A woman's book titled Women Who Love Too Much (When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He'll Change) was published in 1985 by Robin Norwood. It was about women who give too much, try too hard, and rush relationships. They think that their loving, overgiving behaviors will win him over. We all know women like that and have maybe even been one ourselves. Back then there wasn't much talk about men who behaved this way. Men have always had issues too, but back then most men were emotionally unavailable and didn't talk about their relationships the way women did. They also tried harder to hide any neediness they might feel because it wasn't manly. But times have changed and many of my male clients are now "men who love too much." They now do what women used to do--try to hard--but they do it in different ways. Most women who love too much will clean and cook and try to anticipate his every need, but men usually start by throwing money around. They buy women gifts, pay for trips, and often rescue them financially by paying their rent and/or other personal expenses. They may also start fixing things a round their house and trying to guide their future. These men search for any way they can feel needed. The problem is that this teaches the woman to use him, abuse him, and seldom give anything back. In fact, she usually asks for more and more.
Women who give too much end up hurt and their self-esteem suffers. Not that this doesn't happen to men as well, but men also usually get very angry when they don't get back the love they think they deserve. Not that their anger isn't appropriate (although it should have been expressed earlier when her bad behavior began), but they need to also look at their own behavior and choices. Many men don't understand that trying to buy women attracts only gold diggers or "takers." These men are setting up a lose/lose situation because as she takes and never gives back, he feels more unloved.
Both women and men who love too much have serious rejection issues. Three of my Denver male clients suffering from this malady have had serious rejection issues with both their mothers and fathers. This leaves them needy and likely to chase after rejecting mates who will treat them the same way their parents (and sometimes even siblings did). When we have unfinished business with our families, we are likely to unconsciously choose mates like them, trying to finish that business. But without therapy, we usually can't see or own pattern and just keep repeating it indefinitely.
What to do:
Don’t Close Off Options Too Soon: Date several people at once for at least 3 months so you don't glorify her, invest in her too much, or think she's the one.
Don’t give too much. Make sure you get back as much as you give. Try to keep all of your relationships equal, financially, emotionally, etc.
Don’t date women that don't support themselves. These women expect you to do all of the giving.
Don’t rush the relationship or have sex too soon: You need to get to know her gradually and slowly, as well as her family and friends, before you attach. Take time to see the red flags.
Don’t have blinders on. When she does something that concerns you, speak up immediately. Don't wait until she feels comfortable treating you that way.
Don’t continue to allow family members or friends to use or abuse you. You need to confront the person or persons in your family who have rejected you so you can break this pattern for good.
Related articles and books: Toxic Women, Loving Him Without Losing You, The 7 Dumbest Relationship Mistakes Smart People Make: Chapter 3: Mistake Number One: Forcing Intimacy.
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