Some of the greatest challenges that we have in relationships are caused by doing way too much for the wrong person or putting in too little effort with the right person.
This is just as true for people who are dating as it is for those in committed relationships.
In dating and relationships, there is a game of give-and-take and there's a balance that you have to find with it. If you do it properly you will create a very balanced relationship in which both partners give and receive equally. But if you don't find this balance, you will give too much and feel overworked and undervalued, or give too little and end up alone or leave the ones you Love feeling undervalued.
If you find that dating and relationships are a big source of stress this likely has something to do with it. Knowing how to navigate it is essential to meeting the right person and to having the relationship remain fulfilling in the long term.
In this post, we're going to illustrate this balance so you can know when to give and when not to, and you can start to receive the kind of Love that you're truly looking for.
For Those That Are Dating
Creating relationships requires effort. You have to put in the effort. People will not want to get to know you unless you give them something first. It doesn't have to be a lot, but you have to give them at least a little something.
Eye contact, a smile, a wave. Do or say something that lets them know that if they wanted to talk to you, you wouldn't mind. This goes especially for women. If you've ever seen a man you're attracted to and thought: "If he likes me he'll come say hi," you are wrong. 90% of the time when men approach women they get shot down and most men are not willing to subject themselves to that. But if they feel like there's an opening, they will be a lot more likely to say something.
On the flip side, when someone creates an opening with you, take it! This is the game of give-and-take. In dating, you have to invite someone to take the next step and then step back and watch if they take it. When they take a step, you take a step. Call them and wait for them to call back. Text them and wait for them to text back. And don't be afraid to sometimes take two or even 3 steps.
There is nothing wrong with showing interest in someone. Playing it cool and playing "hard-to-get" doesn't work--that's how you end up alone.
The problem comes when you are taking 5, 6, and 7 steps and they are taking none, or only one--when you are calling and texting and they don't respond, but they call you a week later and you are eager to take their call.
If they are showing you that you are not important to them, don't get mad about it; stop making them important to you. Why work hard to create a relationship with someone that doesn't equally value creating that relationship with you? Go out and find someone that does!
Put effort in--put a lot of effort in--but only when that effort is being returned. If they don't call you back, go connect with someone else and get their number. Keep doing it until you meet someone that does return the effort. (For more information on how to meet people see this post: 3 Simple Steps to Instantly Fill Your Dating Schedule)
For Those In A Relationship
The same guidelines apply but putting them into action can prove to be a bit more challenging. Since the relationship is at a deeper level, the cost of what you stand to lose is greater. We are more likely to make compromises on what we truly want the more deeply we are involved with someone.
We all know about the "honeymoon phase". As wonderful as it is, it doesn't offer much in terms of knowing what you can really expect from that person in the long run. Most of us naturally become complacent in situations where we feel comfortable. It can be disheartening, though, when you've come to Love someone and have seen the very best of them and then realize that they have stopped making you a priority.
In many situations, they are simply unconsciously doing it, and they are not wrong for it. However, you must bring it to their attention and see if they are willing to continuously put in the effort over time.
People invest their time, energy, and money in what is important to them. If someone really wants a relationship with you, they will give you what they have to give and when you ask for something you want, they will want to give that to you.
If you find that you are doing all of the work in a relationship and it seems like it's never going to change, this relationship will never be truly fulfilling to you. People can train themselves to put up with a lot, and you can certainly resign yourself to an unfulfilling relationship, but it will never be the same as having a deep, meaningful, and Loving partnership with equal investment on both sides.
Ask for what you want from your partner and don't be harsh about it. Ask it in a gentle, Loving, and understanding manner. If they don't start giving it to you immediately, be patient. Remind them, and see if they come around. After many conversations and requests, if they never start to equal your effort in the relationship, you'll eventually need to accept that they are not as invested in the relationship as you are. At this point, you either choose to be OK with that or choose to find someone that is willing to be as invested as you are.
If You Feel That You Are The Partner That Makes The Least Effort
First, being able to honestly acknowledge that is awesome. Most people will deny it. If you feel that it is the case though, we have some powerful questions for you to consider:
What do you want for your partner?
Do you want them to feel Loved, appreciated, and adored?
Why would you withhold that from them?
What are you making more important than that?
Do you just not want to work that hard?
Have you been unconscious to it? Or do you know it and have been doing it anyway?
Do you really want the responsibility of a relationship, or do you just like the convenience of having someone there?
See if you can answer these questions without any judgment and honestly look at your answers. What do you see in them? Relationships are not just about the convenience of having someone around. True Love comes with commitment. If you don't want to put in the effort to have your partner feel honored, appreciated, and treasured, then you don't really Love them--at least not to the degree that they could be Loved.
When we choose to be in a relationship with someone, we are choosing to be the person that consistently reminds them how important they are and how much they matter. If you are being in a relationship in any lower capacity, you are depriving them and yourself of everything that Love has to offer.
Relationship=Effort. There's no way around it. The happiest couples are the ones that both give their best to the relationship. The people who end up in these relationships are the ones who will not tolerate anything less.
The truth is if you are not willing to give your best to a relationship you're in, you don't deserve that relationship. People who have a high sense of dignity and integrity understand that. They honor their relationships and expect others to honor them as well.
So if you're single, go out to where people are, interact with them in a way that lets them know you want to interact more. Say hi, smile, ask someone how their day is going, open doors for people (literally and figuratively). Extend an invitation and see if they receive it. Do this constantly, and you'll get to know a lot of people. Take some steps into the relationship and let them take some too. When you meet someone who wants to put in the same effort you do, consider a relationship with them.
If you're in a relationship, give it your best and expect the same of your partner. If they're not giving you their best, ask for what you want, help them to learn how to take care of you, and watch to see if they really want to or not.
If you see yourself being lazy, cut it out! Make it your personal responsibility to take care of your partner. Relationships work because we want to take care of each other, we want to make their lives better, and we want to be there for them.
Lastly, recognize that adding to someone's life makes your life better. Respect yourself enough to only entertain people that respect you as much. Give your best and only accept the best in return and you will have powerful, extraordinary relationships.
We believe that Love makes the world a better place and we want you to have it!
Having gone through many years of the dating drama, finding and creating the Love we've always wanted and still working on it every... single... day.... We've learned a few things about how two people can find happiness in a life together.
What we've found is the way that we've learned to do relationships as a culture is not conducive to finding True Love. We all have a lot of bad relationship habits and it's time to unlearn them. When we do, we will start to see that Love is very easy to find.
And of course... Love is the most magical part of Life! If you're missing it, you're missing out!
We are teaching a new kind of relationship. A departure from the modern dating drama and toxic relationships that so many of us have come to
accept as normal. It is true that true Love is hard to find, but it's not true that it has to be.
At The Living Relationship, we create relationships that most people will only ever dream about.
For more information about how you can work with us and how doing so will transform your life and relationships, click here. We'd love to get to know you.