How To Balance Needs In Relationships


To create a healthy lasting
relationship it is important to find a balance between meeting your
partner’s needs and meeting your own, between giving and receiving or
selflessness and generosity; and assertiveness and self-care.

Generosity is an important part of
intimate relationships. Generosity shows that we are willing to make
what is important to our partner, important to us, for the simple
reason that our partner is important to us. Generosity may look like
choosing to cheerfully attend the staff party, family function or
school reunion with your partner. Generosity may involve giving up
something that you want to do, to be with your partner when they
really need your help or for something that means a lot to them.
Selflessness shows up in many tiny acts, like thinking about your
partner before eating that last piece of cake, choosing to watch
their favorite show with them or noticing when they need something
and offering before they ask. Selflessness involves seeing your
partner’s need as being just as important as your own. It means
sometimes being willing to put your needs on the back burner.

Selflessness and generosity help
increase your loving feelings for your partner and help them feel
loved; however, if your relationship is only build on your
selflessness and your generosity, there is a great possibility that
you are going to burn out. Too often when someone has spent years
trying hard to care for and give to everyone, they start to feel
resentful if their efforts are not being reciprocated. Then pendulum
can then swing from generosity to obnoxiousness, when they finally
find that they have nothing left to give. Assertiveness and self-care
can help protect your relationship from this development.

Assertiveness allows you to stand up
for yourself. It allows you to express your needs in a respectful
way. It is not only okay, but valuable to express your needs and
wants and far preferable to allowing resentments to build. If
assertiveness is new for you, you may find that at first your partner
is puzzled and encourages you to change back. You need to persist.
You may have to learn to tolerate your partner being upset with you
and give them an opportunity to self sooth. You have a responsibility
to recognize that you are important and be willing to stand up for
yourself. Recognizing that your needs are important helps you see the
need for self-care. You have just as much responsibility to be good
to yourself as you do to anyone else. Healthy self-care and
assertiveness can make it possible for you to go on being generous
for a life time.
We have to balance our concern for
others with our concern and consideration for ourself. Too much of
either puts our relationships out of balance. Too much focus on your
wants and needs, without the willingness to be selfless or generous
can leave your partner feeling empty and depleted and drain your
relationship of its vitality. Likewise too much giving and generosity
without making your needs known or taking time to rejuvenate, can
leave you feeling empty and depleted. Is it possible to love too
The answer is a resounding NO, but you have to include yourself
in the circle of people that you love.
If you tend to be too generous: when
you choose to be generous, do so out of a spirit of generosity, not
out of a fear of upsetting or disappointing your partner, or out of a
sense of obligation. Stop telling yourself that you have to please
everybody or that you have to keep your partner happy.
If you tend to be too focused on your
own needs: make a conscious effort to be generous to your partner and
practice cheerfully generosity to please or help your partner.
Balancing the giving and receiving in
your relationship will increase not only the longevity of your
relationship, but also increase the joy you find in being together.  

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