YOU should be your FIRST priority.
Self-care is a key component of maintaining a healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationship. After all, how can you take care of someone else if your needs aren’t being met too? If you’re spending all of your energy trying to make someone happy but you still feel miserable, you might be the one ignoring your own feelings and hurting yourself.
Here are some signs you may be putting all your energy into maintaining your partner’s happiness while completely ignoring your own:
1. You constantly placate him rather than telling him what you’re really thinking.
You say what you think he would want to hear rather than what you actually want or feel. In this scenario, you are unconsciously protecting yourself from criticism or rejection.
It’s important to be honest with your partner and yourself. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. You want to be accepted for who you are — not what you think he wants you to be.
2. You constantly dismiss your own wants.
He asks you, “Where would you like to go eat?” You mention your favorite place, but then quickly add, “But we don’t have to go there. Wherever you want to go is fine with me.” He’ll be happy he got what he wanted, but you miss out on what you want.
He was kind enough to offer to let you pick, so make a suggestion and stick with it! Chances are he really wants you to have it your way, or you guys could at least come to a compromise that makes you both happy.
3. You’re always making excuses for things that bother you.
He does something that troubles you, and you overlook it by making excuses for his actions. You think it’s better to avoid an argument and risk upsetting him for fear he will reject you. The problem is, you are still bothered by it.
If you’re upset by something he did, talk to him and take responsibility for your feelings. Say something like, “I felt [angry, hurt, taken for granted, sad] when you did [this action]. I’m curious, what was your intention?” This can help lead to a discussion instead of an argument, and it will make him aware of it for the future.
4. You always put off your own plans for someone else’s.
You were going to train for a marathon or go back to school, but that would require time away from him and you don’t want him to feel unimportant by devoting your time to something other than him. Thus, you sacrifice what you want for him.
If the relationship is healthy, he will want to support you in your endeavor! You can use good time management skills and schedule time to be together. You’ll be able to plan actual quality time instead of just quantity of time.
5. You always give more than you ever get in return.
You spend a lot of time investing in the relationship and are happy as long as he is happy. He, on the other hand, doesn’t invest as much and is content that you are doing all the work.
This is a sign that you fear rejection or being alone. Over time you will feel empty because your heart and soul are not being fed, and you have given yourself away. Make sure the give-and-take between you is fair and balanced.
6. You apologize for EVERYTHING.
He had a bad day at work and you are ten minutes late for your date. He is upset when you arrive and tells you about his rotten day but says nothing about you being late. You then apologize for making it worse by being late.
Remember: YOU didn’t cause him to have a bad day. You can have empathy for him by saying, “I’m sorry you had a rough day,” but don’t take responsibility for it. Blaming yourself for his situation will only leave you feeling worse.
7. You change your routine to make his easier — even if it inconveniences you.
You like to work out in the morning, but he likes keeping you out late. You want to accommodate him so he will be happy. Now you can’t get up so early and have to get your workout in later in the day when you have less energy and your workouts are not as effective.
Continue the routine that works best for you. In a healthy relationship, what is important to you will also be important to the other person.
8. You dress or style yourself in a way you never would, just because he likes it.
You change your hairstyle or buy a new rockin’ outfit purely to gain his approval, even though you wouldn’t have made that change otherwise. With this you are not being true to yourself, and you’ll eventually resent him for it.
Be yourself. A healthy relationship doesn’t require you to change unless you want to for the sake of improving yourself.
If any of these apply to you, it may be time to evaluate the relationship and take a good look at yourself. Don’t lose your individuality for the sake of your relationship.