Is There a Breakup in Your Future?

Overgiving creates guilt, not marriage.

Most men believe in the scales of justice and don't want to be characterized as being selfish or unfair. The biggest reason not to overgive is because it makes your man feel guilty. He'll only wind up feeling manipulated by racking up a romantic debt that's not of his own making.

Man Fact: Men are professionals at keeping score!

Most men secretly enjoy jumping through hoops of fire, scaling craggy cliffs and bringing over Chinese takeout. But if you tip the scales of romantic justice and burden a man with a love debt, it will ultimately backfire. Usually, the trouble begins when you notice that he's not really reciprocating in kind.

Many women will now start to make the classic mistake of complaining about everything they've been doing for him. Who asked you to teach his children French anyway? (You!) This is a terrible way to get your man to make a deeper commitment, and you risk violating the supreme rule of male courtship: Men only do what they want to do.

No matter what men say, watch what they do.

When we stuff the bird, men construe it as pressure, and a big reaction is sure to follow. Overgiving can induce La-Z-Boy Recliner Syndrome or turn your Lovebird into a Bat Out of Hell. If the gods really want to punish you for poor manhandling, you might even wind up with six feet of trouble. He's the type who'd be more than happy to sit in your nest and channel surf until you come home from a hard day at the office, and expect you to cook him dinner.

Instead, when you wisely pull back, men will naturally pick up the slack and romantically reengage if they're remotely right for you. And you'll have given yourself the priceless gift of clarity. You might need to make some changes in how you choose to prioritize your relationship. Low self-esteem and fear of loss are usually the real reasons women start overcompensating  in the first place. Don't despair! It will become easy to see what your partner's contributing to the relationship once you step back and stop overgiving. You'll be able to see exactly what you've got left on your plate, and then you can deal with the meal.

Romantic Rule: Slim Jims and Hershey's Kisses do not count as dinner.

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