How to Stop Giving More Than You Get in Love or Relationships
Have you ever felt that you give more than you get in a relationship? Have you ever secretly wished that you could be loved by a man as much as you love him? It is painful when you try so hard to make a relationship work, but the other partner is not willing to try as hard as you are? You are not alone. Many people live life feeling brokenhearted, feeling that they are not loved equally. This article will help you understand how to have an equal relationship with your partner.
Things to Remember When Trying to Have an Equal Relationship
- Find the root of the problem.
- Don't always try to fill in the blanks.
- Try to understand your partner's perspective.
- Ask yourself why women tend to give too much in a relationship.
- Stop thinking about love as something you need to "earn."
Find the Root of Your Relationship's Problems
Relationships are difficult. People are complicated and always subject to change. At the same time, you can't depend on your partner to change. It's important to find the roots of your relationship's problems and address them with confidence.
Mistakes You Might Be Making in Your Relationship
- You have become an expert at filling in the blanks in the relationship.
- You are the one who thinks of and plans the activities you can do together.
- You suggest new and creative things to do and try.
- You initiate most of the sexual and physical contact.
- You create the environment for intimacy such as music, candles, dinner and special evenings.
- When you sense the need to communicate, you talk more than your partner when you are together.
- You feel uneasy and nervous when your partner is silent for long periods and probe by asking him how he is feeling or what he is thinking.
On the surface, these are not bad qualities to have, but if you're doing all the work and getting little in return, these good qualities can actually backfire. We all initiate these activities some of the time. However, if you are the one in the relationship who usually does these things, you are definitely filling in the blanks more than you should.
Don't Always Try to Fill in the Blanks
In the beginning of a relationship, filling in the blanks makes you happy as you are “winning” your partner’s love and all your hard work is paying off. However, after some time, resentful feelings and frustration will start to build up when you realize that you are the one doing most of the work. Your partner has probably become used to your overexertion and assumes that you like to be in charge. In some cases, the partner will also feel deprived and resentful when he is not given a chance to take charge.
Try to Understand the Man's Perspective
Here are the facts about men you should know:
- Men feel good about themselves when they take charge or initiate action. Why men feel they need to take charge is complicated, but it's important to them. Therefore, when you don’t give them a chance to do this, they will feel resentful and deprived.
When a woman does all the initiatives, whether to initiates a hug, a kiss or sex, the man will either go with your leads or start feeling ambivalent towards you. He may secretly feel ripped off the opportunity to fill in the blanks. So, let go, let him.
- When you fill in the blanks all the time in a relationship, you deny him the opportunity to learn more about how to love and the opportunity to grow in a relationship.
When you are running the “show,” you may run the risk of deceiving yourself into believing you have a wonderful relationship. As you fill in the blanks, you create the illusion of a great relationship. The man may not resist you taking charge in the beginning. He might love it, because you helped him to avoid areas of his life where he felt inadequate. It also appealed to his ego to have a woman so crazy about him. However, after some time, he may feel a lack of emotional involvement and participation in the relationship. He wants to end the relationship and you are left wondering why. He may say that you are so perfect, but there is lack of connection in the relationship. In actuality, the relationship may look good from the outside, but lack substance internally.
Here is an analogy to help illustrate what it means to fill-in-the-blanks of your relationship.
- Imagine that you and your partner are rowing a boat together in a lake. You sit in front and row continuously, while your partner sits at the back. You assume that he is also rowing along with you. As the boat is moving nicely across the lake, you think to yourself, “What a beautiful and romantic ride! Don’t we row well together?” At some point, you feel tired, decide to stop rowing and rest for a while. All of the sudden, the boat stops. You turn around to see what happened. You find that your partner was just sitting there or sleeping the whole time. Perhaps he is not even there anymore. You have been rowing alone the whole time.
So, when you work to fill in the emotional blanks, your partner becomes a passenger in the relationship. When you work hard to be a good giver, you don’t stop and ask yourself if you are receiving anything back. Remember, you have needs too.
7 Behaviors That Ruin Relationships
What They Cause
1. Having angry reactions to feedback
These behaviors shut our partner down and punish our partner emotionally.
2. Being closed to new experiences
It can foster real resentment between partners.
3. Using deception and duplicity instead of honesty
Mixed messages cause passive aggression.
4. Overstepping boundaries
Without noticing it, we may be intrusive or controlling toward our partner, acting in a manner that is disrespectful.
5. Showing a lack of affection
Our sex lives become mechanical or highly routine.
6. Misunderstanding instead of understanding
We may pick them apart, denigrating them by projecting negative qualities onto them.
7. Being manipulative, dominant, or submissive
We may adopt roles that hurt or limit our partners in a relationship.
Love Is Not Something That Should Be Thought of as "Earned"
Remember, love is not something that you can conquer or "win." You have to stay open to your own faults and try to make yourself vulnerable. Love isn't something you build all by yourself. We all feel afraid at times, but it's important to remember that other people go through these situations as well.
Common Problems Women Have in Relationships
- You are afraid that if you don’t work hard, the relationship will fall apart
Perhaps you have seen your mother work hard to earn your father’s love and believe that unless you do the same the relationship will end or be less satisfying. Or, maybe you are in a relationship where you are receiving less than adequate emotional involvement and contribution from your partner. By filling in the blanks, you believe that you can make up the difference.
- Women feel drawn to filling in the blanks
It is in a woman's nature to connect things together, to create something where there was nothing. Have you ever opened an empty drawer and felt the need to put something in the empty space? Have you ever walked into a man’s sparsely furnished house and felt the urge to decorate the house for him? In a relationship, women feel drawn to fill in the empty space: to fill the silences with words; to fill the distance with affection; to fill the free time with activities. This wonderful quality is a gift. However, when we overdo it, we end up rowing the boat by ourselves.
Stop Feeling That Love Has to Be "Earned"
Maybe you feel that you don’t deserve to be loved unless you work hard to earn it. Perhaps you weren’t loved enough as a child. Perhaps you feel that you have to prove yourself to be lovable. You feel that if you don’t love enough, the man may leave you. Whatever the reason, the conclusion is the same: you become an expert at working hard for love.
Well, just stop rowing the boat! Stop thinking that you have to work hard to earn love. Stop thinking that he will leave you when you don’t work hard enough.
That’s right, just stop. Stop making plans to fill in the spare time. Stop running over to your partner to give him a hug, initiating sex, and starting all of the intimate conversations. Stop everything and watch what happens.
Actions You Can Take to Keep Your Partner
- At the end of every day, list down all of the ways you fill in the blanks. Use this list as a reminder of what not to do in your relationship.
- Give your partner the opportunity to take charge. Pause in a conversation and let your partner talk or bring up the next topic. Stop initiating sex and give your man a chance to seduce you. When your partner asks about your weekend plan, you can answer with, “Think of something, darling. Why don’t you surprise me?” You will need constant self-reminders and a lot of self-control to follow through with this.
- Fill your life with other satisfying activities so that your relationship is not the only thing on your mind. Follow your dream, take good care of yourself, exercise, go to the gym to work out, take up music or dance lessons, just do anything you really like. Do something for yourself.
- Talk to your man about filling in the blanks. Tell him that you have the undesirable habit of giving too much and ask him for his help in catching you in the act. Tell him what you need from him and talk about sharing the emotional load in the relationship.
Make a commitment to yourself that you will not work hard to be loved. You don’t need to perform your best to be lovable. Let the relationship flourish naturally.
The text and all the images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are owned by Ingenira, who hereby asserts her copyright on the material. Permission must be granted by the author prior to copying or republishing this article in print or online. However, please feel free to copy the first paragraph with a link back to this page. Thank you.
© Ingenira 2011