How a Scarcity Mentality Will Destroy Your Relationship

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Mia

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“I thought she was the love of my life. I loved her to death. All my dreams are shattered. Our future kids, house, gone. Even our dogs name was decided.”

“…somedays everything seems really good with us, but I always ruin it by pushing too hard or become clingy because I don’t want to lose her for good. I believe we still have a chance, but I just don’t know how to do it without pushing her away.”

The thing that these quotes have in common is a mentality of scarcity.

“Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everyone else.” – Stephen Covey

A scarcity mentality is a belief that there is a limited amount of something. It can be related to anything in life such as: money, food, time, love, and relationships. Viewing the world in this way causes people a lot of stress, anger, and frustration because they are always scared of losing what they have. It sabotages your attempts to improve your life. And it will definitely make your existing relationship worse or stop you from starting one.

In terms of relationships the scarcity mentality often manifests itself as a fear of losing your partner and a fear of being unable to find someone else who is as good or better than them.

The ugly truth is that the end of a relationship with someone that you care about or love sucks. It always has sucked and it always will suck. And there’s nothing that I or anyone else can do to stop that.

BUT, having a mentality of scarcity will greatly increase the chances of your relationship ending in the first place. Because, it makes you behave in some VERY unattractive ways. Such as being clingy: wanting to always spend time with your partner, getting upset if they have other plans besides spending time with you, needing to stay in constant contact over phone/text, getting upset when they don’t respond quickly enough to your calls or texts, needing to be reassured by your partner constantly, etc. Another unattractive side effect is becoming jealous and controlling. Doing things like: wanting to look through her texts and emails, becoming angry if she talks to another man, getting suspicious when she meets with friends, etc.

If someone wants to leave you there is nothing you can do to stop them. And, trying to hold onto your partner because you’re afraid of them leaving you is a great way to make them leave you. Also, why would you even want to be with someone who doesn’t like you?

Another common fear that originates from a mentality of scarcity is the belief that you won’t find someone as good or better than your current partner. This causes people to stay in bad relationships. It also causes them a lot of extra grief and heartache when their relationships end, because they tell themselves things like “I’ll never find someone like her again.” But, with over 7 billion people on the planet it is absolutely ridiculous to think that you will never find someone as good. Your partner might have a great personality, the same hobbies, etc. But, with so many people in the world it’s guaranteed that there is someone else just as great out there.

Additionally, all of the behaviors and emotions listed above are terrible for your own quality of life. Because, they lead to a lot of unnecessary worry, stress, and anger. Instead of enjoying life you become a nervous wreck.

So, if you’re doing any of the things above there is a good chance that on a conscious or subconscious level you have a scarcity mentality and it is damaging your life and relationship.

I’ve covered a few of the many reasons why a scarcity mentality is bad for relationships, but what can you do about it? The answer is cultivating a mentality of abundance. This will help prevent you from ruining your relationships and lessen the pain if they fail. Here are some ways to change your mindset:

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

This saying is good advice for many things in life. Having a proper balance between the different aspects of your life is crucial for longterm happiness. Unfortunately when many people begin a romantic relationship, they start to neglect other equally important parts of their life such as: career, family, friends, interests, health, etc to focus solely on the relationship. As these other areas deteriorate because of neglect they negatively impact your quality of life. You don’t get that promotion at work, your other relationships suffer, you start to get fat, and the list goes on.

Maybe you’re thinking: “Meh, I don’t care about that other stuff. I have my partner who makes my life wonderful. I don’t need anyone or anything else.”

But then, your relationship suddenly ends. You put all of your time and resources into one “basket” aka your relationship, and now it’s all gone. Maybe because of problems with your partner, an unfortunate accident, or because of the tremendous amount of pressure you put upon them when you made them your only source of happiness. Now the one thing that you spent all of your free time on and that gave you all of your happiness is gone. And to make matters worse, your support network of family and friends is less likely to help you in your time of need because you didn’t take care of those relationships.

When you focus too much on one thing you lose your perspective. The object of your focus grows bigger and more important, pushing everything else out of your life. Eventually, it’s all that you have left. And if you lose the one thing you have left it REALLY sucks. If you pay attention to all of the important areas in your life, it cushions and protects you when one of them turns to shit. No matter how tempting it may be to focus all of your energy on your relationship, DON’T DO IT!

Work on self-improvement:

If there is something that you don’t like about yourself then do what you can to improve it. If it’s something that you can’t change, then learn to accept it, manage it to minimize it’s negative effects, and love yourself anyways. And if you like everything about yourself, find new ways to become better. When you improve yourself, you make yourself more attractive to your current partner as well as other people. And most importantly, you increase your self-confidence. Self- confidence is closely tied to happiness, success, and a mentality of abundance. So do yourself and everyone around you a favor and work on increasing it.

Meet new people who you would consider dating if you were single:

I am not encouraging you to cheat or flirt with other people. But, you should be meeting new people because having a scarcity mentality means that on some level you believe that there isn’t a large amount of available people to date and/or you believe that they wouldn’t date you. But, by seeing that these people do exist and would possibly be interested in dating you it shows your mind that your beliefs are unfounded and can help you to enjoy your current relationship without the ever present fear that it will end. It also keeps your social skills sharp so you will be ready and confident in using them if your relationship ends and you begin dating again.


The fear of losing your partner or being unable to find someone else is common. But these fears are unhealthy manifestations of a scarcity mentality that will only make your current relationship worse. So, it’s important to watch for signs of these fears and combat them when they arise. Follow the steps outlined above and your relationship will be much better off, and you will be much better off if your relationship ends.

2 thoughts on “How a Scarcity Mentality Will Destroy Your Relationship”

  1. Hello Jason,
    Thanks for breaking down the affects of scarcity mindset. After reading this it helped me to see “fear”; operating in some areas of my life. I also get to see where my relationships have taken on new meanings. This article has helped me to realize the “Best” relationship is with “Self”.

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