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How to Achieve a Give-and-Take Relationship

Couple in a give-and-take relationship
A give-and-take relationship is all about finding a healthy balance.

Relationships are about give and take. Perhaps a piece of wisdom too often offered by friends and family to help soothe our relationship woes. And there’s a reason most couples try to live by this. If you want a healthy union, you and your partner must have an equal exchange of energy and effort.

Unfortunately, achieving a give-and-take relationship isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to reach a compromise if your partner doesn’t want to relinquish a degree of control. But you’ll need to meet in the middle if you want a happy and long-lasting partnership.

The Importance of a Give-and-Take Relationship

Why does reciprocity matter in a relationship?

There isn’t a relationship where someone wants to feel like they’re on the short end of the stick. After all, we live in a world that rightfully encourages fairness.

California State University psychology professor Kelly Campbell agrees with this idea. “If one person is doing all of the giving and the other is doing all of the receiving, then the relationship is lopsided and at risk for dissatisfaction, infidelity, or dissolution,” she tells Brides magazine. She adds that people can monitor how much they’re giving and receiving.

Defining Givers and Takers

Are you a giver or a taker? Let’s go over these two roles in detail:

The Giver

A giver prioritizes the other person’s desires and needs in a relationship. They want to make their partners’ lives better. And with that, they take initiative and do things that’ll make their other halves happy. For example, a guy will take cooking lessons because he knows that it’ll make his girl happy.

People often value givers in a give-and-take relationship because of their selflessness and generosity. However, there is a dark side to this role. Some givers may put their altruism on display because they’re narcissistic and want people to admire them.

In other cases, being a giver in a relationship stems from low self-esteem. These people think they’ll only gain acceptance if they go out of their way to please people.

Another possible case: some givers are looking for something to gain. These people are more likely to “keep score” (read: counting instances) in relationships, which can only lead to bad things.

The Taker

Victim of cheating expressing her pain
Are you a giver or a taker? Knowing your role could help improve your relationship.

Since we now know what a giver is like, let’s switch gears and talk about takers.

A taker tends to prioritize their interests above others. Most takers want to receive as much as they can from their interactions without returning the favor.

Is looking out for yourself a bad thing? Generally speaking, no. In relationships, however, it’s a selfish tendency. Partnerships involve two people, so both parties need to consider each other’s feelings in most situations. If you find yourself playing this role, you may want to curb your self-preservation habits and show a little more generosity.

What Should Giving and Taking in a Relationship Look Like?

Now that we’ve defined what a giver and a taker are, let’s move on to this entry’s main agenda. What should a give-and-take relationship look like?

Practice reciprocity and improve your relationship by taking these no-nonsense steps:

1. Provide mutual help

A happy and healthy relationship is impossible if only one party is putting in the effort to make things work. And the effort isn’t just limited to the relationship: this includes chores and responsibilities too. An example of ticking this box is splitting bills equally and paying them on time.

2. Respect each other’s boundaries

Givers and takers in relationships don’t need to be by each other’s side 24/7. Even if you’re in a committed relationship, you still need some alone time. You’re not just your partner’s other half; you have a life outside of your relationship.

In the context of this entry, respecting boundaries doesn’t stop at giving each other space. It also means you shouldn’t push your partner into giving or taking things they don’t have or want to receive. If you fail to do this, you’ll just poison your relationship and make it become a partnership no one wants to stay in.

3. Don’t overestimate yourself

Both givers and takers should pay attention to this one.

Has anyone ever warned you not to bite off more than what you can chew? That age-old saying is telling you to avoid overexerting yourself or overplaying your hand.

For givers, this means you should stop giving effort beyond your limits, especially if your partner hasn’t been matching your energy. You don’t deserve to be with someone who doesn’t understand what a give-and-take relationship means.

A tired man covering his face
Givers and takers in relationships shouldn’t overcompensate or take advantage of each other’s flaws.

A person can only exert themselves so much onto an unresponsive mate.

Are you a taker? If you are, don’t just sit there and think your partner is okay with getting nothing in return from you. They may not demand it from you or say it aloud, but they do hope you’ll give them some appreciation or any form of reciprocity. Don’t wait for them to get tired and walk away.

4. Give genuine compliments frequently

Compliments are verbal expressions of affection. If you’re going to throw one at your partner, make sure it’s sincere.

People can tell insincerity, so don’t say anything complimentary just to praise the person. It’ll just make them feel like you’re throwing a bone at them just to feel like you did your part in your relationship.

Try to make genuine compliments a daily habit. This may seem small, but something as simple as “You look great today” is enough to make someone’s day.

5. Don’t sugarcoat your feelings

You don’t have to share every single thought, but you should be forward with your feelings.

What if your partner is taking everything you’re giving them without saying as much as a “thank you?” Don’t let them off the hook for that treatment and call them out on it. Who knows—they may be unaware of what they’re doing and just need someone to help them snap out of their behavior.

6. Keep trying

We know it’s tempting to give up on a give-and-take relationship if the other person isn’t doing anything to reciprocate your efforts. But don’t wave the white flag just yet.

Just keep on being a great and giving partner if you don’t feel burnt out. Your consistency will tell or remind your partner that they need to do their fair share too. If they truly love you, they’ll wake up and give as much as they’ve taken.

Giving and taking is a balancing act. Use your takeaways from this entry to be a better partner (and person) to your other half. They’ll appreciate you for pulling your weight to ensure your relationship stays happy and healthy.

Newest, beautiful, single women now added for week of Wednesday, 12 June, 2024 - Tuesday, 18 June, 2024
Your opportunities here are truly worldwide. Explore our site deeply to see how you can realize that!