Posted by John Aiken, 19 August 2015: We all want to put our best foot forward when we meet a new love interest. Change your plans to fit in with them, give them praise and compliments, listen to their point of view and meet their every need in the bedroom. But if you go too far in trying to please your new partner, then you run the risk of losing your power and getting taken for granted. If you’re a people pleaser, then you need to learn to put yourself first in dating and relationships if you’re going to have long-lasting love.
It might seem like a good idea to be overly nice and accommodating to your partner. The more you love them, the more they should love your back. Right? Wrong.
The reason why pleasing too much or being too nice sabotages your chances at love is that you start to become needy. You lose your sense of independence and you stop being an equal.
Rather than bringing your own personality and beliefs to the relationship, you tend to roll over and let your partner lead with everything. The end result is that they get bored and complacent, start using you, the respect fades and they end up drifting away.
Here are 10 signs you please too much in your love life:
– Say “yes” to most things
– Change your plans to fit in with them
– Do all the chasing
– Avoid expressing your feelings
– Agree with their opinions
– Try to avoid arguments and conflict
– Constantly seek their advice and re-assurance
– Over apologise
– Downplay and dismiss compliments
– Let them make all the decisions
So if you want equality and respect in your new relationship, and you’re tired of being taken for granted, then you need to take a deep breath and start putting you first.
Here are 5 key tips to help you on your way:
1 Say ‘no’
You need to teach people how to treat you. That means saying ‘no’ when you don’t want to do things with your new partner. They need to understand what you do and don’t like doing, so create boundaries and draw a line in the sand.
2 Stick to your plans
It might seem like a good idea to always be available to your new love interest, but you also need to have your own life. So if you’ve got some plans that you’re looking forward to, stick to them and enjoy having some time apart. It gives you more to talk about when you catch-up!
3 Express your own feelings/ opinions
You need equality in relationships. One great way to keep an even balance of power is to express your own feelings and get across your point of view. It doesn’t matter if it’s different to your partner’s. They need to hear it and know exactly where you stand. You’re an individual with your own beliefs and values. Time to share these.
4 Make decisions
Avoid falling into the trap of letting your new love interest take the lead when make all the decisions. Forget about trying to make everything run smoothly. Step up and share the decision making at least 50% of the time. Whether it’s initiating sex, choosing a restaurant, buying tickets to a concert, going to a café, seeing a movie – take control and lead from the front.
5 Have separate friends/ interests
So often when you meet a new love interest you focus all your attention on trying to make them happy. As a result, your friends and interests tend to drop away as you put them on a pedestal. Instead, make a point of catching up separately with your friends on a weekly basis, and have regular time apart so you can pursue your own interests and hobbies. It’s an attractive quality to go out with someone who has their own life and sense of identity.
John Aiken, Findsomeone’s dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit TV 3 show Married At First Sight. He is a best selling author, appears regularly on TV, radio and in magazines, is a clinical psychologist and runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker.