Do you feel like only you give in a relationship without getting anything in return?
Do you feel exhausted and taken for granted at times?
Or, you believe your own life goals are on hold because of being too much into your relationship?
So, how to stop giving too much in a relationship?
Well, being an affectionate person it’s hard to learn when to stop giving in a relationship. People around you get used to the affection they receive without giving you anything in return. This is when they start taking you for granted and you are left feeling exhausted. Healthy relationships are the ones that exist in balance. But, when this balance sets off the whole relationship suffers. Also, balance doesn’t mean a 50/50 effort rather it means that sometimes you’ll be putting in 30% while the other partner will be required to put in 70% of their effort. The problem arises when you are the one giving in your 70% all the time.
As too much of something is never good so, it is better to know when to stop giving in a relationship and back off. Below is a list of 8 expert-backed ways that will help you strike a balance not only in your relationships but also in your life.
8 ways to stop giving too much in a relationship
Everyone likes spending time with their partners but the problem arises when your own life gets on the back foot due to being too involved in your relationship. It is imperative to set some boundaries so that your individuality remains intact. Knowing how to strike a balance in your relationships also makes the other person realize how important you are for them. So, start by acting on these 8 essential ways that will help you stop giving too much in a relationship and stop being taken for granted as well.
1- Prioritize yourself
Being in a relationship makes you want to spend every second of the day with your partner. Showering them with unlimited love, affection, and praise might be your favorite hobby. Spending time with your partner might seem like a stress reliever to you at first. However, for long-term healthy relationships, you must prioritize yourself first.
You need to realize who you are as an individual before being a partner. What your interests, hobbies, and goals are? What your values and morals are? And what your strengths and weaknesses are?
Once you know who you are as a person and what you need in your life you’ll be better able to come out as a strong individual who is not defined by their relationship with their partner. Rather, is someone who has a life of their own and is not dependent on someone else.
A Research Gate Publication links prioritizing yourself with well-being and satisfaction in life. Once you prioritize yourself you will start living a more fulfilled life based on your terms. Now, prioritizing yourself doesn’t mean that you stop giving importance to your relationships and ignoring them. Rather, it means that you become aware of your strengths, weaknesses, needs, and goals. It evolves a sense of strength and independence within yourself. Once you realize your individuality you won’t be sitting there just waiting for your partner to show up but would rather be involved in pursuing your passions.
2- Build your self-esteem
Oftentimes why we overgive or become clingy in relationships is due to our low self-esteem. We think we are not sufficient or capable enough to do things alone. We wait for our partner’s approval and their support. Although support and encouragement are every individual’s requirements yet you should not waste your time trying to seek the approval of your loved ones.
If you tend to wait for your partners’ approval before taking any step you’ll destroy your Self Esteem. Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. It is the belief in your abilities and strength. It is the can-do and will-do attitude. However, when you rely too much on your partner your self-esteem withers with time. This is when you become too clingy in a relationship. You start giving more in an attempt to receive more in return. But, this does no good rather destroys your personality, making you excessively depend on your partner and bear every kind of behavior.
Therefore, you need to build your self-esteem to stop giving people too much in a relationship. In this process, you might have to be alone at times, but once you realize your inner potential you’ll start cherishing the solitude. You’ll realize that you are as much worthy of the love and affection that you so carelessly shower on other people and that too is taken for granted. So, trust yourself. Be your own best friend and support system. Once you build your self-esteem you’ll stop giving too much with the thought of having something in return. Rather, you’ll know what you deserve and never settle for anything less than that.
Related; 5 ways to improve self-esteem
3- Say ‘no’ when you want to
Have you ever agreed to something your partner said although you wanted to say no? Well, who doesn’t? I am as guilty for agreeing to things when I wanted to say no so bad! But, this is what love and relationships do to you. You do things that you never wanted to just for the sake of your significant others. And then when you don’t get the same you regret your decision. But, wasn’t this your fault in the first place? Then why blame your partners and feel resentment for not reciprocating the same affection?
Being in a relationship it often gets hard to say ‘no’ no matter how much you try to. However, agreeing to things you don’t want to do will only make you the weaker person. You let your boundaries whether emotional, physical, financial cross repeatedly you let the other person take advantage of you.
This makes them take you for granted or worse assume that you have no mind of your own. Although they say that the more you give the more you receive. Yet, this is not true always. Sometimes the more you give makes them slack enough to not even give their 10% into the relationship. Prompting your partner to think that they already got everything without even trying. Then why do they try? And this leads to unfulfilled relationships.
Thus, learning to say will help you save your relationship and your dignity. It helps you reinforce your boundaries and make the other person realize that you cannot be taken for granted. This will also encourage them to put effort into the relationship and take responsibility.
Related; 9 Tips to Say No Without Explaining Yourself
4- Invest in your hobbies
Relationships often make us center our lives around our significant other. We forget to do the stuff we once enjoyed doing. We don’t make time for our hobbies unless our partner accompanies us in them. However, doing things for yourself is important for your health and well-being. According to Families Communities and Rising self-care is not a luxury rather a necessity that leads to better mental, emotional and physical health. You need to practice self-care not only for your well-being but also for the betterment of your relationships.
Only when you water your grass would you be able to shower love on another person and yet don’t feel exhausted as well. But, if you don’t take care of your needs and want you to start expecting it from your partner. No matter how much your partner invests in you if you don’t make time for yourself and your hobbies you’ll never feel satisfied.
Self-care in relationships means a better and balanced you which in turn translates into more connection, empathy, and fulfilling relationship. Thus, you should never take yourself for granted. Go for a walk in the morning. Have a spa day once a week. Or, enjoy your favorite book while relaxing in the bath. Just do something for yourself because unless you take care of wants and needs you’ll keep seeking it from others which can never be enough. Only if you take care of yourself would your partner also be compelled to treat you better and you would also stop giving too much in a relationship as well.
Related; How to discover your passion
5- Give your partner some breathing space
Just as you require some alone time similarly your partner also needs some downtime. But, if you are the clingy one you might have the urge to constantly be in contact with them whether through text, calls, or simply sending them memes on Instagram. While you may feel connected like this there are high chances that your partner might find it clingy and annoying.
According to a survey, 85% of Americans think that alone time is more important for relationships than going out on dates. A whopping 41% said that they would break up if they are not allowed to have ample time to themselves. So, some free time to yourself is just as important for you and your partner as is for the survival of your relationship. The ideal average alone time is 51 minutes every day which is not even that much to ask for. So, while your partner enjoys their game or hangs out with their friends you also have ample time to yourself.
Therefore, when next time you get the urge to text your partner or call them thrice in an hour you better keep your phone locked in a room. Or, better yet out of sight. Grab a book instead, watch a movie or go out for an evening walk. While your partner also gets time to themselves and you come back to each other with more love, affection, and new experiences to share.
Related; 7 Strong relationship tips
6- Make plans with your friends and family
Usually, when you get into a new romantic relationship you want to spend every second of the day with your significant other. You have the urge to know them entirely in just the first few days of your meeting. In all of this, your friends and family almost always occupy the back seat. You ditch your friends for the sake of having a movie night at home with your partner. You cancel plans with your family just to have a dinner date with your significant other. While this may calm the butterflies in your stomach yet this attitude of laying off your plans for the sake of your partner also translates into having no boundaries around your time and affection.
Frequently laying off your plans with your friends and family makes your partner assume that you have no life of your own. Your life just revolves around your partner and you highly depend on them for your emotional needs. So, no matter how strong the urge to spend time with your partner my advice to you would be to take some time for your friends and family as well. After all, your friends and family have been the ones who stayed with you throughout this time even before your partner met you. And they will be staying with you throughout your life. So, you should never neglect them but rather healthily prioritize your life balancing your time between your friends, family, and your partner of course! A healthy balance of time will eventually help you stop giving too much in your relationship too.
7- Communicate your needs and wants
Communication is the key to any healthy relationship and more so for romantic relationships. If you feel that your needs and wants are not met or you struggle with understanding your partner’s love language then you should speak up. Communicating what you want makes it easier for you and your partner instead of playing the guessing game.
Communication not only makes your partner understand you but it also makes them conscious of how you want to be loved. Every person has a different way of expressing their love. Some like being praised with romantic songs and poetry. While others love teasing their partner with jokes, but this doesn’t mean that their love is any less than others. Rather, it speaks tons about the comfort they have with you that they can joke around and be their true self. However, if you still have trouble understanding their love language then you should speak your concerns out.
The more you communicate your wants and desires the more you’ll have a healthy relationship. Research also shows that communication and relationship satisfaction are part and parcel of each other. So, communicate as much as you can because no other person will know what’s in your heart unless you express it to them.
8- Know when to stop
If you have tried to communicate your needs to your partner but still feel like being used and getting nothing in return then perhaps it is time to back off. For how much can a person give without even receiving an ounce back? Not so long right!
After a time you will feel exhausted. You will feel taken for granted. Whether it is your time, emotions, money, or your physical intimacy, nothing will hold any value to your partner ultimately making you resent them. And the more you stay in such an unfulfilling relationship the more will these unsatisfactory emotions reside in your heart.
So, if you give more than you should. If you have communicated your needs and wants and still find them unmet then you should take a step back. Know your worth. You are a human who needs as much love, affection, and care from your partner as they do. Never think for once that you can’t find anyone better than them. After all, in any relationship respect comes first. But, if your partner doesn’t even have the courtesy to respect your needs then perhaps you are better off without them. My words might have broken your heart right now but trust me on this staying in an unfulfilling relationship is way crueler to your mental health than experiencing the pain of a breakup. So, have some mercy on yourself and know when enough is enough!
Well, relationships are never easy. It is like a walk on a tight rope where you have to constantly maintain your balance. However, if one partner does all the work and the other decides to lie back in their seat then the balance offsets. This is when you start feeling taken for granted. Although every couple struggles to maintain their balance if yours’ has particularly never been on track then it might be time to take it as a sign and rethink. Try these above-mentioned tips first and communicate your needs. Still, if your partner never bothers to mend their ways then they might just not be the right one.
Related; 8 ways to live life on your terms