- Gender and Relationships
Stop Giving Too Much of Yourself
When is it too much?
Relationships take a lot of work and wisdom, and it has been said that we have to give more than we expect to receive in a relationship. The 50/50 idea has been discounted and replaced with the saying that to make a relationship work, we have to give 100% everyday.
Yes, there are times in a relationship when we have to give more than we get. When our spouse is sick we should care for them selflessly, expecting nothing in return. There will be other times when our partner gives us more than we can give them. There are times when our friend needs us to support them while they're going through a hard time, and we don't expect a payback. We're just glad to be able and available to help out. This is what good friendships are all about.
The problem comes when we begin to sense that we are always on the giving end and the relationship is lopsided. Some friends seem to drain us, always needing our help, but never having time to help us out when we need it. I have invested in relationships, writing letters, sending gifts and cards, without getting anything positive in return. I'm not hoping for gifts, but I do hope for answers to my cards and emails, and eventually I hope that the other person will initiate contact. When we realize that we're doing all the investing, with no returns on our investment it may be time to save our resources or consider investing elsewhere!
I have heard many women say they gave too much of themselves to the guy they were involved with, only to feel used later on. They regret being so trusting and wish they had held back and waited longer.
Sometimes we give too much of ourselves by disclosing too much information too soon, to the wrong person. Some people are very private, while others are too public, too trusting and too giving. They assume that their good intentions and actions will be accepted and reciprocated, and when they're not they're very disappointed and hurt.
Relationships are like a dance-I make my move, then you make your move, and back and forth. If I realize that I'm the only one moving my feet, that's a good sign that perhaps you didn't want to dance in the first place and I'm better off to sit this one out.
Relationships are also like a cat and mouse chase. As long as the cat is chasing the mouse, the mouse will run! If I am always the cat, you will always be the mouse. Sometimes I need to stop being the cat, and let you be the cat for a while...time to see if you want to pursue this as much as I do.
I might sounds like I'm advocating for selfishness, but I'm not. I'm learning through the school of hard knocks that there is such a thing as giving too much and there are times when it's best to hold back and wait and see if the other person in the picture wants to "dance" as much as I do. If not, I'm sure someone else will and my efforts will be reciprocated!