My boyfriend never gives me the same amount of love I give him. He says he loves me but I just don't feel it.
He tells me that I'm too needy and that I should toughen up a bit.
I don't see why it's wrong to love someone and to want to be loved back.
I can't tell whether I'm wrong for loving him or whether he's wrong for making me feel bad about it. I just can't see how he can love me if he doesn't show it.
Hey I know how that feels. Some of us need a certain way of expression to be felt loved. You like to feel and be shown that you are loved. Just remember this we are all wired in a very different manner we process information and express it in different ways, some of us like to show it, some like to feel and some like to hear. Sometimes partners have differences and if nighter of us have the same way of expressing then what happens during that time is lost in communication. You don’t receive it because of a mismatch. If your partner showed you and not told you would have felt different and received that differently.
I understand why your boyfriend says your needy. Because people who like to feel the love are kinaesthetic people we respond to touch and hugs and gestures and we need more of that to feel loved and have our emotional charges up. So the reason you feel that he doesn’t give you the same amount of love is that he is not responding in the way you like to receive love. Maybe he says he loves you and you don’t feel that is enough because you can’t see it or feel it. In his mind, he feels he is expressing how he loves and that's the best way he can express. People who are kinaesthetic are more emotionally sensitive from my experience, hence we come across vulnerable, and the other person may feel that we need to be strong and need to toughen up cause we constantly like to express and some think its sign of weakness.
Just because you guys don’t match doesn’t mean that you are wrong or he is wrong. It is like a cross-connection. This doesn’t mean that you guys are not meant for each other. If you can identify what does he work from and how you can connect to him to communicate about how you feel then that will be a start.
Something we all do is looking at things the way we have created meaning for it in our minds. Letting go these meanings can we very helpful and be filter fluid so you can receive information from the other person the way they are giving without adding or deleting or making up your own version. We have a certain way of looking at life and how we perceive it which can be very limiting especially in a relationship. Letting go of the notions are not easy but being mindful is good enough a start to look at things the way they are.
Start with small steps of being mindful. You may ask why do I have to do everything? by doing this you will understand where you stand and how you feel about certain things. You will have more clarity on how you want to be in a relationship. Instead of how the other person is reacting to it. This intern leads to a self-discovery journey which can be a beautiful path to be on. I wish you luck on this journey of mindfulness and self-love.
There's a lot going on in this statement. What comes up for me is:
2) Self-love / External vs Internal validation
3) Attachment anxiety / types
5) Cause & Effect
Ultimately you're never going to know what is going on in someone else's head and to be honest it's their behaviour that you experience so you might benefit from not looking beyond that.
Expectation - the issue with this is that it's based around judgement - what someone 'should' do... unless it's something that you've agreed to in your relationship dynamic then all you're doing is setting them up to fail and yourself to feel disappointed. Lowering or removing your expectations can really help and it means you're not focusing your energy on whether or not your partner does or doesn't do something, more appreciating what you do together.
Self love / External vs external validation - once we're born we're permanently detached from the original source of our life. Seeking to find love and life and the answers in another person removes a lot of the control and power you have in your self and your own awareness and decision making. If you can, next time you think about doing something caring for your partner, why not do it for yourself instead. Often self-love benefits both partners as it puts you in a better, happier place.
Attachment anxiety / types - it sounds like you might have an anxious attachment type and they might be avoidant. It's worth reading up on attachment types and once you've understood it and identified what parts of your behaviour may be reflecting your 'type' it may well be worth discussing this with your partner and coming to some agreement as to what might work better for both of you. Again keep you expectations low and if you are anxious be conscious that you're probably going to over think and over act so take your time and think twice before you act. Observe first and then when you've given yourself a few days to think about it... then discuss. If your partner is avoidant then you may need to be gentle about how you introduce the new information and give them time to digest.
Reciprocity - is super-important in any relationship. The concept of unconditional love is great though in reality it's not easy, particularly if you're a giver and they're more of a taker. Even this can be a misconception in that you may be giving a lot of what they don't want but if you place a high value on it then it's going to feel imbalanced. Similarly, they may already be putting in a lot of effort already, even if you think they're not so be careful. A lot of this comes down to communication and setting agreements about what you would like (not need) and what your partner is prepared to do... voluntarily. Forcing things in a relationship leads to resentment so don't do it. Ask them how they would like it to be or work and tell them what you would like and give yourselves some time to think about it before you pressure a decision. Even when you've made a decision don't be too strict. Having said that it's important to have boundaries and rules that you agree with each other - rules are unique to humans and they are there for a reason.
Cause & Effect - Try not to mind read your partner. Let them tell you what's going on and learn to accept their response. Challenge yourself on whether you really need more than they are giving. Why can't they give you what you want? Are you asking too much? Is it reasonable? If what you're asking for is reasonable and your partner isn't prepared to give it then that's a clear indication that something isn't right. You then have to place this in the wider context of what is right and wrong in your relationship and decide whether you can truly accept this person being that way.
We're all different people. If you aren't happy with your partner and they way they love you, it's either because you're not right for them, they're not right for you or you're not right for each other. Yes it's good to adapt to another person, but too much adaptation is very hard to maintain without causing damage in the long-term.
Give yourself some space, spend more time doing the things that make you feel good about yourself and keep heading in that direction until the balance feels better.