Are you an option or a priority?
As in nature, in relationships a balance of give and take must be struck for harmony to be achieved. Sounds cliché, but it's true. And often, as women, our natural tendencies to be motherly take over in a relationship and we can over-give, resulting in not paying attention to the scales.
While relationships shouldn't be about score-keeping, they should feel balanced. A mutual decision to show up and play the game with equal devotion must be there or only one team member will win, and guess what? It won't be the giver.
Think of your heart as a constantly fluctuating fuel tank. You give your "gas" to a partner, and while it feels great to give, if you don't get a fill up from your partner in return you will eventually be running on E with nothing left to give to him — or worse, to yourself.
Eventually, all over-givers wake up when they hit the E light. When relationship homeostasis has been rocked too hard and for too long, he/she who is empty will either go into a depression, completely depleted of all life force energy, or he/she will run toward a refill. The refill most commonly comes in the form of an affair.
Naturally, it's far healthier to be aware of the relationship you're in before you hit the state where you're running on fumes, desperate for relief. Healthy relationships regularly fill each other's tank because they're properly and fairly prioritizing each other.
The acclaimed writer Mark Twain once said, "Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option." Don't be afraid to look in your relationship's mirror realistically in an effort to analyze your give-and-take ratio, and then be prepared to do something about it.
To get your analysis underway, ask how much of your tank are you're giving up and how much of it is being refilled. Then, check out these clues that you might be someone's option, instead of their equal priority, to see if any match up with your situation.
- You're always the one making dates, not him.
- When big news happens to him, good or bad, you find out way later.
- He returns calls/texts in an untimely fashion.
- You don't have the "girlfriend" title.
- He makes weekend/vacation plans without considering you.
- You hear a lot of "I" but not a lot of "we."
- Your vote doesn't count for much.
You deserve to be someone's priority, plain and simple. If you find that you have lessened yourself to someone's option, you need to look within. After all, if you aren't making YOU your own priority, why should someone else?
This article was originally published at Tristan Coopersmith. Reprinted with permission from the author.