Finding a balance when you’re in a relationship between keeping your partner happy and making sure you’re all good too can be complicated. You’re part of a couple now so you can’t be too selfish, but that doesn’t mean you should be bending over backward to make your partner’s life dandy while yours falls in the ditch. Here’s how to ensure your needs get met in your relationship so that you’re getting as much as you give.
- Set clear boundaries and enforce them. Boundaries are important in any relationship to protect yourself and to ensure you’re respected, cared for, and not taken for granted. Establish your own boundaries early on, communicate them clearly, and hold your partner to them. Don’t tolerate them being crossed or ignored without very good reason (and even then, raise an eyebrow at that). If your partner doesn’t respect your boundaries, you’ll never get your needs met by them.
- See yourself as an equal in the relationship. It’s very easy to sacrifice yourself for your partner’s sake when you see them as the one with the upper hand. If you feel like they’re too good for you or that you’re simply not good enough for them, there’s bound to be a major power imbalance. Recognize that you’re both equal partners and that you should be aiming for 50/50 effort, care, and love whenever possible.
- Don’t prioritize your partner’s needs over your own. The best way to get your needs met is to ensure you’re actually prioritizing them. Of course it’s important to make your partner happy and ensure they feel supported and appreciated, but not at the expense of your own well-being. Help them when you can, but don’t bend over backward or go overboard while neglecting your own life. It’s not a good look.
- Speak up when there’s something you need but aren’t getting. If there’s something you want your partner to do for you that’s reasonable and they’re not, talk to them about it. If you’ve previously communicated this need and they’re ignoring it or outright refusing to fulfill it, that needs to be discussed. Don’t just let these things slide – it’ll only lead to resentment and disappointment in the end.
- Go elsewhere when appropriate. At the end of the day, your partner cannot and shouldn’t have to fulfill all of your needs in life. That’s just not healthy or reasonable. Recognize which of your needs is out of their purview and find out how to handle those needs yourself. After all, you’re a whole person outside of your relationship, so you know there’s plenty you can offer yourself.