In a relationship, everyone wants to be supportive of their partner’s choices— and it’s normal to put your partner’s needs and wants in front of your own sometimes. But it’s easy to go too far. And being passive in your relationship can quickly go from you being nice and supportive to being bulldozed or taken advantage of. When relationships are too one-sided, then you no longer are equal partners and there’s only so long you can keep having one person take advantage of the other before the relationship starts to deteriorate.
It’s especially difficult because normally being passive is a sign of kindness and empathy— and it can be difficult for people who are used to deferring to their partners to actually make a stand for themselves. But you have to. Because even if you love the person, being in a one-sided relationship isn’t healthy and eventually resentments will build. It may feel like a loving relationship but, if they’re not putting themselves out there for you some of the time, then something is missing. You want to be with a partner who care about your needs as much as you care about theirs. Luckily, there are some really clear signs if you know what to look for. Here’s what you need to look out for:
1. Choices Are Never Yours
You're always going to the movie they want to see, eating the food they want to eat, and generally doing what they feel like. Maybe they ask your opinion and then ignore it— or maybe it's just become the default that it's their decision. Either way, it's not good.
2. Your Opinions Are Getting Lost
If your opinion never counts in your relationship, chances are you're not putting them out there in other areas of life either. If you don't have strong opinions about what food you like, books, movies, politics, then being passive may have become too much of a way of life.
3. You're Starting To Feel Resentment
Like I said, you can't keep it going forever. At some point you're going to start to feel the weight of being passive all the time and never standing up for yourself. If you're feeling angry or passive aggressive toward your partner and you don't know why, you need to think about whether you're having your needs met.
4. They're Pulling You Away From Friends And Family
If you're really passive and they are really demanding, there's a good chance that their family and friends' events are always considered important— but there's always some reason it's OK that they skip yours. If you feel like you're always making excuses to your friends but always hanging out with your partner's people, that's a concern.
5. You're Desperate For Approval
One of the reasons we can be passive is that we're worried if we demand too much then our partner's will no longer be interested in us. But who wants a relationship on those terms?
6. You Let Them Get Away With Being Cruel
Being passive often comes from a good place, but if it gets out of hand that it can quickly turn into an unhealthy relationship. If one of you is more assertive, make sure that doesn't turn into them taking advantage of you. Your needs, wants, and opinions are just as important as your partners and— thought they may always have a good reason why it should be their way— you need to stand up for yourself.
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