New relationships are filled with excitement and an overload of feelings, many of which make us want to do everything we can to keep the momentum moving in the right direction; however, the rush of emotions can also make us act in ways that ultimately sabotage both our own self interests and the betterment of the relationship.
Healthy relationships consist of two people caring for each other, honoring one another and creating a safe space for each person to feel comfortable and accepted. Of course, we all want to give our best in a relationship, but giving up too much of yourself and “losing yourself” is likely to lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and resentment. Observe your behavior and feelings in your relationship and look out for these top 5 signs that you give to much of yourself.
1. People Pleasing: Do you tend to please others at your own expense. Do you dumb down or filter your own thoughts and feelings to match your partners so that you appear more agreeable or to avoid conflict or rejection? People pleasing in relationships can revolve around high stakes issues, like parenting, sexuality and finance or everyday issues that will eventually add up to create an atmosphere of resentment. Cooperation and compromise are hallmarks of a successful relationship, but only when the effort goes both ways. Stuffing your needs to always please others is not indicative of a healthy relationship.
2. Doing it all: Do you tend to put energy into taking care of things that your partner can do for themselves and then get angry when they are not helping out? It has been said that you teach people how to treat you and if you take care of all the things all of the time your partner will come to expect nothing different. Creating a pattern of "I will do it all" will not serve you and in time will only leave you feeling exhausted, unappreciated and resentful. Moral of this story, don't be afraid
to ask for help!
3. You stop doing you: Do you give up the unique aspects of your life, such as hobbies, interests, friends, ect, that make you, well you, in order to be readily available for your partner? This behavior not only eventually leaves you feeling empty and unfulfilled, but also makes you appear needy and clingy. In order to maintain a healthy level of personal growth and self care it is vital that you maintain interests and passions independent of your relationships. No matter how much you love your partner, they cannot and should not be your everything. Living your authentic life beside your partner is a sign of secure love.
4. Time and energy is not reciprocated: Do you feel like you consistently give more than you receive in your relationship? Healthy relationships are not a competition and partners should not keep score; however, if you feel like you consistently give more than what you get in return, it is no surprise that you feel hurt and resentful. This is tough to hear, but it is not our partner's responsibility to meet all of our needs all of the time. A healthy relationship should be a give and take with both partners feeling validated, celebrated and loved. Even if you are a natural born nurturer, always being the one giving without receiving is not a sustainable method for happiness and will eventually lead you down a path of resentment and loneliness.
5. Being overly apologetic: Do you find yourself apologizing to your partner when they are unhappy or frustrated even when you did nothing wrong? Do you apologize for wanting your needs met? Are you consistently saying sorry or feeling guilty for being yourself? Being overly apologetic is a disservice to both you and your partner. A healthy relationship does not require a partner to apologize for being their authentic self. Apologizing for a behavior when appropriate is commendable, apologizing for your character is unnecessary.
We all want to show our partners that we love and care about them. New relationships can make it especially difficult to find balance between meeting our partner’s needs and taking care of our own, but self respect is a vital component in creating a long lasting and mutually satisfying relationship. Openly and honestly sharing yourself with you partner, is important, just don't lose yourself in the process.
About the author:
Michelle Fraley, MA, WPCC is a relationship coach and professional matchmaker and founder and owner of Spark Matchmaking & Relationship Coaching, LLC. Her mission to help people connect and maintain healthy and satisfying relationships using mindfulness and intentional love. She lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and too many pets to mention.
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