10 Signs You & Your Partner Have A Power Struggle In Your Relationship

Have you ever heard the saying about the person who cares the least has the most power? Well in a lot of relationships, that can be true. Really, the kind of person you want to be with is someone who cares about you just as much as you care about them. If you feel like you’re constantly trying to be the who cares less, then it might be time to move on.

  1. You play little games to make each other jealous. Whether it’s liking your ex’s photo on Instagram or waiting three hours to text back, nothing is every actually real between you guys. Rather than just saying what’s bothering you, you do passive aggressive things to get your point across. So there’s no wonder there’s constant miscommunication in your relationship.
  2. You don’t respect what the other does for a living. Simply put, you think you’re higher on the food chain. It doesn’t really matter if you say it out loud or not — if you don’t respect your partner’s job title, they’ll know it. We get a lot of our identity through our careers, so when you’re hating on someone’s 9 to 5 you’re really hating on a part of themselves. If your boyfriend feels like you think he has a lame job, he’ll either get really defensive and start bad-mouthing yours or feel like he has to one-up you in some way.
  3. You both make constant comments about being single. It might sound funny on the surface, but deep down there is some truth that neither of you cares to face. If you’re always making jokes about what you would do if you were single or leaving the other person, there’s a reason. You should want to be with the person you’re with more than you want to be single — and they should know that.
  4. There’s a weird competition vibe when it comes to really petty things. Sometimes it feels like you’re dating your frenemy: you know, that mean girl in high school who you always hung out with even though deep down you hated her guts. If you get the feeling that your boyfriend is trying to compete with you for really dumb things like being the center attention in a party, then you should probably call it quits. That’s not what being in a relationship is about.
  5. You put each other down. Intentional or not, feelings are almost always hurt. It could have gotten so bad that you might not realize you’re even doing it. If you’re constantly defending yourself against your partner it’s a sign that something is wrong. A boyfriend is supposed to build you up, not tear you down. The power struggle tends to breed from an insecurity of being alone, so if one (or both) of you is feeling that, you might be inclined to keep the other person hurting so they’re less likely to leave.
  6. You don’t take each other out on dates. In the beginning, when you’re first talking to someone, the “care less” rule is more acceptable because you’re guarding your heart and you don’t want to come off as too eager. But after you’ve been dating for a little bit, this rule should be long gone. You should be excited to take each other out and have a night to yourselves. If you’re not doing this because you don’t want to “act like you care,” then you’ve got a big problem.
  7. You don’t do anything special for one another. Again, this is not normal. You should want to do special little things for one another just because. There’s no reason why you should feel like you can’t over-do it with the person you’re with. People who are really in love like to over-do it because they know the other person feels the same way.
  8. You’re always fighting about chores or errands. Nobody wants to do the boring couple stuff. If neither of you is okay with acting like you’ve settled it’s because you don’t really feel like being settled. It’s fine to want to explore other opportunities, but don’t stay in a relationship that you really don’t want to be in.
  9. The romance has been gone for a long time. While there might be brief moments of passion every now and then, most of the time you’re wondering if he even likes you. That in itself is a reason to move on to something with a little more romance.
  10. You often wonder if you’d be better off single. The right relationships don’t feel like a constant competition. There is no power in caring less or caring more. So until you find someone who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and show you how they really feel, then you’re better off riding solo.
Emily is a writer, dog mom, and occasional narcissist living in what her mom refers to as “a bubble.” Geographically speaking, it’s more like Daytona Beach, Florida. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, she is a community editor for a local newspaper and spends most of her time trying to convince her dog to cuddle.