How To Strike the Right Balance Between Giving and Receiving Love - How To Win a Man's Heart

Get Free Tips and Insights on How To Attract a Man and Keep Him Without Manipulation, Losing Your Dignity or Giving Ultimatums...

March 19, 2015

How To Strike the Right Balance Between Giving and Receiving Love

# 1. Give when you desire to give and don’t give when you consider the giving an obligation

Sharón Lynn Wyeth

Love is not a balance sheet. Having said that, we don’t wish to be the one that is giving all of the time or receiving all of the time as it can create resentment on the part of the giver. So, how do we balance this? Give when you desire to give and don’t give when you consider the giving an obligation. This is being respectful of you.

What you will often find is that when you give too much the person to whom you are giving feels smothered. He then withdraws in order to protect himself from feeling imposed upon. It is now as if he owes you something. Besides if you are the one always giving, he will feel as if there is no time to respond and to give back.

Most of us enjoy giving. However, if you don’t allow him to respond and give back then you are depriving him of the joy of giving also. If you won’t accept his natural tendency to give, then he will find someone else who will. Most guys wish to be needed and you being able to receive is part of allowing him to give.

Keeping the giving and taking in balance is helped when you state what your needs are. We cannot expect our men to read our minds. When you respect yourself, you’ll not come across as needy or desperate. Remember, guys find self-confidence and generosity appealing, as long as it is not combined with being self-centered or expecting something in return.

Sharón Lynn Wyeth, BS –

# 2. Look for ways to enhance connection in your relationships


People get caught up in the idea of giving love vs receiving love. One of the most concerning statements I hear is, “I have so much love to give!” People who say that are usually very lonely and looking to connect with someone. Rather than focusing on the concepts of giving and receiving love, I encourage people to look for connection in their relationships. When you are physically, emotionally and spiritually connected, it doesn’t matter who is giving or receiving. The love is just there. At any time in relationships we may become more disconnected due to life transitions, hurt, grief, hormones, children, any number of reasons. It’s very rare in relationships that both partners are contributing the same amount of energy to the relationship. But if they feel connected with their partner over all, it doesn’t matter.

For some couples, they are demonstrating love and caring in a way that isn’t read as love by their partner. Dr. Gary Chapman refers to this as a difference in love language. Knowing what you see and need as a demonstration of love from your partner can help you ask specifically and act more purposefully in your relationships.

Lastly, connect with a partner in a real way. Be yourself. You don’t have to be happy and perky all the time. Let your partner be someone you can lean on when you need to talk about something that is stressful for you. By letting them be there for you, you encourage reciprocity in the relationship. And if he isn’t there for you, take that as a red flag that something needs to be addressed.

Teresa Petersen Mendoza, MS, LMFT –

# 3. Embrace heroic love

Dr. Randi Gunther

Most people have loved and been loved in some way throughout their lives. Most people also have known what it’s like to lose love and what it has taken them to recover and readjust. Those experiences, combined with what they’ve been taught as children how love is supposed to happen, form the way they are able to give and receive love in future relationships.

Having facilitated many groups where people are recovering from lost love, I’ve consistently observed behaviors that are in direct contract to what is commonly believed. When given the chance to love again, most people, even if tentatively, are able and willing to give love in their next relationship. Where they have difficulty is allowing themselves to take it in.

In the more than eighty articles I’ve posted on Psychology Today Blogs, “Why Can’t I Let Love In?” has attracted more than 80,000 readers. Clearly, shutting down the ability to take in love after loss is a universally experienced heartbreak.

People who can’t take love in tend to fall into two categories. Those who fall into the first category are people who have learned from childhood that they will always come out on the short end of the stick if they expect to get as much love as they give. Whatever was promised to them as the result of being good children or performing as expected just didn’t happen. Their expectations of subsequent love experiences bear out that expectation.

People in the second category love easily and tend to attract partners who readily take that love in but are unable or unwilling to reciprocate at the same level. Those partners whose style is to give too much up front in their relationships eventually feel taken advantage of and disappointed in the deal. Genders are heavily represented here. Women are expected to be more able to be emotionally available in relationships, but there are some men who are initially very available and giving as well.

Other variables also figure heavily in the balance of giving and receiving love. The trauma of being sequentially used can make anyone more reticent to bargain. People who give more may feel that they are more in control because their partner becomes dependent on their giving. Over-givers also never need to feel obligation. They are much more likely to create an emotional credit card balance in their partners. They feel an odd sense of control people when they act as if they don’t need as much as they give, even when, inside, they may feel under-nourished. Acting as if they don’t need love, they keep themselves protected from possible rejection. Then there is, perhaps the most vague but powerfully important reason people give more than they receive. They are covering an underlying fear of the sustained intimacy required when the distribution of love is balanced.

Though it may be easier to give than to need, the outcome will never bring the kind of love that authentic intimacy can create. When relationships are over, many people tell me that they never were truly honest in what they needed from the other partner. They may have controlled their vulnerability and kept themselves from being hurt again, but they had to pretend they were someone they were not to do so.

Heroic love is to risk being loved or rejected for who you really are. It does not thrive in an atmosphere of pretense. As a love relationship progresses based upon undisclosed honesty, it can only eventually fall apart as the reality of the imbalance emerges. People who can talk openly about what they need, what heartaches and joys they have experienced in prior relationships, and what they have to give may lose some partners at the beginning of a relationship, but will thrive with those who stay.

Dr. Randi Gunther,

# 4. Read the Five Love Languages to learn about giving and receiving love

Amanda Patterson

Have you heard of the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman? If you’ve heard of it and haven’t read it, I suggest you read it. The book outlines a lot of information about how people express and need love. Learning about the five love languages provides the opportunity to explore your needs around love, as well as the chance to learn about your partner’s needs.

Whenever I am doing couple’s counseling, I often visit the love languages information. Sometimes people feel like they are giving, giving, giving and not getting what they need in return. Little do they realize, their partner is not as receptive to that type of love. Everyone has a different love language and in order to fully be able to express and receive love, it’s important to know your love language and that of your partner.

As a preview, the five love languages are acts of service, affection, words of praise, time spent and gifts. What do you think is your love language? What do you think is your partner’s love language? Maybe you have realized your partner’s love language is affection and that hasn’t been an area you have put a lot of effort into. Once you have a clear idea about your love language, you can more easily express your wants and needs to your significant other. Once you are able to express your needs and wants, be open to your spouse expressing theirs. From there, work on striking a balance between giving snd receiving. Continue to have open dialogue about your love language and see how your relationship flourishes with your new awareness.

Amanda Patterson, LMHC –

# 5. Follow the below 2 tips

Rima Danielle Jomaa

Finding balance is essential to all facets of a relationship, giving and receiving love being one of them. Men and women typically show and receive love in different ways, and within that, we all have our own preferences in how we are loved. Some like to be surprised with flowers, some like to receive physical touch or massage, some like to verbally be told how much they’re loved, some like love letters or calls, and on and on. Many factors influence how we like to give and receive love including our family of origin and our experiences in our past relationships.

1. Learn how you want to be loved

Learning how we like to be loved is important in communicating those needs to our partner. Take a few minutes to sit down and identify actions, phrases, or gestures that make you feel special and important, and ask your partner to do the same. Have a conversation on what it means to love others and to be loved, and how those simple actions make you feel inside. Listen to how your partner likes to be shown love. Your answers and preferences may be completely different! So while you were showing love the way you want it, they might have been showing love the way they want it, and you were both missing the mark. Letting them know what’s important to you (like them taking the trash out without you feeling like you have to nag them each time) prevents them from having to mind-read and gives your partner an advantage in loving you.

2. Learn to love yourself

The love we receive is a reflection of the love we give ourselves. Part of finding balance is learning to make yourself happy and fulfilled so you’re not expecting the other to do it for you. This doesn’t mean that your partner shouldn’t make you happy, but your happiness shouldn’t depend solely on the actions of another. View happiness as a choice. Find hobbies or communities that fulfill your soul and focus on feeling whole from the inside, and then share those things with your partner. Perhaps they’ll want to join you! When you are happier overall, you bring more love and joy to the relationship, rather than seeming needy and trying to find it in your partner. View a relationship as a partnership in which both and fulfilled and share a bond, bringing special qualities to the relationship, rather than viewing your partner as someone who needs to fulfill your needs.

Rima Danielle Jomaa, MFT –

# 6. Be direct and assertive


At the core of this issue are boundaries. It is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Women are often much more subtle in their communication than men. Do not expect men to hear something that is subtle and unsaid. Dropping hints does not really work with a man unless he is really tuned in and paying attention to the details of what you are saying at every moment. This is an unrealistic expectation of anyone. If you need something ask for it. This is about coming from a place of confidence and power. If you need a hug or want something for your birthday, be specific and say what you mean. Don´t mope around the house being moody expecting him to know what you need. He cannot read your mind and you will need to spell it out for him. If you do not ask for what you want, you are cheating him of the opportunity to step up and be the man you need him to be.

In a relationship, it is important not to attend to what you think the other person expects. Put it out there and only then will you know whether he can step up and follow through. Give him the opportunity to meet your needs and in order to do that you must be able to ask for what you want and need in the relationship. Stand in your power and receive the love and respect that you are deserving of in the relationship. Giving and giving with the expectation that someone is going to give it back to you without you asking for what you need creates a very unhealthy dynamic. Be authentic from the start of the relationship and do not put your needs aside thinking that he will guess or know what you need. The tone you set from the beginning of a relationship will be what he expects throughout the relationship.

Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT –

# 7. Try being more mindful of the ratio of “head space” you devote to your own needs vs. the needs of your partner


The balance of love is one of the most important determinants of psychological and social health. When we speak of “love” in this context, we are really describing nurturing of one’s needs, the accommodation one person makes on another’s behalf. It is important that we nurture others in a balanced fashion to how we are nurtured by others, back and forth, in a continuous flow of care and consideration.

Not all nurturing is affectionate, similar to Gottman’s “love languages”, there are many ways that we nurture one another besides giving hugs and kisses and saying “I love you”. There are different needs that require different types of nurturing, and all nurturing is a form of love through this lens. If your partner is not affectionate, try not to perceive that as unnurturing and unloving, because not all love is affection.

We love each other in many different ways and you may be getting a lot of love but not be recognizing it as such or giving it the weight it deserves. If you are imbalanced with your partner and are giving more accommodation and nurturing than you get, you must learn to ask for what you need. Sometimes this is very difficult when we are so preoccupied with the other person’s needs that we don’t give any attunement to our own needs, and then we can’t possibly communicate to our partner what they can do to nurture us. Try being more mindful of the ratio of “head space” you devote to your own needs vs. the needs of your partner. This is an important first step in putting the “love” back in balance.

Brett McDonald, M.S., LMHC –

# 8. Follow the advice below

Judith Fujimura

He loves me, he loves me not…. It’s easy to put all your efforts into communicating love.

We call and text, do special favors for our partners, and even spend less time with friends, all to show that we prioritize the relationship . But it’s possible to over­invest, over-commit and overdo it before knowing if the love is mutual. And we can also create performance pressure in the process.

If you’re in the early stages of a relationship, think of it as a good bottle of wine, that tastes best when the grapes were well­ ripened; the wine was fermented slowly; it was brought to the perfect temperature; and then allowed to sit open for at least 30 minutes before being enjoyed by two people.

In a young relationship, it’s best to first observe your partner in a variety of settings, and have some good conversations, to learn how they feel loved and acknowledged. After this, if you love the person, then show it. Let your partner learn the same things about you, and give him/her some time and space to show you love in return.

Over time, the need to keep alternating turns goes away. Either your relationship has developed into a full-­blown romance; or it’s turning out to be a short­-term casual relationship. But either way, you’ve had the opportunity, not just to give love, but to receive it too.

Judith Fujimura,

# 9. To balance giving and receiving love you need to understand why you are showing it

Lyndsey Fraser

Is your love coming from a place of insecurity or sincerity? When you show love out of a place of insecurity your partner interrupts you as clingy, needy or desperate. Do you know the difference between these two loves?

When you show love from an insecure place your body and thoughts often give you indicators. For instance is your heart beating faster? Are you feeling anxious? Are you afraid that he is going to leave? If these thought are in your head you are showing love from an insecure place. When it comes from an insecure place your partner can feel this and that is when you start to appear desperate and needy. Not a very loving quality for your partner to experience.

When love comes from a sincere place there is not much forethought needed for actions. You reach out to our partner for affection without thinking, you do loving acts without much planning, and you give affirmation because your heart is open. Within this your body feels calm and your heart rate is not escalated. You thoughts no longer fear that he will leave you. Instead love comes from a secure place and this is the love that your partners feel connected. When you are in this place your partner feels more attached and often shows you more love.

When we show love from a genuine place both partner feels secure and the balance of love becomes more apparent in the relationship. I want you to create more secure love in your relationship so you may feel more love in return.

Lyndsey Fraser, MA, LMFT –

Copyright Notice

You may not, except with express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.