Relationships are a constant give and take — you have your own desires and needs and your partner has his, and neither can get met without a little work. A relationship that’s one-sided will never last, and while sometimes things won’t quite be 50/50, generally you should both be getting just as much as you’re putting in. If you’re not sure where you stand, this should help.
Signs you may be sacrificing too much:
You’re not even sure he even hears you. If you feel like you are talking to a brick wall when you’re telling him about something that’s on your mind, it might be a signal he’s not interested in ensuring you get everything you deserve in the relationship. Or, if you point out problem behavior and then shortly thereafter he does exactly the thing you asked him not to do, that could be a hint that your wants and needs just aren’t that important to him.
You’ve started imagining what life would be like with somebody else. When your boyfriend can’t or won’t do something that’s important to you, it can be easy to fantasize about what it might be like to be with somebody else. Unfortunately, this usually ends up resulting in a downward spiral — the more you think “I wish he would just be more like this other guy,” the harder it is for you to see the great parts of your relationship.
You start really looking forward to your time apart. Spending most of your time together with the attention focused on him, doing things he wants to do and talking about things he finds interesting, is exhausting, so being away from him may start to feel like a vacation.
You’ve stopped thinking about what it is you really want. Once you learn that what you want doesn’t matter, it’s easy to stop thinking what it is you actually desire. Then all of a sudden you look up and you’ve made decisions that you regret or you’ve missed out on things that were important to you because you lost sight of yourself.
He expects you to honor every want and need he has. It’s no longer a discussion — your partner just expects that anything he wants or needs will happen and when you’re unable or unwilling to do so, he gets angry and hurt rather than respecting your boundaries and desires.
Signs you may not be giving enough:
You get annoyed or defensive as soon as he starts to voice his opinion. If there’s a reason why you can’t or won’t do something every time that your boyfriend asks, it might be a hint that you aren’t considering his wants or needs seriously enough.
He’s stopped voicing his opinion altogether. If your boyfriend used to talk about what he wanted and needed in the relationship and all of sudden, he’s stopped voicing his opinion, it may be a signal that you’ve been shutting him down. Who wants to express themselves if they know the other person is going to ignore or belittle them?
The time you spend honoring his wants/needs is miserable. Just because your idea of fun isn’t hanging out with his family or hitting up the occasional football game doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still do it — not all the time, but partaking in what matters to him shows him that he matters to you, and that’s the only reason you should need.
You can’t remember the last time you sacrificed something for his sake. This is a good “check in” from time to time and if you can’t really remember the last time you sacrificed something for the sake of satisfying your partner, you might want to consider whether or not you’re making enough of an effort to meet his wants and needs.
Don’t worry — if you find that your relationship is in a bit of an imbalance, talk to your boyfriend and express your concerns. Then each of you can decide if you’re willing to work towards finding balance again.
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