Do you ever feel like no matter what you do to try to “fix” your relationship, you can’t help but feel your relationship is just falling apart before your very own eyes?

Well, I got an email from one of our readers about a problem she’s having in her relationship that I think many people out there can relate to.

Our reader says:

I continually tell my boyfriend that I need verbal reassurance to feel secure in our relationship and then I NEVER receive it from him. I tell my boyfriend about something that really excites me or something I found to be amusing and he doesn’t respond. It makes me feel stupid and it makes me feel like he doesn’t share in the excitement or amusement with me.

Many of us have all been there (heck, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t be there)– feeling that your partner isn’t giving you enough attention (or affection) to help you feel secure and loved in your relationship. Here are three things to keep in mind if this sounds at all familiar to your situation.

1. Using Your Partner As Your Source of Love

If only my partner:

  • gave me more affection
  • told me they loved me more often
  • was more romantic
  • showed me through gestures on how much I meant to them

If you’re seeking validation or affection from your partner, you’re only setting yourself up for even MORE heartache and pain. Why? Because regardless of how hard you try, you have no control over anyone’s thoughts, feelings, desires or wants.

The only person you have full control over is yourself. This means the more you try to get your partner to give you more affection or attention–the chances of you getting the reaction you want are slim to none (and clinging to a certain outcome is a recipe for more heartache.)

(On a side note: I’m not talking about dropping your standards, changing your values or condoning bad behavior from your partner, like cheating or abuse)

Do you get upset when your partner doesn’t kiss you when you say good-bye or greet each other? Do you get indignant when your partner checks other people out? Do you tell your partner they act like they don’t love you?

No one likes to be told how to feel, act, think or do. Neither do you and neither does your partner.

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About The Author

Mika

Mika enjoys helping others overcome their limiting beliefs that prevent them from having the relationship they want. She is also not a fan of being tickled and hopes that one day, Clay, will finally realize that, as they have way too many tickle fights...And Mika has a not-so-secret love affair with chocolate.

13 Responses to How You Unknowingly Gamble with Your Love With Your Expectations in a Relationship

  1. Karen says:

    I really enjoy your blogs, I have been doing everything that you have said but unfortunately it is too late, I am in the process of finding an apartment cause my partner ended things last night. Thanks for the advice though and I will keep all this in mind.

    [Reply]

    Jac Replied:

    Oh Karen, I feel your pain. After 3 months of my boyfriend being emotionally withdrawn and sending mixed signals I moved out of our place to ‘get some space and perspective’ but he just ended our relationship 3 days ago. At least we can know they’re not worthy of our time and energy and Im sure there’s someone out there that will treat me (and you) the way we deserve to be treated and loved. Hang in there; it’s heartbreaking but this pain will pass soon x

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    Karen Replied:

    Thank you both for your comments. I am putting myself first!! I really am in love and to be honest I think this is his “mid life crisis” but whatever it is it has only hurt me so he is on his own, just like he wants! The rest of my life is falling into place and I am almost where I want to be in every other area so I will be ok and like all other pain, this shall pass too.

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    Richard Replied:

    Maybe he was with someone else I would say if he just wants it tobe over and not willing to try he’s either found someone else or you deserve better. If you love someone your willing to fight for them even die for them that’s true love.when I say die I mean protect them with your life.

    [Reply]

    Mika Replied:

    @ Karen & Richard,

    What Richard said maybe true but I just wanted to add that it’s equally just as possible that your ex needed time and space away from you to reevaluate his own life. Many times when people want to break up, what’s actually happening is that they just really need time away from the situation and their partner to figure what they want in life, whether or not they’re going in the right direction, and where their partner fits in the whole scheme of things. I also think that the notion of true love really means how much commitment you have to making the relationship work.

    [Reply]

    Mika Replied:

    @Karen, it sounds like you’re not resisting what he wants (which is usually a struggle for others since breakups are so painful). But your healthy mindset will definately help you overcome this tough time. Hang in there!

    [Reply]

  2. julia says:

    I disagree. I think that a loving partner should be willing to want to make you happy, and would want to know how they can make you happy. If you aren’t being loved the way you want to be loved, then get out of the relationship. It’s not, necessarily, about changing the other person, it’s more they aren’t the one for you. For me, I want to do everything to make my partner happy, why not? If I don’t, then why would he want to be with me? If I have to change a few things about me, fine, it will only make our relationship that much stronger because I care about him and our relationship. If you want someone who shares the same excitment and joy as you do when you tell a story, then find someone who is like that, because it’s not about them making sure you have attention, it’s about sharing a laugh together or sharing in the excitement and passion of the story– it’s who they are as a person and clearly they are a lump on a log (my ex was like this, and it drove me nuts — here I was telling what I thought was a funny story and he would barely glance at me…total disrespect!! — it wasn’t like I expected him to “fake” laugh but come on smile show some kind of reaction, add to the story, tell one similar, something, anything!!!). It is NOT wrong to have expectations from a lover or a partner. It is NOT wrong to rely on another person for our happiness and fulfillment, otherwise why are we looking for people to spend our life with for, if we can just make ourselves happy? If you aren’t happy with the one person you spend most of your time with, and they aren’t compromising and helping you to be more happy with them, then find someone else. In the end if it is “gambling with your relationship” than so be it because staying in a relationship that is the wrong one is just a serious waste of life. There are millions and millions of people out there, go find your match!

    [Reply]

    Mika Replied:

    Julia,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, It’s always nice reading different opinions.

    (the BOLD is you)

    For me, I want to do everything to make my partner happy, why not? If I don’t, then why would he want to be with me? If I have to change a few things about me, fine, it will only make our relationship that much stronger because I care about him and our relationship.
    I want to do everything I can to help bring joy to Clay’s life, but I will not take responsibility for his state of emotions—that’s all on him. Why? Because just like him, I can’t control what does or doesn’t happen to me, but I can control my response. Also, changing for someone just to appease your partner (like to stop pursuing your passions, stop seeing friends or family or changing your appearance) will eventually cause resentment and bitterness to grow and fester within a relationship, plus it’s not a good foundation of a healthy relationship anyways…

    It is NOT wrong to have expectations from a lover or a partner. It is NOT wrong to rely on another person for our happiness and fulfillment, otherwise why are we looking for people to spend our life with for, if we can just make ourselves happy?
    I never said it was wrong to have any expectations from your partner. Just know that every behavior comes with a consequence and having unrealistic expectations that your partner will “complete you” will only eventually add even more suffering to yourself. I believe the point of a successful relationship isn’t to make you feel happy. The point of a relationship is to find someone you love and GROW along side with, regardless of all the bad and good times you encounter together.

    Running from one relationship to another because your partner doesn’t fulfill you, means you’re ignoring the one common factor in all your broken relationships—yourself. Once the initial rose colored glasses wear off from a new romance, eventually you’ll both have to learn how to maintain your love despite both your imperfections. It will take commitment, acceptance and a good sense of self to keep that love alive— all which requires a healthy mindset to have.

    Life is perpetual growth and so is your relationship. The root of a committed, loving (and long-term) relationship begins with a healthy mindset that allows you to be your *authentic self*– warts and all.

    [Reply]

  3. Richard says:

    I have been with m y wife for nearly 15 years and I had got the book venus and mars you know we’re men and woman are from and what I never could get my wife to understand was that affection and making LOVE was my ultimate exspression of love for me and I think for most men but she would always think it was just about sex and it totally was not the case but in my warped way of thinking I thought if I could just get her to realize how deeply in love I was with her in our making LOVE she would most definitely feel it.But of coarse men are really dumb when it comes to knowing what woman feel and want. Finally in educating myself and really listening to my wife also her telling you she’s not in LOVE with you anymore it causes you to wake up and listen to what your woman is telling you. So what I have figured out was you need to be nice to you woman make her feel special and don’t get into a routine and be predictable all the time and your tone of voice can really damage your wifes self esteem and cause her to lose respect for you and more so that loving emotional feeling you had in the beginning of your relationship. I had not even realized.I had been chipping away at all of these things for years I’m hopping that I woke up in time to save our relationship and family if your nice respectful loving and do things for them just because and make them feel beautiful and special everything else will work itself out.

    Hope this can help someone before its to late for you

    [Reply]

  4. Jessica says:

    Dear Mika,

    I really love this article – thankyou for taking the time to write it!
    I have a few problems in my relationship which l understand may be stemming from issues surrounding my (low) self esteem. I rely on my partner to make me feel beautiful and happy etc instead of finding ways to do that for myself and when he doesn’t do it l get mad at him.
    However, on my quest to achieve higher self esteem and get out of my patterns….there is one thing l don’t understand about this article.

    l don’t understand the difference between wanting something and needing something.
    For example, my partner and l have different sex drives. I have always ‘expected’ / imagined in my relationships that l would be having sex at least 2-3 times a week and this was the pattern in my past relationships. However, my current partner and l have sex once a month because that is what he expects. I have spoken about this with him and explained that to me sex is ‘making love’ and one of the top ways l give and receive love. To me, it is one of the main differences between being friends and being in a relationship. He has explained, to him sex is just sex. An activity that has no correlation to how he feels about the person. He has also admitted he knows he has a different libido to most men but then will not talk about it anymore because l think he may feel bad about it. And all conversations then end in him saying that is the way he is so take it or leave it.
    But say l was 100% confident so did not need my partner to say anything (l love you) or do anything (have sex) to make me feel loved. So wouldn’t that mean that l wouldn’t need sex or words because l wouldn’t need them to feel loved. So if l don’t need them…wouldn’t that mean l wouldn’t care if l have them or not? Because if you get to a point where you are completely 100% confident then how do you need someone? What’s the point of having a partner? I know you said it was to grow but then what’s the difference between growing with friends and growing with a partner?
    Finally, l don’t understand the difference between lowering your standards and wanting your partner to meet your wants.
    If l was 100% confident and didn’t need sex or words to feel loved but wanted them because…l don’t know…l thought they were nice etc… but my partner isn’t prepared to give them, well then since l don’t need them will that not mean the confident person is always ‘lowering their standards’ because they don’t need it so there is no incentive to make a stand for them. Everything that is not a need will not be a necessity?

    I’m confused..!! :s

    [Reply]

    Mika Replied:

    Jessica,
    I’m replying to your comment via email. Check your inbox:)

    [Reply]

  5. I always tell people that you need to be happy with yourself if you want to have a successful relationship. People who are content with themselves and do not need anyone seem to be the ones who can make relationships work. If you base your happiness on the ups and downs of a relationship you are going to be on one heck of a roller coaster. Be happy before the relationship and then it can add to your happiness, but not take it away.

    [Reply]

  6. eris says:

    Wow! Just wow. I realize this is an old post but I feel so strongly about this I had to leave a comment. Much like Julia, I don’t actually see the point in having a relationship with someone who isn’t excited to hear your stories, share their day with you, or share a laugh. It’s actually diminishing to your soul and spirit to be with someone who doesn’t value you enough to take the time to interact with you.How long would you be friends with someone who ignored you or whose actions (or lack thereof) made you feel stupid, diminished, unimportant?

    It’s precisely because I DO love myself and follow my passions and DON’T need anyone else to complete me,that I have walked away from several relationships with unresponsive, lackadaisical men. Relationships require relating. If you’re not up for engaging with another person then you shouldn’t be in a relationship and articles like this shouldn’t be providing people like this with the cop out that it’s their partner’s problem for expecting to have an actual relationship. People like this are not with their partners because they love and cherish them, they’re with them because they’re afraid to be alone.

    We all deserve to be loved, and cherished and appreciated.If the person you’re with doesn’t make you feel that, leave, live your life fully and be single until you find the person who does. You deserve it and so do they but you’ll never find each other while you’re tied up with someone who isn’t actually interested in you. We have feelings for a reason and if your partner is unresponsive to yours, get out and find someone who cares. Don’t settle for less because you bought into the idea that it’s your fault for having feelings. The only way you’re allowing that person to make you feel that way is by staying, not because you don’t love yourself enough. Tosh and bunk!You are an amazing, fascinating, person on the completely unique adventure that is your life and there IS someone out there who can’t wait to share it with you.

    [Reply]

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