Why being selfish can be good for love

Finding balance in your relationship can be one of the most important factors in making it work, says Dr Nikki Goldstein.

“A common problem in relationships, especially for women, is that one person can become the over nurturer,” says the relationship expert .

“Women are taught it’s a feminine trait that men find appealing – to be looked after and cared about.”

Dr Nikki says problems can start when the nurturer is putting so much focus and effort into their partner that they neglect themselves.

“This can lead to the nurturer in the relationship feeling depleted, as if the other person isn’t giving as much back, leading to resentment and ill feelings – where in fact it’s been the nurturer who has given too much of themselves.”


Turning the cycle around

It’s important to own your actions and emotions in this scenario, and try to halt any anger towards the other person, advises Dr Nikki.

“It’s not a bad thing to be a nurturer, but there is a point where it can be harmful for the person who is over nurturing,” she says.

“It’s not common for me to tell someone to be selfish in a relationship, but keeping yourself as a priority and focusing on yourself might be the very thing that saves you from this cycle.”

She warns there also might be some truth in the fact the other person isn’t comprising or giving as much as they should.

“It’s a balancing act to work out at what point the over nurturer is giving too much of themselves and at what point they’re not getting enough from their partner,” she says.

Dr Nikki says we should think of ways to re-energise ourselves and remember things that we used to do for ourselves but might have stopped doing since being in a relationship.

Dr Nikki’s tips for finding the right balance in a relationship

  1. Always maintain some independence in a relationship.
  2. Keep a list of a few things you do that are just for you.
  3. Maintain your friendships. Sometimes what you don’t get from your partner you will from your close friends.

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