Hello! Today I have a question from Kevin: Should I Walk Away From The One-Sided Relationship I Have With My Girlfriend?
I’ve been with my partner for 5 years and while I can honestly say that I do love her, I am always putting way more effort into our relationship than she is. I admit that it’s my own fault, as I started out always being the giver without having any expectations back from her.
I enjoy making my girlfriend happy, but it’s now taking a toll on me, and I’m feeling very used! She does a few little things for me here and there, but romantically she’s not there much at all anymore! Is it possible to change things up so that we can have a reciprocated partnership? Or, is that too much to ask at this stage of our 5-year relationship?
Thank you for any advice you can give me, Kevin
It sounds like you could be in a co-dependent relationship with your girlfriend and by doing everything for her all the time, it has been done so at your own personal expense. You have not prioritized any of your own needs, and this is no longer benefiting you or making you happy. You feel used because you’re not getting anything back from your girlfriend that makes you feel valued.
It is crucial to have boundaries in your relationship.
It is important to always respect yourself and to have some expectations from your partnership. You are definitely not alone when it comes to making this error, and many couples end up dealing with this one-sided relationship problem. Not everyone is on the same emotional page with their partner, and one person may be much more nurturing by nature.
Kevin, you just may be a more giving person in general, which has now become an issue in your partnership due to living in an environment that is feeling very unbalanced. This is why it is so important to be on the same page as a couple in the early stage of a relationship. Opposites may attract, but it is one Hell of a lot of work to stay together in the long run. You should have the same morals, values, and respect for one another when you decide to be in a committed relationship.
It isn’t one person’s job to do all the work and take care of a high-maintenance partner. We all know how spoiled a child can become when they get everything they want, and unfortunately, it is the same scenario with an adult. The more some people receive from their partner, the more they expect, and this causes harmony to dissipate in any relationship. This, unfortunately, is what is now taking place here with you.
Being taken for granted by your partner is never a good feeling.
It is understandable that after 5 years, you are very frustrated and want to feel appreciated by your girlfriend. The unfortunate part here is that you have let things go on for this long, and it will be difficult to change up the dynamics that you have allowed in your partnership. You have continually made everything so easy for her, and she has not been held accountable when it comes to reciprocating the love between you as a couple.
A partnership is a two-way street, and no one should be put on a pedestal while the other person gets the short end of the stick all the time. For things to work out, both you and your partner need to put in the same effort to stay connected and invested in each other. There is always room to make changes, but you both have to be on board with what that entails and what will transpire moving forward.
Your girlfriend will have to understand the importance of making you a priority, and she has to prove this to you on a daily basis for you to trust that is what she truly wants in your partnership. You have not seen that side of her, but that doesn’t mean that with a little counseling that can’t be achieved. Right now, she is giving you a little acknowledgment, but not enough to sustain the emotional or romantic connection between you as a couple.
Is your girlfriend aware of how you are feeling right now?
I hope you have communicated your feelings to your partner by now. Please tell me you have. It is so important not to sit back and become more and more disillusioned without sharing that with her. If you want to have a chance to fix things, you need to open up and share your concerns. You will have to take ownership of the part you played in this one-sided relationship and her lackadaisical attitude has to change before you can even attempt to move on into a reciprocated give-and-take partnership.
I am happy that you realize your self-worth is important here, but please understand that it might not be an easy transition for you to change your behavior after 5 years. You also need to come to terms with why this happened in the first place. Is this how you have always been in every relationship, or is this something new? If you have always felt this way with other women, there may be a fear of losing them that keeps you holding on tighter than you should. This is where counseling would be very helpful to figure out if there is an unhealthy pattern that needs to be addressed from your past.
If you both decide that you want to try to repair your relationship, you will have to pull back and alter your need to constantly be there for your partner.
It won’t be as easy as you hope, and I suggest you plan a few nights out per week with friends so that you are not around your partner 24/7. You need a little time and space to respect who you are as a person and to prioritize yourself. It is wonderful to be a great boyfriend, but it should never be at the expense of not fulfilling your own happiness as well. Never give up who you are to be there for someone else. Your partner should always be there for you also.
You may have to start out slow and ween yourself off this pattern you have with her. Set up some new rules and be aware that she may resent this new you. She is used to being the queen bee for such a long time now. Don’t be so available for her and learn how to say no once in a while. She needs to be able to appreciate you again so that she stops taking you for granted.
I have always been drawn to nice guys, Kevin, but there is such a thing as being too nice. You can still be a gentleman and do wonderful things for your girlfriend, but it is very important to expect the same back from her.
Regardless of whether you fix things with your girlfriend or move on from this relationship, make sure you prioritize your self-respect in the next one. It’s so crucial to comprehend that being in a partnership should be with someone who loves you unconditionally and understands that “partner and priority” are two words that honor longevity in any strong relationship. Please keep me posted and let me know how things transpire for you in the next few months.