What a teeter-totter can teach you about overcoming, over-giving.


A subtle shift to holding yourself back and having balance in relationships


It’s not uncommon for women to over-give in their relationships and experience a lot of imbalance. As time goes on one is doing all the giving and one is doing all the taking, except for the breadcrumbs.


What isn’t realized is how this imbalance happens within the first 6 weeks or so of being in this new relationship.


If you look back to the start of your current relationship, if you’re in one, or at the beginning of the last one you were in, you will see how the stage was set for this to happen.


Here are some examples.

  • You are in a new relationship and you see that your new partner is struggling financially.  What’s the tendency?  To help them financially hoping that your support will be the hand up that they need but your hand up is becoming an unspoken expectation.

  • You are in a relationship and your partner has a child from a previous relationship.  Your partner asks if you can pick up their child from school, playground, etc. because they will be late for the pickup.  At first you are happy to help but you notice that it is becoming a common occurrence and you find you’re doing even more drop-offs and pick-ups.

  • You notice that your new partner is really busy with work and doesn’t have time to spend with you.  You decide you are going to make or order food and have a romantic dinner together. Then you begin to notice that you are the one planning the dates and making arrangements around their schedule.


Everything starts out with the best of intentions because you want to be supportive and help but somewhere not so deep within you are also sensing the imbalance.




So image this:  

There is a teeter-totter.  One side has a few rocks holding it down.  Nothing tremendously heavy, just enough to hold it down.  The other side is, of course, up in the air.  You come along and think, ‘that’ll be easy to balance’, and you hop on the other side to bring it level.  At this point it’s easy to keep it balanced.


You see the same teeter-totter a couple weeks later.  You notice it has a few more rocks than the last time but with a bit more effort you bring it level and with a little extra effort you manage to keep it balanced.


You keep coming back to this same teeter-totter and noticing that each time the rocks are becoming heavier and heavier and it requires so much more of your weight and effort to bring it level AND to keep it balanced.


The rocks, in this example, represent the responsibility you carry in the relationship and for your partner.  The rocks are not your partner.  Your partner is off somewhere else doing something else.


This is exactly what happens early on in a relationship when you are giving more than what is being given back to you. It’s not that hard at first but as time goes on it becomes a heavy burden to be the only one responsible for keeping balance in the relationship.


You are a very generous and loving woman.  You were born this way!!  However, you may have never acquired the skills to pull back your energy to allow your partner to be responsible for their part in the relationship.


Acquiring the skills to pull your energy back to allow your partner to be responsible for their part.


First things first!  A lot of times women are scared of losing a new relationship if they stop giving so much of their time, energy, and money.  She will actually associate this form of giving to her worthiness of being loved in return. This is an attachment pattern learned from early childhood.


Thoughts to Ponder.  How happy will I be in a relationship when I am the only one holding the teeter-totter balanced?


Second.  This requires you to be aware of your pattern to want to step in and save your partner from experiencing discomfort.


You can be supportive by listening to your partner and asking them what they are thinking or feeling could be a solution to their problem.  This will be empowering to you because you’re taking a supportive stance.  It will be empowering to them because they will feel victorious when they resolve their problem and it will help prevent co-dependent relationships.


Note to self:  I will still be loved even when I don’t rush in to solve their problems.


Third.  Consider that your new partner may not be ready to be in a balanced relationship with you.  This requires you to be courageous and let this relationship go knowing that you are setting yourself free from being in an unhappy relationship and they have the opportunity to work on themselves if they choose to.


Was this article helpful? 

Sending lots of love,

Iris Sirianni

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