While everyone deserves to be spoiled by their partner every once in a while, my previous relationship taught me that there is, in fact, a limit. My boyfriend was so perfect that I became a horrible partner. Here’s why.
My previous boyfriends never treated me very well and the drastic change was hard to adjust to.
Before my ex and I started dating, I’d been on a pretty bad streak with guys. Each of them was either emotionally unavailable or simply disinterested in me, and the transition to a relationship with someone who valued me for the right reasons and loved everything about me was really hard to trust at first. I kept waiting for him to turn into one of the other guys I’d dated and it made me kind of paranoid.
My low self-esteem made me feel like I didn’t deserve it.
When we first got together, I didn’t think I deserved to be treated like a queen. All the other guys I’d dated certainly hadn’t treated me with a lot of respect, and his old fashioned chivalry and genuine appreciation of me was actually really confusing in the beginning. It wasn’t until later that I realized every girl is worthy of being treated like royalty.
It let me focus on every other aspect of my life and assume everything was fine.
Relationships are hard work, but when your partner is basically doing all the heavy lifting for the two of you, you have plenty of energy to use on work, hobbies, and friendships. This meant that I just stopped investing in our relationship and let him be the one to hold it all together. Our partnership became so unbalanced I may as well have been nonexistent.
I got way too complacent about it.
Once I got over my low self-esteem issues, it was amazing for a while. I felt like a queen and the center of his universe. But after the newness of it died away, it just felt normal. My friends were in awe of how he treated me, but I had come to expect nothing less than what I was getting, and in the end, I just took it for granted.
I stopped trying to reciprocate.
I got so complacent about how well he was treating me that I forgot to respond in kind. In the beginning, I was all over him with love and affection, but eventually, I just let him pamper me without bothering to return the favor.
I felt guilty about it.
It’s hard to always be on the receiving end of affection and feel like you will never in a million years be able to match it. I felt bad that he was giving so much attention and love when I couldn’t possibly give it all back. Giving is just as pleasurable as receiving, and the guilt I felt about not being as generous towards him as he was with me made me feel like a terrible person.
I got lazy.
When someone is treating you like royalty every single day, it’s hard not to let it go to your head. I was in love with him, but I got lazy about it. I forgot to say “I love you” unless he said it first, I stopped noticing all the little things he did for me, and somewhere along the line, I forgot to put effort into the relationship at all.
I lost sight of how lucky I was.
There’s nothing quite as unattractive as a person who takes their privilege for granted, and I was definitely that person. My ex was the most considerate, easy-going, and emotionally engaged person I ever dated, and yet, the respect and perfection he rained down on me throughout our relationship was so consistent that I just forgot how fortunate I was to be with him.
I kind of like it when people play hard to get.
Look, I know games are dumb and probably unhealthy in longer-term relationships, but there is something to be said for having to work for it a little. I’m not saying I want to go back to dating guys who are so unemotionally unavailable they might as well be brick walls, but dating a guy who is always available and always wants to put you first no matter what, kind of takes the mystery out of things. I just want equality in my relationships, ya know?
I actually kind of resented him for it.
In the end, I got genuinely frustrated with his generosity. He was so kind and I loved him so much, but it started to really irritate me that he was always the “best” partner in our relationship. There was no way I could ever live up to how he treated me, and it started to feel like a competition I could never win.
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