Giving in relationships can show your partner you love them, while enabling you to feel good about yourself. This is what a well-balanced relationship should look like. Many relationships become a little lopsided when one partner gives more than they should. However, that is usually not cause for concern, unless that excessive kindness is creating feelings of guilt, stress, and ingratitude. As in the storybooks, most of us don’t like our porridge too hot or too cold; we like it just right. Here are the seven guidelines to follow in order to avoid giving too much in your relationship.
Healthy give and take is a balance of good intention. However, when one partner feels inadequate, they may think they need to give excessively in order to be worthy of love in return. When someone gives with an agenda behind it, this is considered drive reduction. In other words, their kindness is aimed at reducing the feeling of fear, jealousy or anxiety. Giving out of love is a service to your relationship. Giving out of fear is a service to yourself, as it demands your partner to serve as a substitute for your lack of self-love, with an overabundance of romantic love.
Balanced giving allows each partner to feel good about themselves and the relationship. However, when you give too much, and feel cheated, you have to ask yourself why you are sacrificing for a relationship that is not worthy of your effort. Besides desperation, some lovers give too much in order to sabotage their relationship, avoid intimacy or dodge a commitment. In short, excess giving can become an easy excuse for why your relationships never work out.
A happy relationship involves a couple that gives to their relationship, understanding that they may not receive anything in return. They are comfortable with their level of sacrifice, and will have no regrets regardless of the outcome. This doesn’t mean they are willing to be walked on, but rather their sacrifice meets their current level of commitment. When one lover is not getting what they need, they may give to excess, in hopes of bullying their partner to reciprocate. It is better to wait for your partner to give when they’re ready.
A balanced lover gives with the assurance that they have made a commitment to the person they are with, and their sacrifice is going towards the greater good of the relationship. When this person has not made a commitment, yet sacrifices anyway, they are likely invested out of the desperation to avoid rejection. This often results in feeling taken advantage of. However, you are doing this to yourself, as you should never sacrifice for someone who isn’t deserving of it.
Some lovers are afraid to ask their partner for anything. Rather than practicing compromise, they give their partner everything they want, and don’t expect anything in return. When one person is constantly giving in to the relationship, they are looking for the easy way out. Unfortunately, this will only make the relationship that much more difficult, as once expectation sets in, your sacrifices will no longer be appreciated.
Selfless giving is only appreciated when it is followed by either a reciprocated action or thank you. If you are not receiving gratitude for your sacrifices, then one of two things is getting in the way. Either your partner does not realize the sacrifices you are making, or they do realize, and are just taking you for granted.
For some people, overzealous kindness is a play to gain control over their relationships. This is the lover who subconsciously seeks a partner in need of help, hoping that in return for their kindness, they will receive love, faithfulness, and commitment. Instead, they are usually rewarded with anger, frustration, and resentment. Love needs to feel balance, and lovers must be on equal ground to develop a partnership with mutual respect.