We constantly hear that sacrifice is the key to having a healthy and successful relationship. Perhaps that means waking up an extra 10 minutes earlier to make your SO a cup of coffee, dedicating one night a week for date night or coping with their rotten mood after a really rough day at work. Even though being in a healthy relationship does entail many expenses from both sides, when does it cross the line? All too often, it seems as if relationships diminish the passions and opinions of one side (or both) because of the other’s assertive behavior. Here are four signs you are too passive in your relationship.
- You lose your own opinion
If you are too passive in a relationship, it is very likely that your opinion about certain topics is consistently being overshadowed, even so much that you stop voicing your opinion altogether.
Isabella Santos, a sophomore at the University of Miami, experienced this warning sign firsthand in one of her past relationships. As a girl who had always been very assertive about her opinions, she found herself changing outfits for a night out with friends simply because her boyfriend didn’t approve of it. Without hesitation, she switched into an outfit he was finally content with her wearing. Isabella explains how your voice can easily be lost in an unbalanced relationship.
“You don’t realize you are being passive in the relationship until you are completely out of it,” she says. “I let him make decisions for me that I have always made myself, but gosh, does love truly blind you or what?”
Making decisions together is a great way to strengthen your relationship and build trust, but when it comes down to your partner making decisions about you as an individual, a problem arises. This type of control that your SO may have over your decisions is a red flag that it may be time to break the relationship up. Speak your own opinion, but be sure to listen to their thoughts as well — it’s all about two-way communication!
- You always feel inadequate
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” If you repeat that a couple times per day, there's a big chance you’re being too passive in your relationship. This sign is loaded with a lot of anxiety and insecurity. You might always be thinking of ways to make your SO happier, despite the cost on your end. You no longer prioritize your personal mental state and happiness, but feel it’s your obligation to do everything you can to make them happy.
If your relationship is in a healthy place, you both want the best for each other. It’s not about proving who’s better at the relationship; rather, it’s about wanting your partner to be as comfortable and happy as you are.
- You distance yourself from the important people in your life
It’s extremely important to stay connected to your family and friends even while being wholeheartedly in love. "I eventually gave up trying to merge my friend group with my love life due to the obvious disconnect between my boyfriend and friends,” Isabella explains. “This eventually turned into hanging out with him and his friends for the majority of the time and seeing my friends only occasionally.”
This is a very common issue in relationships since it’s usually quite difficult to balance your time between your friends and partner adequately. It's completely understandable, but when you rarely see your friends at all and realize you spend more time with your SO’s social group simply because of their desire to do so, you might have gone too far.
- Your goals? Gone
Ignoring your previous life goals and aspirations is a sign that you might be letting the relationship take over your life — and not in a good way. It shows you no longer see the point of working hard for personal success because you are just “hanging on for the ride” of their successes. Molly Bolton, a sophomore from the University of Florida, says it’s “extremely important to work toward your own goals in a relationship so that you can grow as an individual rather than a couple.”
Ignoring your own long-term desires will result in a sparse life lacking your own interests. Both individuals should motivate each other to reach their goals, not dwindle them.
Losing yourself in the midst of love is a very easy thing to do. We sometimes become so infatuated with our SO that the only thing that seems right is giving our whole selves to them, despite sacrificing our own needs and desires. The healthiest relationship is when both individuals can enjoy each other’s qualities without overshadowing one another. It is absolutely possible to be a supportive and caring partner while maintaining your own individual needs with good communication and a well-balanced relationship.