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12 Signs You’re Being Selfish in the Relationship

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It’s hard for a selfish person to see their selfish side. But these 12 signs will definitely tell you if you’re being selfish in your relationship! By Elizabeth Arthur

selfish in the relationship

It’s never easy to know if you’re being selfish or giving in a relationship.

After all, you have to understand that selfishness is more of a perspective than a matter of fact.

In the middle of a discussion with your lover, do you ever feel like you could give in, but choose not to give in only because you think it makes you appear weak?

Do you believe your partner would take you lightly or tread all over you if you constantly give in, even if the consequences of giving in make no difference to you?

[Read: How to stop a selfish person from hurting you and breaking you]

Aren’t we all just a little selfish?

All of us can be selfish at times, especially when we want something badly.

And it’s definitely not a bad thing.

But if your selfish streak is less of an occasional occurrence and more of a behavioral trait, that’s something you need to pay attention to.

A balance of powers exists in every relationship.

A happy relationship hinges on a perfect balance, and even a slight change in the balance changes the way one or both partners look at the relationship.

If your partner ever feels like they’re the one who’s doing all the giving, while you’re the one who’s doing all the taking, it’s only a matter of time before the relationship starts to go downhill. [Read: 18 critical signs your relationship is starting to go bad]

Your needs and your selfishness

Firstly, don’t ever neglect your own needs. After all, you can give your lover more happiness only when you’re full of happiness yourself. Being selfless in a relationship is a sign of unconditional love, but being too selfless can make even the nicest people take your niceness for granted! [Read: 23 types of relationships that can define your love life]

And at times, your selfless nature could be the catalyst to an abusive relationship where you’d be controlled all the time by someone who didn’t even want to control you in the first place. [Read: Am I in an abusive relationship? - 17 sure signs!]

How can you tell if you’re being selfish in the relationship?

Selfishness is sign of self gratification. If you’re too self centered and believe your needs are more important than everyone else’s needs, you’re probably a selfish person even if you don’t think so.

The first step to stop being selfish is realization. You need to realize that as big or difficult as your problems may seem to you, to someone else, their own problems may appear just as demanding or difficult.

Has your partner ever told you you’re being selfish in the middle of a discussion? It takes a lot of effort and repeated occurrences of selfishness for your lover to make such a statement.

It’s not something people say easily, so if your lover ever tells you that you’re selfish, think very hard about it. There’s probably a big reason behind why they’d accuse you of something so painful. [Read: The problems of making someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]

Communication and selfishness

If your partner ever accuses you of being selfish in the relationship, don’t hate them for it or get angry in return. Complete the discussion, and when the flaring tempers cool down, talk to your partner and try to find out why they believe you’re being selfish.

Prod your partner even if they apologize or tell you that they didn’t really mean it. If your partner could blurt out an accusation like that, there’s a good chance that some part of them believes you’re a selfish person. [Read: 10 relationship deal breakers you could be creating in your love life]

Selfishness and attention seeking partners

Sometimes, when a partner accuses you of being selfish, all they may be trying to tell you is that they want more of your attention. In all probability, they’ve been trying to get your attention by texting you goodnight and good morning texts, or buying you gifts, or taking you out often. And in response, they’re hoping you’d do something nice for them too.

You, on the other hand, may not realize this. And this simple confusion could lead to your partner believing you’re selfish or too self centered.

If your partner calls you selfish, and can’t really explain themselves to you, chances are, they’re just craving for your attention! All you need to do here is reciprocate their romantic gestures with your own signs of love. [Read: 25 sweet romantic things to do to melt your lover’s heart]

12 signs you’re being selfish in your relationship

Recognizing your selfish side isn’t the easiest thing to do, but there are a few cues that can help you see the traits and reflect on them. Use these 12 signs and find out if you’re being selfish in your relationship.

#1 Laziness. Are you usually excited to do something you enjoy? And if it’s something your partner wants to do *that you’re not particularly excited about*, do you get bored or restless easily and try to squirm out of it?

It could be something as simple as a chore or shopping for clothes together. If only the things you enjoy excites you, but sharing your partner’s happiness from the things that they enjoy don’t matter to you, that’s a good sign that you’re a rather selfish person.

#2 Your partner usually gives in. Every time there’s a discussion about something to do or someplace to go to, do you usually end up getting things your way even if that means leaving your partner sad or less-than-happy?

Your partner may give in each time because they love you unconditionally and want to see you happy. But it’s only a matter of time before they start to feel like their wants and desires are not addressed in the relationship. [Read: 12 real signs of true love in a relationship]

#3 You believe your partner nags you. Do you ever find your partner repeating the same things to you several times, little seemingly insignificant lines like “can you pick up the towel?” or “did you forget that…?”

It could be irritating to hear your partner nag you all the time, but each time they nag, you need to realize that they’re not trying to annoy you, they’re only doing it because you aren’t listening to them. There are no naggers in happy relationships because both lovers try to keep each other happy, even if it means going out of the way once in a while. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]

#4 You believe what you do in life is more meaningful and worthwhile. You may have a better job or get a bigger paycheck, but that doesn’t mean you should get preferential treatment in the relationship. If you truly believe that you’re more important and your opinions matter more, you’re being conceited and selfish.

#5 Your partner is flawed. You see your partner as flawed and expect them to change for you *probably because you believe they aren’t good enough for you*. Even if you have the same flaws yourself, you believe those flaws aren’t so significant in your case.

A good example here is weight gain. You may want your partner to lose weight because you believe they look less-than-appealing right now. On the other hand, you may be obese, and yet, you may not believe you need to change or look better for your partner. [Read: 15 real life tips to look a lot sexier naked!]

#6 You want it your way. You always like doing something your way or going to places you like even if your partner wants to do something different. If your partner coaxes you to do something else or go to a different place, you sulk or pout the whole while. And as soon as your partner gives in to your bidding and does what you say, you cheer up instantly and cozy up with your partner.

Your partner may feel good at that moment when you display your affection to them, but on the inside, all they’d be thinking is just how much of a spoilt brat you are!

#7 Your ego. You believe that losing an argument is a sign of weakness. And you just don’t like losing an argument or ending a discussion that goes against your way. This is something you do, not just in your relationship, but in every part of your life. [Read: 14 things you say or do that emasculates your man!]

#8 You can’t trust your partner easily. You love your partner, but you’re always cautious about trusting them completely because you sincerely believe that you’re the only one who can ever achieve happiness for yourself. Even if you’re dating a great guy or girl, you always look out for yourself first before looking out for your lover’s needs, because you think that’s what your partner would do anyway!

#9 You can’t be unselfish. You may try to put your partner’s needs before yours or try to be nice to them and love them unconditionally, but you just can’t bring yourself to it. You constantly find yourself trying to sneak in a better deal for yourself in everything you do with your lover, be it about the better piece of chicken or the bigger slice of pizza, or even something bigger like planning the itinerary for a vacation. [Read: The 80 20 rule in relationships and your love life]

#10 Competitive. Being competitive is good, but there’s a thin line between healthy competition and unhealthy sacrifices. Would you put your own partner down or walk all over their plans just to win something for yourself?

If you had an assignment or a lot of work, would you bat your eyelashes and sweet talk your boyfriend or girlfriend into dropping their work *and fail at it* just so you can do well in your own work?

#11 You don’t apologize. Do you get a hard lump in your throat each time you have to apologize to your partner? You may say you’re sorry very often when you don’t mean it or for trivial things, but when it’s something that really matters, do you hold yourself back or defend yourself even though you know you’re on the wrong?

On the other hand, do you get angry or upset if your partner doesn’t apologize to you for a mistake they committed? You may not think much of this behavior of yours, but your partner would definitely think you’re selfish and conceited. [Read: 10 tips to fight fair in love and have a much better love life]

#12 Emotional blackmail. Emotional manipulation is always a selfish low blow, however you look at it. Do you withhold sex, give the silent treatment or just ignore your partner when your partner doesn’t do something your way?

Your partner may eventually accept defeat and come your way, but not without resentment and annoyance at the back of their mind. If you want something, communicate with your lover. Hurting your lover emotionally and manipulating them into giving in is a selfish way of winning arguments.

[Read: 30 meaningful and naughty questions for couples to bring the spark back instantly!]

Sometimes, it’s easy to assume we aren’t being selfish and that we’re just doing the right thing for the success of the relationship. But if you see these 12 selfish signs in yourself, chances are, you’re trying to attain happiness in love by going about it the wrong way!


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Have your say!
  • Moses Jones
    October 17, 2013 | Permalink |

    This article is right about a lot of things. One of them is that it is hard for one to see his own selfishness. This article has confirmed to me that I have not only had the majority of my relationships with selfish people, but I myself was selfish to a certain extent.

    One thing that I have often dealt with was someone picking me apart even though he or she himself was worse than I was. At the same time, I refrain from pointing out any flaws. However, that is a flaw in myself.

    The sad thing about the selfish person is that he or she will deal with failed and unhealthy relationships and find themselves wondering why they can’t have healthy relationships.

  • G. Grey
    March 22, 2014 | Permalink |

    ATTN: Women, take note of 5, 6, and 11………everyone of you does these.

  • Missy
    April 27, 2014 | Permalink |

    Wow I completely agree. Because I’m the other side of the spectrum. (Selfless… I get taken advantage of a lot and am always giving) because he’s selfish he gets mad if I volunteer to babysit my niece or house sit for my family and because its not what he wants he pouts.
    I always find myself having to give in or he turns it into a huge problem and makes my life a living hell.
    He says I nag (I smile and laugh when he forgets something because I understand sometimes were preoccupied with other things. So I giggle and say oops I guess we forgot to put our dish in the sink and I kindly do it myself). I am always sacrificing but I suppose since I’m so generous I get taken advantage of and treated like a 3rd grade citizen. Warning to selfish people. When you do this your partner will resent and hate you after a while because it feels like you don’t consider how they feel about things. You make what they enjoy boring or miserable and you make fun of whatever they like. If they have flaws you point them out (male OR female.. I know females who pull this crap too) flaws are loveable. Its part of who they are as a person. You accept them as a whole and a person.
    You don’t try and change them.

  • M
    May 26, 2014 | Permalink |

    My boyfriend does all of those things, but I love him so much… I feel selfish when I say this, but in the 2 (almost 3) years we’ve been together I’ve bought him presents for every holiday and birthday (Even when I was having money trouble, or if that meant giving up something dear to me just to make sure he has some. Like giving him my Gameboy and most favorite Gameboy games.) And whenever another holiday is a month away he asks what I’m going to buy him that early. I never bother him about presents, because he’d be mad, and I get gifts MAYBE twice a year. And they’re much smaller than the ones I get him. Or he’ll say he got me a present and he’ll “see if he can get it to me.” but then I’ll never see it… :( I want him to be so happy, but I’m constantly depressed and sad. And after the first year of us being together he seems as if he lost all sexual interest in me to the point that he either blatantly ignores my needs, tries to change the subject, or shove me away to talk and do stuff with his friend… It hurts me so badly and he holds it over my head that I tried to break up with him 6 months into the relationship, but he’s my first boyfriend and I was scared of being with someone… :( I could never leave him though, because I’m scared of being alone again.

  • Me
    June 11, 2014 | Permalink |

    M

    I just recently ended a relationship with a person that I wanted to marry. I can honestly say I loved her more than any woman I’ve ever dated and I’m a grown man. Reflecting on the year and a half we have been together I can admit I helped create her selfishness which I’ve also done in past relationships. The problem is we continue hurting and pretending we are happy because they are happy getting what they want. I wanted to end this relationship for a long time because I was unhappy inside even though a part of me was happy she was in my life. But when will she decide to sacrifice for me? Will she ever be happy putting a smile on my face? Deep down I always felt like one day she will leave me anyways because she can see that I’m weak and all women love a strong man. Now I consider myself a very strong man but when it comes to a woman who’s love I’m trying to earn I become weak and I forget that she should also work to earn my love. Either the selfish individual has to recognize they are being selfish which is almost impossible until it’s too late or you have to leave for the sake of your own happiness. We only live once and we can’t spend it being unhappy. Spend it with someone who loves to love you! Good luck M :-)

  • KS
    July 1, 2014 | Permalink |

    Wow didnt realise I am sooo selfish. Need to work on myself and my relationship. Dont want my partner to bolt the other way

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