You’re dating a really nice guy. The way you see it, everything seems just right and perfect. He seems to be around whenever you need him, and he loves lavishing his attention on you. But somewhere along the way, do you hear a little voice inside that tells you he’s the one doing all the giving, and you’re only taking?
Of course, it’s never easy to tell because everyone loves a bit of attention. And you’d never know just how balanced your relationship is until one of you starts holding back on the giving and taking.
Has your boyfriend confessed that he feels like the mule in the relationship, where he’s doing all the hard work and you just respond with wide grins?
It may all be well and good in the infatuation stage of a relationship, but if you truly care about your man and your relationship, remember a relationship is a two-way street. And the only way it succeeds and grows, is if both of you play an equal part in nurturing the romance.
10 signs to know if you’re taking your man for granted
If you want to get an honest answer, ask a sincere question. Here are a few telltale signs you aren’t giving your guy the time and attention he deserves.
#1 You ignore messages. It might not seem like a big deal, but it could be a sign of something bigger. How long did it take you to respond to his messages when you first started dating? Of course, things change, but it’s important to try to keep some things consistent.
Nobody likes to be left hanging. It’s a crappy feeling to send a message, and then find yourself with an empty screen for hours. We’ve all been there before at some stage in a relationship.
#2 You can’t apologize. What’s more important: your ego or your relationship? It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of “winning” fights and forget about what is really important. If you know you are wrong, fess up. Try to get out of the habit of living in the moment and start thinking about the future.
Nobody likes to swallow their pride but stay focused on the path ahead. If you want to maintain a healthy relationship, be open, honest and ready to admit your mistakes. Put down the boxing gloves and start listening.
#3 His goals are off your radar. Where do you see yourself in a year? How about five years? Most of us have endless lists of goals and aspirations. Do you know his? When you imagine your future, what is he doing?
#4 He’s not the first person you tell. Think about the funniest thing you saw this week. Remember back to the best news you heard all month. Who was the first person you wanted to tell about it? If you aren’t dying to call him to share every little bit of exciting, terrifying, or hilarious news, something is up.
Ask yourself this: who is the first person you did want to spill the beans to? If he’s not at the forefront of your mind, there might be a bigger issue at hand.
#5 You’re not pulling your weight. Everyone loves to be treated like a princess but, believe it or not, none of us are actual princesses. We are something better: independent, capable women. In a balanced relationship, we take turns helping each other out.
He’s not your servant, handyman, or sugar daddy. If you want someone to boss around, hire an assistant. Remember your guy is a friend and a lover, not hired help. Remember to say please and thank you, and then return the favor.
#6 You don’t make time for his friends and family. Like it or not, none of us live in a bubble. We’ve all got obnoxious uncles, racist grandparents, and old college friends who drink too much. If you want to keep the guy, accept his circle.
#7 You’re clueless about romance. You probably know what you like. You might even get on his back about not being romantic enough, but are you romantic? Romance isn’t all about roses and chocolate and carriage rides through the park. The point of romantic gestures is to make the other person feel important and loved. You can do that for your guy.
Far too many women think of romance as a one-way street, but there are an infinite number of things that you could be doing to make your guy feel lucky in love.
#8 You love a good monologue. Do you have conversations on a regular basis or are you just talking at him? When he talks, are you actively listening or just waiting for your turn to speak?
Next time you two are together, perk up your ears and pay attention to who dominates the conversation. Even if he is a quiet guy, you should be giving him an opportunity to share. Ask him open-ended questions. Get him talking and learn the art of listening. Make it a habit to do regular check-ins to make sure you aren’t dominating all the conversations.
#9 You don’t know how he spends his time. When is the latest time you asked your man about his day? Do you follow up on things? Ask him about his hobbies? You don’t have to have everything in common, but it’s important to stay connected. If you haven’t already, make a real effort to learn about his interests. Let him pick out a movie. Go on an adventure with him.
Even little things, like asking him how a work project is going, does make a difference. Show him you listen to him and are honestly interested in what he does with his time.
#10 You don’t know why you’re together. Ouch. Honestly ask yourself what you love about him. What attracted you to him? Why is he the greatest guy that you have ever met? If you sincerely can’t answer these questions, you’ve got a real problem on your hand.