Toxic relationships can make you feel unhappy, undermine your self-worth, and even make you wonder whether you deserve love at all. And the scariest part is that it can happen without you even noticing it and realizing it’s happening. For example, you might always want to go above and beyond for your partner. They, on the other hand, might give back very little. This dynamic can have disastrous effects on you.
Giving and taking
Even in a perfect relationship, it`s almost impossible to see partners who give and take equally. And that`s normal. It`s only natural to want a shoulder to cry on, or someone who can provide you with emotional, and maybe even financial support when you`re going through a rough time. And it`s just as natural to want to focus all your time and effort on the person you love, who`s in desperate need of your help.
However, it can become unhealthy when one partner does all the giving, and another one does all the taking and gives nothing in return. If you`re a naturally selfless, affectionate, and caring person, you like to always be there for your partner. And it might be even less apparent to you that they aren`t really trying to give you as much in return.
At first, your help might be appreciated, but then your partner might start taking it for granted. They might start taking advantage of you, constantly needing you to get them out of some trouble that they themselves created.
Signs that you are a giver
- You feel responsible for your partner and feel the need to help them. You see no other way of dealing with the situation, it`s what you have to do.
- You think they wouldn’t be able to cope without you. So that responsibility you already feel becomes even heavier, because you`re convinced that your partner would be lost without you. And you can`t let that happen.
- our partner`s needs come first. You spend too much time on your loved one`s problems and often put dealing with your own problems and responsibilities aside.
- You think that if you stop coming to your partner`s rescue and if you stop giving them constant support, they won`t want to keep being in a relationship with you.
How being a constant giver can hurt you
All the things you do for someone that you deeply care about can be emotionally draining if you don`t get the same amount of time, energy, and support in return. Constantly worrying about someone else’s needs is also exhausting.
And if, apart from that, this constant caring about others keeps you from caring about yourself and your needs and having enough me-time, it can really damage your self-esteem, the way you see yourself, and your mental health in general.
At one point, it might even get hard for you to see yourself as something separate from your partner. You might find it hard, and even almost impossible, to imagine what it`s like to be single, apart from them.
What you can do about it
Maybe you don`t even realize that you`re in a relationship where you`re a giver, and your partner is a taker. And you don`t understand where all this exhaustion and where your negative feelings come from. You can`t quite understand what`s wrong.
That`s why the most important thing to do, if you want to figure out how to deal with this situation, is to acknowledge that you`re in it. Then you should ask yourself why is it that you always feel the need to give and keep your mouth shut, when you get nothing in return.
If you`re in a new relationship, set your boundaries right away. Don`t over-invest too soon, before you know your partner better and before you`re certain they`ll be just as supportive of you as you`re ready to be of them.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you were a constant giver? How did it make you feel? How did you deal with it? Please share your thoughts in the comments!