Take a minute to think about the last time you asked yourself whether you are getting what you deserve out of your relationship. How long ago was it? When is the last time you thought, “My partner doesn’t appreciate me, I feel taken for granted”? Now think about this – when is the last time you asked yourself whether your partner is getting what they deserve out of your relationship? When is the last time you thought, “I’m not appreciative of my partner, I’m taking them for granted”?
If it takes you longer to answer those second two questions, you are not alone. As humans, we are wired to be selfish—to think about our own needs and desires first. In our relationships, this means we typically think about whether we are getting what we deserve out of the relationship and whether our partner is treating us well. We aren’t always selfish, of course. We can override these tendencies to be good, caring relationship partners. But it typically takes conscious effort to do so, especially if we are tired, stressed or otherwise distracted. Some people are better at this than others, but for most of us, it’s instinct to think of ourselves first.
So today, I urge you to take five minutes to consider your partner’s perspective. Instead of thinking about whether you are being taken for granted, step into your partner’s shoes, forget yourself for a moment, and truly ask yourself, “Am I being a good relationship partner?” “Am I showing my partner how much I appreciate them?” and “Is my partner getting what they deserve out of our relationship?”
Your answers might surprise you.