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