The Selfish Boyfriend: How to Find the Balance and Help Him Change

They say all you need is love in a relationship, but sometimes love isn’t enough. If you have a selfish boyfriend, then you know love isn’t enough.

Selfish Boyfriend

When you have a selfish boyfriend, you start feeling like you’re a slave for their needs. Everything you do is to make them happy and to cater to their needs. What about your needs?

Just because they’re selfish doesn’t mean you need to break up with them or start an argument. Instead of blowing up, there are a couple of different ways to handle your selfish boyfriend and bring them back to planet earth. [Read: How to spot selfish people and keep them from hurting you]

How to deal with a selfish boyfriend

We all look for love when we get into a relationship. We all want that one person that’s going to be with us through thick and thin—not to mention to cuddle with at night. But love isn’t enough. I know, that’s a depressing thing to hear but it’s true. Love simply isn’t enough, it’s a good base though.

A relationship, of course, involves connection but it also consists of compromising—a lot of it. When I first went into a relationship I thought it was about me being worshiped by my boyfriend and having him do everything for me, etc. But it’s not that. See, I was the selfish girlfriend. Okay, I still have some moments where I’m selfish, this happens with everyone, but if you have a selfish boyfriend, well, that’s not helping the relationship out. It can be done, trust me!

#1 You’re responsible for this as well. Yes, he’s selfish but here’s the thing, you’re allowing the behavior. You knew they were selfish pretty early on into the relationship, you had to have seen the signs. And you probably thought that it wasn’t a big deal or that you just want to make them happy, so you let it slide.

But now you’re here and tired of their behavior. See, you didn’t create a boundary nor did you express your feelings. [Read: How to set boundaries and have more control over your life]

#2 Give yourself attention. Okay, so they’re selfish, but you’re feeding it. It’s time that you spent some much-needed attention on yourself. You need to break the vicious cycle you’re in. So, instead of putting his needs first, put yourself first. Spend time doing things that you like, making time for yourself and only yourself. Their needs shouldn’t be a priority over yours. [Read: How to not be run over in your relationship]

#3 Talk about it. You thought that this was just going to go away? Not likely unless you change. It’s time for you to start speaking up, expressing how his behavior makes you feel.

No need to yell or cry, you don’t want to argue about this, you want to improve the situation. Sit down together and talk about what’s going on. Talk about your feelings and make sure to use “I” statements.

#4 No ultimatums. You telling him to shape up or leave isn’t going to do anything. You cannot give an ultimatum to someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on. Firstly, express the things they do which are selfish in nature. Then, emphasize the positive things that will come if he changes, showing how the relationship will become better. [Read: Ultimatums in a relationship and how to use them right]

#5 Figure out why he’s selfish. Outside of your relationship, he could be very giving and selfless which is why you’re so confused as to why he’s like this. But he’s had a life before you and one that probably had some previous trauma in it. This doesn’t mean he gets a free pass, this simply means you’ll be able to identify the cause and then use that as a way to change their behavior.

#6 Reconnect to yourself. When we’re with a selfish partner, we have a tendency to forget ourselves and our own values. You know you don’t deserve to be treated this way, but it’s shoved way inside of you. So, it’s time to reconnect with your own values.

You need to see that you don’t need to be with a selfish person in an intimate relationship and that you’re better than this. Bring the power back into your hands. 

#7 Create boundaries. Listen, he may not be able to completely get rid of his selfish behavior, especially if their behavior is unintentional, it will take him time to become aware. So, become aware of what behavior you can tolerate and what you cannot. There are some things that you should compromise with, so figure out what they are. Naturally, there are some things that aren’t a deal breaker, whereas other things are simply too hurtful.

#8 Take a time-out. If you’re hitting the peak of his selfish behavior then take a time-out. Yup, you read right. Just take a break from there. This doesn’t mean you need to call it a break or break-up with them, this just means you’re talking a couple days for yourself.

During this time, think about yourself and what you need in a partner and your future. Though, do make sure they understand what you’re doing and why, or else it could upset them. [Read: What to do when you’re feeling unsure about your relationship]

#9 What do you need? You’ve had some time to think about your needs, so, what are they? This means you need to know the components of a relationship that matter to you. So, when you need something from your partner, for example, you’ve had a bad day and you need them to listen to you, make sure you’re very clear. You don’t have to be rude, simply ask them if they’re able to listen to you. They’ll most likely be able to focus and dedicate that time to you.

#10 Remind him. Selfishness isn’t easy to recognize in yourself nor is it easy to change. So, even though he says he wants to change, you’re going to have to constantly remind him of his behavior. Think of it like training a puppy or kitty. This takes numerous and numerous times of showing them where to pee until they finally start to get it. Sorry for the animal comparison *not sorry*.

#11 They have to want to change. At the end of the day, if you want to see your selfish boyfriend become someone more considerate, this means he has to want to change. If you’re pushing him to do it and he’s restraining or half-assing it, it’ll never change. This is when you break-up with him. Maybe then he’ll wake up. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

#12 Do you want to be with them? Selfishness isn’t something that someone is going to get over in a day. Of course, if they want to change, they’ll work on it and try to reduce their selfish tendencies, however, don’t expect their behavior to completely flip 180. If anything, they’ll still be selfish. So, now you have a new question to ask yourself, do you want this person as a partner?

[Read: These unassuming signs point to the fact that you are dating a jerk]

So, you know how to handle a selfish boyfriend now, right? But just because you know what to do doesn’t mean that’s enough. It’s time you put words into action!

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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