many, healthy communication is characterized by honesty, clarity, and openness. 

By maintaining an open line of communication with your partner, friends, and other loved ones, it may be easier to “open up” about daily matters, as well. In an open, communicative relationship, you may feel you can honestly share your emotions, hopes, and doubts about the future. 

Although relationships can face challenges, like high expectations or self-doubt, commitment to communicate with clarity and sincerity may help partners work through these barriers and feel more in tune with each other.

Take Your Time

As you work through feelings of inadequacy, you may find these emotions are more deeply rooted than you initially realized. The doubts and insecurities in relationships may be traceable to childhood or other major life events, and it can take time to process these feelings, challenge them, and overcome them.

Allow yourself time and space to process these feelings. Schedule self-care activities into your calendar, communicate your needs to loved ones, and consider contacting a mental health professional for further support.

Feel Like You Can’t Meet Their Expectations?

Strengthening Your Relationships With Therapy 

Although your relationships are uniquely yours, a licensed therapist can offer tools and insight to help you feel more connected to the people in your life. 

Feelings of inadequacy can be intense, but there are ways to address them. A therapist can help you understand the roots of these emotions and how they impact your relationships. While some clients prefer in-person therapy, more are using online therapy to support their mental health while balancing work, family, and other obligations. Using a platform like BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples, you can complete a brief questionnaire and match with an online therapist meeting your preferences. 

A growing body of research suggests that online therapy can be as effective as traditional, face-to-face therapy and often more convenient. One 2020 study by the American Psychological Association studied the value of an online therapy program for 742 low-income couples and found that online therapy can play a central role in delivering effective, affordable therapy to couples and others with limited finances. 

By signing up for online therapy, you can choose between phone, video, or chat sessions with your therapist and take advantage of messaging capabilities with your provider throughout the week. 


If you feel you’re trying your hardest to please someone else, it may be worth taking a step back and considering your own needs, history, and goals for your relationship. Feelings of inadequacy may stem from early experiences and challenging relationships, and it can take time to overcome them. However, by focusing on healthy communication with your loved ones and therapist, you can develop coping skills and long-term strategies to support your mental health.

Marriage can come with complex challenges

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