I have started seeing this guy that I work with. We have been on two dates, and although I really like him, I feel like I am still hanging onto some baggage from past relationships. Not one failed relationship in particular – it is more of an amalgamation of failed relationships. When I think back and try to figure out the culprit involved in the ultimate demise of my past relationships, I realize that the main perpetrator is me.
I know I was a good girlfriend, but I can’t get over the feeling that my desire to ‘please my man’ actually led to the ultimate failure in each of my relationships. From the very beginning I gave too much, received too little, and acquired only moderate praise and appreciation. After a few weeks, however, I noticed that each guy I dated was not only less appreciative, but less interested as well. They all legitimately stopped caring about my well-being, and cared only about what gifts and help I could offer them.
With one of my ex-boyfriends, I would wash his car, cook him dinner, do his laundry, organize happy hour for the young professional business group he was a part of, walk his dog, bring him lunch on the weekends, and even buy his groceries from time to time. While he would occasionally surprise me with an unexpected kiss, compliment or outward showing of appreciation, more often than not, he came to expect my giving nature and behavior.
I fear that if I jump into another relationship again I may ruin it by giving too much, feeling under-appreciated and realizing too late that he really doesn’t care about me – he only cares about how I make life easier for him.
What should I do? Do I get involved and try to change? Do I treat him the same as my past boyfriends and hope that he will be different?
-Overworked & Under-appreciated