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JULY ISSUE

When Bad Things Happen to Us Good Partners: You gave and gave and gave, and still you got dumped. Here's the surprising truth about being too 'good' of a partner.

If your partner left you and you are just left wondering "why?", one potential answer could be the one that seems most unlikely: you are too good to them. Yes, there is such a thing as being "too good" or "too giving" to a partner when you are in a relationship. If you make someone feel like they are your one and only top priority, and you yourself do not matter, you are putting yourself down and subconsciously sending a message that says "I am not worthy of you, so I do everything in my power to make you like me regardless". This is of course a detrimental message in a relationship. You have to put the relationship and yourself first, not live exclusively in function of the other person. So this includes going out with just your friends and taking "me time" on a regular basis. Not only will this allow you to remain independent within your relationship and have your own life, it will also ensure you and your partner have something to talk about!

Any relationship involves both giving and taking. Often people do not realize that giving without taking is just as harmful to your relationship as taking without giving. In both cases there is a lack of balance and you will harm your own self-respect and the way your partner perceives you.

Getting dumped by a partner that you devoted yourself to should be a sign for you to look within yourself. Not what you did wrong, but how you perceive yourself as a person. It should not shock you if you discover that deep down inside you are fairly insecure and looking for love and appreciation. Perhaps you wanted love so badly, that your quest to get it ruled your relationship. You should not have to give your all just for a little love and affection; you yourself are good enough as a person to be loved; you should never have to give up your sense of self or you personal life in exchange for it.
A potential problem that can occur when giving and not taking is that you may be setting up no boundaries; in other words your partner has the option of being in complete control of you and your relationship. Now if your partner just left you and all you did was give, then it is time to seriously re-evaluate your relationship conduct: your next partner may just take advantage of your giving nature and vulnerability, which could lead to a seriously dysfunctional and potentially abusive relationship.

In order for you to be successful in love again, you have to love yourself first. Learn to be alone for a while, and be content. Never base your entire life happiness on the presence of a significant other or a relationship itself. Partners can go away, and relationships can die, on top of that you are less likely to wait until you find someone who is truly compatible with you and loves you for whom you are if you are too scared to be alone. Every day you are in a relationship based on your emotional need to be in one, you could be missing out on meeting that person who will not only take from your giving and loving spirit, but who will also gladly and lovingly give back.

Even if you have no self-esteem problems, no emotional dependency and you are completely able of being single, but you are still a very giving person then you could inadvertently be sending the wrong message to your partner. Or, on the flip side, you are not stimulating them enough; they have taken you for granted. Every relationship is in a sense a comfortable extension of your time winning each other's hearts; you have to win your partners love again and again to keep your relationship interesting, but on the other hand you also have to give your partner the opportunity to "win you over" as well. If you are too readily available (read: you cancel plans with your friends just to spend another evening with your partner, even though you see each other regularly), there is nothing to 'conquest'. This does not mean you should flirt with others or play extremely hard to get; relationships are no places for mind games, but you should have your own life and while giving to your hearts content, also ask for something in return from your relationship.
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