Now Reading
Are You in a Selfish Relationship? How to Deal with a Selfish Partner?

Are You in a Selfish Relationship? How to Deal with a Selfish Partner?

Updated on Aug 11, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

8 Signs You Are in Selfish Relationship & Know How to Deal with It

Although there are many people that are in a romantic relationship of some form or another nowadays, there are not enough couples that have a healthy relationship. It is indeed true that many men and women are stuck in a selfish relationship.

And nothing makes life more difficult than being with a person who is selfish. Not only does this make the entire relationship imbalanced, the selfish person can also seriously damage the mental health of their partner.

However, the question remains – how to know if you are stuck in a selfish relationship? What if you are the selfish partner? And what should you do in such cases? Read on to find all of this, and more about selfish relationships.

Selfish Relationship Infographic

Are You in a Selfish Relationship - How to Deal with a Selfish Partner
Are You in a Selfish Relationship – How to Deal with a Selfish Partner

What is a Selfish Relationship?

Being selfish essentially means that the person only cares about themselves. It is all about, “I” and not “we”. The dynamic is – one person always gives in, and the other person always imposes their will.

Ask yourself this – are all your discussions one sided? Does only one person from the two of you make all the decisions? Is there no room for disagreement in your relationship?

If you answered yes to the questions above, chances are that you or your partner is selfish. This is an unhealthy relationship or marriage.

In such cases, empathy towards the other person is absent when deciding. You will also find yourself getting into more arguments in a selfish relationship. 

To understand in more depth what a selfish relationship looks like, we need to know…

Selfish Relationship Signs – when your partner is selfish

Here are some very obvious signs and red flags you should look out for if you think your partner is selfish:

1. They make you feel worthless

If your partner is always nagging you or making you feel terrible, chances are that your partner doesn’t care about your needs. This is the hallmark of a selfish relationship.

They will also not take it well when you are the center of attention. As soon as you start having things that make you feel good about yourself, they will start pulling you down.

A selfish person will always make everything about them. If you find yourself in a position where your partner can not celebrate your accomplishments and what you do, you can be sure that you are in a selfish relationship.

2. Your partner makes all the decisions in your relationship 

Your partner makes all the decisions in your relationship
Your partner makes all the decisions in your relationship

If you two are having a discussion, and you always end up doing something that your partner wants or agreeing with what they are saying, with no room for discussion regarding your preferences or desires, then you are in a selfish relationship.

If your happiness in your relationship is not given any importance, your partner will make all the decisions based on their own needs. 

Letting your partner make all the decisions does not have to mean that you will be unhappy with the decisions. It is possible that you two have similar preferences, so you may feel like it doesn’t matter, after all.

But the truth is that when one person makes all the decisions, it does mean that you will not be given any choice, if you ever do disagree in the future. This can lead to resentment on your part, and you may start feeling suffocated in the relationship

3. Your partner doesn’t listen to or value your opinion  

This is a pretty big red flag. Communication is very important in a relationship. And if you have a relationship where your wishes and thoughts are being ignored, you can rest assured that your partner is selfish.

Selfish people do not believe that anyone’s onions opening besides their own is valuable, that is why they will not take you seriously. 

4. Your partner does not have any accountability 

This means that when your partner is in the wrong, they do not take responsibility for their actions. If your partner always tries to shift the blame on you or circumstances or any other external factor besides their own behavior, it is a good indicator that they are selfish.

They always believe that they are right, they never apologize, and they often tend to blame circumstances or other external factors for their mistakes.

5. Your partner expects you to change yourself 

Know that your partner is acting selfish in your relationship if they expect you to change your personality and habits to match their own wants and needs.

To them, you’re not a person with your own desires and feelings. All they want from you is to change and mold into someone that they want you to be. 

Although a selfish partner can be of either genders, women are more likely to fall in love with a selfish man. If you are a woman and keep wondering why all the relationships you get into are less than perfect and end painfully, it may be worth asking yourself if you are not attracting such circumstances.

Being attracted to a selfish man can be traced down to childhood traumas and many other issues, so it is worth considering therapy before you embark on a new relationship. 

6. Your partner puts their own needs before yours  

The truth is that all of us tend to be selfish just a little. We all put our own needs before anyone else’s. But the beauty of being in a relationship and loving your partner is you’re your I becomes we.

When we are in a relationship, we tend to be more mindful of the person we are with. We try to consider their wants and needs because we want them to be happy and healthy. We may not always succeed, but the fact that we try is sometimes good enough. 

However, a selfish person will always place your needs second to their own. In fact, they may even put their own wants and desires over your needs.

Their gratification, to them, is much more important than your comfort. Even if something is making you unhappy, they would want you to keep doing it, just because it makes them feel good. 

This is a very dangerous precedent, and if you think you are in such a situation, you may want to consider either talking to your partner, or getting out of that relationship

7. Your partner needs to be in control all the time 

Your partner needs to be in control all the time
Your partner needs to be in control all the time

Besides wanting you to do things that make them feel good, selfish people will also want to control your life decisions.

Being selfish also entails that your partner wants to control what happens in your life and relationships. This means that they will try to make you do things that they think are best for you.

To them, your happiness, your goals and your thoughts are secondary, less intelligent, and not as valuable as their own.

This is a huge red flag. If your partner doesn’t trust you to make the best decisions for yourself, know that you are in a selfish relationship. 

8. Your partner is never really happy for you  

If your partner does not think of your happiness as their priority, your relationship is doomed. But there is another aspect to this – is your partner happy for your successes and your accomplishments?

If not, then consider this the biggest red flag when it comes to relationships, because it encompasses almost every other aspect discussed above.  

Everything mentioned above falls under the umbrella of happiness. If your partner cannot let you be happy in your accomplishments, your decisions and your thoughts, then they are selfish. They might even feel jealous of your accomplishments. 

Here is a simple and straightforward method to find out if you are in a selfish relationship – ask yourself how many times does your partner makes you feel good about yourself? Do they care about your wants and desires? Do you feel like you are loved and cherished in this relationship? If not, then you are in a selfish relationship. 

9. Your partner keeps track of ALL Good Things Done

Often, you figure out that your partner is keeping track of every little thing he/she does for you.

Honestly, a partner genuinely in love does the good things to communicate the love, not to keep a scorecard. It feels very dejecting when your partner holds such a selfish nature.

It implies they’re adding up the favors done by him/her on you. This may lead to your partner asking something major in return. But, this is not how a relationship works. Your partner needs to stop being selfish; else, it will end up in you both losing each other.

10. Your partner doesn’t remember the conversations

On a frequent note, your partner keeps forgetting the conversations you both have had. Well, it’s normal to miss a few details for every human being.

However, when triggered, you tend to recollect it after a while, but you find your partner absolutely clueless about the previous talk. So, here’s a secret: a partner who cares will always remember the conversations so if he/she isn’t, the sign is clear.  

They don’t care about you as much as they care for themselves.

11. It’s ME Instead Of WE

The moment you are in a relationship, you both need to make things work together. Thus, it should always be “we” and never “me” or “I”.

In case he or she is using the word “me”, in the subconscious mind, your partner is still about himself or herself, personally.

Your partner needs to look at the relationship from a different perspective and utilize WE more than ME to avoid ruining the relationship. It may look like a small thing but trust me, it creates a massive difference.

12. Surprises are out of the picture!

You are a good partner. You spend time with your partner, plan fun activities and even surprise them with gifts frequently, etc. You initiate trying out new things in bed as well.

But, do you receive that from your partner as well? Do they also make an effort to make you feel special?

If not, it indicates that your partner is not thinking of you. They are selfish and lost in their own world and are still only bothered about their individual existence.

13. There’s absolutely Zero-Support

A relationship is not just about a walk in the rain, it is also about the hug in the thunderstorms. Hence, if your partner expects you to support him or her, that’s human but they must also be ready to offer support when you need it.

However, if your partner never gives a damn when you’re going through a bad phase, it is a sign that he or she is selfish… and this can be dangerous for the relationship ahead.

14. The love is conditional

A hidden secret of a serious and strong relationship is the unconditional love both the partners shower on each other.

But, if your instincts are telling you that your partner shows love only when you meet “certain” conditions, then this is a clear sign that your partner is selfish.

15. They use you as an ATM

Your partner can always seek financial support from you in times of emergency. But, if this “emergency” is happening at frequent intervals, then there’s something fishy.

Further, if your partner is asking for money for tine-little things, it’s a sign that they are turning selfish and all they care about is money.

This also proves that your partner considers you like an ATM and is being selfish to you by hiding the actual facts of asking for money.

16. “I am busy!”

Is your partner available for you when you are going through a tough time? Do they help your family members in times of crisis? Do they give you a dose of motivation when the going gets tough?

If yes, then all hail your partner.

But if they try to escape such situations with an excuse, your partner is selfish and is only concerned about themselves. They do not care what happens with you or your near ones.

17. They are acting all walled-up

Every time you share your concerns with your partner, you’ll find them defending themselves.

They tend to put the entire blame on you and try to make you guilty, let alone apologizing. It is because they only care for themselves, no matter the cost they’ve to pay.

So, if you find your partner being defensive and not accepting their responsibilities, ask yourself why are you still with this selfish person? Try to point out all their other selfish behaviors, and you will finally be able to identify that you’re in a toxic relationship

18. They NEVER compromise

Relationships thrive when both partners make equal efforts. And compromises are a part of these efforts. So, if your partner is not ready to compromise, rethink your relationship.

Do they really want to be with you? If yes, then why are they not ready to compromise? It may be because they want to be the “right one” all the time and want you to give in to their needs.

They are trying to control you and act all weary when they fail to dominate you. Buddy, it’s time to walk out of this relationship or address your issues openly.

19. Personal Space… What’s that?

You and your partner are two different people with different values. No matter the relationship you share, you still need some personal space to savor.

If your partner is not allowing you your personal space, why are you still with them? Remember, personal space is like any other basic need of an individual and your partner has no right to devoid you of it.

And if you continue to live in this relationship, soon, you will feel suffocated which will either be the end of you or this relationship

20. You always sense ulterior motives

If you always feel a tragic change in your partner’s behavior and sense some ulterior motives, don’t dismiss your gut feeling. Observe the actions after that. Do they want anything from you? If yes, they are certainly selfish and there’s no denying that.

If they go out of the way genuinely to make you happy, that’s a great thing. But if they are expecting something from you in return, they definitely have ulterior motives.

This was all about the times when you’re the victim to a selfish partner but what if you’re the selfish one in the relationship? Let’s find out!

Selfish Relationship Signs – when you’re selfish

A selfish relationship can never thrive – it’s unhealthy and tosic, irrespective of who is selfish among you both.

So, if you’re the faulter, here are some signs that help you identify it.

1. You demand time, all the time

When you aren’t able to understand that your partner has a separate world apart from your relationship, it may frustrate you. You may tend to get mad the moment your partner doesn’t revert to a message or answer your call. That’s exactly where you start becoming selfish.

Remember, that your partner has several other responsibilities to fulfill including work and family commitments and you can’t be the only person claiming all his/her time to yourself.  

2. Possessiveness is taking over!

Being jealous is one thing, and being possessive is another. Possessiveness often plants the seed of insecurity.

You start feeling anxious when your partner speaks to someone else, especially someone from the opposite gender. Sometimes, this insecurity takes over so much that you don’t even like your partner waving at someone else.

Gradually, you tend to prohibit them from going out with friends because of the suspicious character inside you.

That’s so DAMN selfish of you.

3. You want your partner to change

In healthy relationships, you naturally tend to adapt to each other’s way of living and behavior.

But if you try changing your partner in several ways just to make them an “ideal” fit, then you’re the selfish one in the relationship. Let’s admit it: no one’s perfect in this world, then why would you want your partner to be?

4. You threaten to leave them

Now that you know your partner loves you so much, you try to leverage it for your benefit. After every argument or conflict, you tend to threaten your partner about leaving them. This implies you are exhibiting manipulative behavior because you want something.

You even go a step ahead, and shut down your partner by not speaking to them for weeks. It is hands-down selfish as you want your partner to bend in front of you and your needs.

5. Apology is for the weak

Honestly, No. Apology is for the strong!

If every time you expect your partner to apologize, it implies that for you, your pride is greater than your love.

You need to realize that seeking an apology doesn’t make anyone smaller or bigger. Sometimes, seeking an apology even if it’s not your fault can help you build the foundation of healthy relationships. 

6. You have a list of your partner’s flaws

You hate it when your partner points out your flaws and you convince them to accept you for the person you really are. But on the flip side, you deny accepting your partner’s flaws.

You expect your partner to change according to your likings but don’t want to change yourself.

This behavior is a direct implication that your partner is not good enough for you… and if this isn’t selfish, I don’t know who is.

7. You make zero efforts to make your partner happy

You’re always busy with your “more important” work when your partner suggests spending some quality time together. But let me tell you, your partner also has work but they choose to prioritize you.

On the contrary, if you always prioritize your work, of course you’re selfish!

8. Sacrifices are out of question

Don’t you hate it when your partner doesn’t do anything for you and always has something more important to do? It does, right? Whereas, when it’s your turn, you consider nothing more important to you than yourself.

This is where a selfish character builds in you, which tends to make zero sacrifices for someone you love immensely.

For instance, if your partner is sick and there’s no one to look after them, you still wouldn’t want to take a day off and check on him or her.

9. Your needs > their needs

Another sign of being selfish is when you prioritize your own needs and wants above everything else in the world.

Somewhere inside, you have convinced yourself that your problems are more difficult than the others. You start seeking more attention and ignore the rest. You make sure to protect yourself first and your partner next.

Whether it is any physical emergency or some emotional or financial issue, you always seek your own comfort first.

10. “I am always right!”

No, you’re not. No one is.  

Even though you are an educated person and have traveled across the world, it doesn’t imply that you know everything. Infact, a human never knows everything and is never 100% right. That’s why you’re human, not GOD.

Thus, a major sign of being selfish is the fact that you aren’t able to accept that you can also be wrong. If you want your relationship to thrive, learn to keep your ego at bay and embrace your flaws.

11. You turn a deaf ear to your partner’s opinion

The base of a great and romantic relationship is “communication”. So, if you begin to ignore what your partner thinks and desires, it is a sign that you are turning selfish.

In case your partner feels that something is not correct or the way you are thinking about a particular situation is not true, acknowledge their opinion.  

If your partner’s opinion is more worthwhile and is more realistic than your own, accept it. Trust me, it doesn’t make you any less. Infact, it makes you more human and more giving to this relationship that you both are building by the day.

12. Blame-game all the way!

This is a selfish person’s most annoying characteristic – they never accept their mistakes.

You never consider yourself wrong and continue to play the blame game. Here’s the secret behind it: being unable to say sorry is the start for your relationship to end soon.

There may be thousands of barriers for you to apologize, but if you hold value for your relationship, it isn’t tough to do so.

13. Winning is more important than your partner

You want to win every argument with your partner, no matter the cost. The win makes you more happy than the smile on your partner’s face – that’s the beginning of the end of your relationship.

Everyone makes a choice in life, either be right or be together and if we always choose to be right, neither of you are gonna win.

Whenever you find yourself in conflict with your partner, you never stop until your partner agrees to give up and make you win the argument.

14. You want control

Controlling your partner is unhealthy. In the long run, it damages the relationship because you not only feel the need to control what your partner does as a couple but also as an individual.

Eventually, you tend to dominate your partner and your love relationship becomes a slave-master relationship.

Even though you are self-convinced that the steps or decisions you take are for the good for your partner, you can’t force them on him/her. You can always advise your partner but you need to give them the space to make the decision on their own.

For instance, the way you wash clothes may be more efficient and you can advise your partner to practice that but you can’t necessarily enforce it on them.

15. You often play the guilt card as a weapon

There may be times when your partner resists your persuasion. And that’s when you play your guilt card.

With this, you try to make your partner guilty for not giving you what you want. You don’t even think twice before sending your partner to a guilt-filled trauma.

This is a clear indication of your selfish nature. If you continue doing this, the end of your relationship is extremely near.

16. You manipulate your partner

Manipulating someone for their own benefits is one of the most prominent traits of selfish people. And if you do that too, you already have your answer.

You can’t always expect your partner to listen to what you want or expect, you also need to empathize with their needs and wants. This is how a healthy relationship works.

17. You’re always standing against your partner

Whether your partner gets a new job or there’s a paycheck or a promotion letter, you don’t seem to like anything, because you’re more focused on competing with them.

That’s not all; when you are having a hard time, you expect your partner to pitch-in despite their own work schedule but don’t refuse to do the same. Expecting uneven sacrifices and, in turn, doing nothing signifies unhealthy jealousy.

Though it is a good quality to be competitive in a world filled with “survival of the fittest”, competing against your partner will only invite negativity between you both

18. You’ve developed trust issues

Trust issues without specific reasons is a sign that you are a self-centered person. If your partner has cheated you in the past or you’ve had a traumatic history, then your insecurity is valid.

But if neither is the case, you really need to think hard about who is at fault here. Trust me, if you’re being reasonable, the answer would be YOU, yourself.

Your inability to trust will have irreversible consequences on your relationship.

19. You’re closed to different POVs

An incredible advantage to be in an intimate relationship is the difference in opinion you and your partner bring in during a conversation.

But if you look at this as a disadvantage, that’s because you’re too full of YOU. You can’t accept a POV that’s different from your own – which is another great sign of being selfish.

However, you can amend this by trying to think from a different perspective and redefining your own thought process.

20. You lack patience

Constant misunderstandings, delayed responses to messages, voice notes or calls, etc., make you annoyed very often. You instantly snap at your partner if they fail to follow what you said. All these things together indicate a hyperactive nature.

You want things to be done at the snap of a finger, which isn’t always possible. Lack of patience with your partner indicates that you are prone to be selfish in the relationship.

But before we dive deeper, let’s first know…

The Psychology Behind Selfish Relationship

Selfishness in relationships is not unheard of. You will hear many people talk about their partners being selfish, or their parents, siblings, bosses, or friends being selfish.

Having said that, it may sometimes confuse you and you may ask yourself – what makes my mother/father/partner selfish?

In many such cases, the selfishness of such a person is actively damaging their relationship with their family members or their partner.

Even when it is in people’s best interest to not be selfish, why do they act selfishly? Before we can ponder on the answers of these questions, we need to understand the duality of human nature.

As humans, we only tend to think of things in terms of good or bad. Something is either a virtue or a vice. However, clinical psychologists have revealed that things are rarely so simple. And selfishness is the same.

Like many other concepts and ideas, it is way too broad an idea to fit into one of the two extremes.

The Duality of Selfishness in Relationship

Consider this – we call someone selfish when they put their own needs over someone else’s. They only seem to be concerned with themselves, and they only seek activities and events that make them happy.

Depending on your perspective, that may be perfectly normal behavior, or something to be despised.

If we go by this definition of selfishness, most of us are selfish in one way or another. All of us ultimately want out own good. We do place our own interests over someone’s else. We care for our own well-being first.

That is natural This type of selfishness is good. And if your partner is following this type of selfishness, then it is not fair to demand them to give up on these things. In such cases, you may be the selfish one, whether you realize it or not.

The problem with selfishness arises when someone does things for themselves without considering the needs of others. If your partner is making decisions that are making them happy at the cost of your comfort, needs, and desires, then they are selfish.

When someone makes other people’s lives difficult for their comfort, it is the kind of bad selfishness that we have talked about in the section above.

Thus, it is very important to identify what falls under the umbrella of bad selfishness and what doesn’t.

Only after you learn to differentiate the two types of selfishness can you deem whether your relationship is indeed selfish, or not, and which of the two of you is actually selfish. It is possible that a lack of self-awareness can lead some selfish partners to believe that their partners are the selfish ones, instead of the other way around.

All that’s fine, but what makes people selfish?

What Causes a Person to Become Selfish?

After discussing all of this, the question still remains – why do people act selfishly anyway. Clinical psychologists have revealed that there can be several reasons why someone may behave in a selfish manner.

Let’s explore some of them. 

1. Insecurities 

What is the most basic definition of selfishness? Someone who doesn’t share their resources. It may be anything – time, money, things. Why wouldn’t a person share their resources, even if the giving may actually benefit them? 

The answer to this is that such people believe that they do not have enough of a certain resource, even when they do. As a result, they may get insecure and threatened that if they give away what they have, they will be left with nothing.

Such people will also be stingy. The insecurity and threat of losing what little they have, can make people very selfish. 

2. Loss of control 

Many people suffer from a fear of losing control. If your partner believes that a particular resource is what is keeping them ahead of their peers, they will be likely to hoard that resource.

Because if they lose sight of it, it can mean that they will be left behind.

For instance, if you want to spend time with your partner, and they think their time is better spent on work or school, they are likely to ignore your desires. Their thinking is – “If I don’t spend all my waking hours working or studying, I will fall behind.

Someone else will take over. My life will be ruined and I will have nothing to show for it.”

Of course, this is an extreme example. But it is a standard prototype of how things work in the heads of such people. They are so afraid of losing control of their lives and/or goals, they will prioritize them over you.

3. Childhood problems

The way a person is raised has a large effect on how they behave as adults. Clinical psychologists have known this for a long time.

That is why, it is no surprise that the childhood of a person also has an effect on how selfish they act as adults.

For instance, if someone is an only child, they are very likely to be more selfish than an average person. This is because children that do not have any siblings are used to all their demands being met by their parents.

They also don’t learn how to share their toys or things, because they have no siblings. Such children grow up to be adults who only take, and never give.

Childhood traumas can also result in someone growing up to be more selfish than normal. If a person grew up with very little resources, they are likely to hoard that resource as an adult.

For instance, a child whose parents could not provide enough food for them in their childhood can turn out to be possessive about food.

This can manifest in the form of your partner not liking it when you take food from their fridge or kitchen. The same is true for money – children who come from poor families grow up to be adults that do not like to lend money.

This may very well be the reason why your selfish partner does not like to lend you money too.

How to Deal with a Selfish Person in a Relationship?

Some people would advise you to walk away from a selfish partner. But that is the last option. Just because your partner’s first impulse is to be selfish, it does not mean that they cannot unlearn it.

Like all human behaviors, one can learn to be more considerate, giving, and compassionate. 

If being selfish is at the core of your partner’s behavior and personality, then it is their duty to work towards resolving that. They need to decide they will be better people, and then actively start working towards that goal.

As a partner, all you can do is make them self-aware of their selfishness, and tell them how it is hurting you. If they love you, they will want to change. If not, there is not much you can do, except walk away – for your own sanity. 

Here is how you can help your partner become more aware of their selfishness:

 1. Express your concerns

The very first step is always communication. According to Chris Armstrong, a relationship coach, you need to tell your partner when they have done something that hurt you, or when they have acted selfishly. Make it clear how that made you feel.

Now the next step is – observe their reaction. Do they apologize for their mistakes? Do they promise to act better in the future?

In that case, you can help them be better. Make sure they follow through on their words. Don’t let them off the hook for just apologizing, make sure that that behavior is never repeated again.

However, if on your hearing your concerns, all your partner does is express indifference, it is time to walk away. If they try to blame external factors, are unapologetic, or blame you back – it is time to walk away.

You cannot fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed. Know your worth and step away from that situation.

2. Choose your words wisely

Clinical psychologist, Jennifer Rhodes, says that when talking about such topics, it is important to choose your words carefully. Make the conversation focused on an issue that personally affected you, instead of something generalized.

Additionally, Rhodes says that instead of blaming your partner, let them know constructively what went wrong. Explain to them how their particular behavior made you feel.

And then, ask them what they think of that particular situation. This will help you understand where they are coming from, and it will also make it easy for your partner to find out what the root of their selfishness is.  

As discussed above, certain types of selfish behaviors are common, and even good for a healthy balance in a relationship. And expecting the other person to not behave in those ways is indeed the definition of selfishness. But some people tend to think of it the other way. That is why, it is necessary to ask yourself if you are not the selfish one and falsely blaming your partner of being selfish.

3. Slyly flaunt the benefits of change

Your partner hardly pays attention, spends time, and looks away from their work desk to give you one glance. You hate it… so much that all fights have one common request to change.

“Please pay me attention”, “Why don’t you go out with me?”, “Are your friends more important than me?”

Don’t request them anymore because they only misunderstand you. Rather, passively flaunt the benefits.

Say “My friend and their partner communicated to feel equally loved in the relationship. They say they feel much closer after it. Moreover, they feel more motivated towards work too… don’t worry, I won’t ask the same from you, I know you’re busy.”

Don’t ever attack them with a pros and cons list! Otherwise, the plan will miserably fail.

4. Acknowledge past successes

If the relationship is more than 6 months old, you both put lots of effort into it. Possibly, you stayed together because you found something worth sticking to it.

Surely, there are many sweet memories, compromises, celebrations, heartbreaks, and support. Talk about the past lovingly… about the days when you lived harmoniously.

However, never say “I miss how you always valued my opinions in the past, and now I’m a nobody”.

Focus on the positive aspect and say “Remember how you got takeout when I was at my lowest? That’s my favorite memory, what’s yours?”

This will encourage them to bring back older sweet habits.

5. Opt for couple therapy

When you can’t handle the troubles all by yourself, connect with an unbiased third person.

Your friends will probably ask you to end the relationship because you deserve better. Your parents may convince you it’s normal… that’s how relationships work.

In between the diverse advice, you feel torn apart. So, an expert’s advice can help you find the right way. A couples therapist will listen to your issues without any bias and suggest possible ways to find a middle ground so you both are satisfied.

If you both work on the couples therapist’s suggestions honestly, you’ll find a way out in no time! They’ll show you possible solutions and discuss them with you both.

A therapist will also help you with your communication skills.

6. Practice Self-love… just as you breathe.

Possibly, you gave away too much into the relationship than your partner… since I don’t expect much from them. However, they didn’t budge and accepted your goodwill for granted.

You love them diligently but get nothing in return. Suppose, you’re a vessel of love and you pour out everything on them. Will you be able to love them forever when you’re void?

You need your fill of love too… so if they can’t fulfill it, accept the responsibility yourself. Pour out less love and try to fill yourself with activities you enjoy.

Meanwhile, let them feel what it feels to be ignored.

7. Hunt down the selfish roots

Your partner’s selfish behavior is utterly unjustified. But is there any chance you didn’t give them a fair chance? Ever thought what’s the cause of their behavior?

Did they grow up in an emotionally detached family? Do they think that being selfish is normal since childhood? Were they ignored since childhood?

Or, perhaps this is the result of a past relationship? Perhaps they felt extremely betrayed when they paid too much attention to a selfish ex? Did they change after that?

Or, are you the cause of their selfish behavior in any way? Maybe it’s a reaction to your action?

Find the cause and communicate to find a better solution.

8. Take turns while communicating

Due to your partner’s habits, you’re dissatisfied. Of course, you’ll complain… that’s quite natural. However, your partner only thinks that you’re a nag because every time you point out the issues.

Well, since that’s not working, try taking alternative turns. For instance, one day you’ll begin communicating first about the relationship issues and suggest possible solutions.

Next time, your partner must communicate about relationship issues and probable problems. Of course, since your partner is selfish, schedule communication dates.

Otherwise, they will try to avoid it. However, if they ditch the communication dates, they can’t possibly blame you because they got a fair chance!

9. “I’m precious…” keep the chant on!

Selfish people make you feel you’re needy, clingy, dependent, and whatnot. But buddy, you’re not wrong to demand your rightful attention or needs.

Their negativity might rub off on you. Unfortunately, you might believe those mean adjectives too. But you must avoid this negative self-talk by any means.

Distract yourself with your favorite hobbies, practice positive self-talk, or even confide in a friend when you feel less.

If your partner is always negative towards you, don’t spend time for too long. Remember you’re a valuable person and stop believing the trash talk.

10. Take breaks

If your partner’s self-centrism goes out of hand, you can only bet on yourself. Take a break from them, i.e., go on a long vacation away from them and expect that they’ll understand your value.

Sometimes, people don’t understand loved ones’ worth because they’re too close to them.

For instance, one lives in a tropical area with an aircon. They won’t understand that having an aircon is a luxury and they must feel grateful because most don’t have one. Only when the machine stops working will they understand its value.

The same goes for you. During this break, don’t dwell on their feelings… do what sparks joy in your heart. Don’t contact them and wait until they understand something is off.

This was for when your partner is selfish in the relationship, but what about the times when you are selfish?

How to stop being selfish in a relationship?

If you genuinely want to stop being selfish in a relationship and want to make it work with your partner, trust me, all it takes is some conscious efforts and a few behavioral changes, like…

1. Listen to your partner

The most selfish thing you can do to your partner is NOT listen. Yes, it may seem small but its not.

Try to understand what your partner is saying. It’s not necessary that they always communicate something with an underlying intention to blame you. Maybe, they are trying to bring a picture into light that you are unable to see. Possibly they have a solution to the problem that you couldn’t think of.

So, listen to your partner to understand them and don’t react to them. Your wild reactions can create walls around them that they may not be able to climb later. So, be patient, and listen to them word by word.  

2. Don’t compete

Our forefathers had successful relationships because they preached ‘Couples are a team.’ So, when you see your partner, consider them a part of yourself. And you cannot ever compete with somebody who is a part of you, right?

So, it doesn’t matter who earns more or who works more. You should both stand for each other, be happy with their achievements, and help them with their work on their hectic days.

Don’t try to belittle them by listing your own problems when they come to you to seek advice.

3. Volunteer when necessary

You may feel this is not associated with your relationship. But volunteering for someone is a selfless act.

When you volunteer for people near you or for people in your community, you eventually become a lot more generous as a human. Your kindness will ultimately make a way to your relationship.

Seeing you help others will make your partner fall for you, and they will also feel that you cannot be selfish with them ever. You will only do what is better for your relationship because you only want good for the people.

4. Empathize with your partner

Your relationship might be going through a turmoil. In such situations, instead of blaming your partner, empathize with them.

It is necessary to experience a situation from their perception before judging them. So don’t jump to conclusions, listen to their part of their story and try to put yourself in their shoes.

If they say they are in pain, do not dismiss it. Remember, you don’t decide what “must” hurt them and what “must not”. If you want to be out of this selfish trap, you really need to stop non-justifying their pain.

5. Allow them to express

You have the freedom of speech, and so does your partner. So, if you want your partner to hear you out when you express your anger, you should do that too.

Allow your partner to express whether they are happy, hurt, disappointed, excited, frustrated, or overwhelmed.

Let them express wholeheartedly what they feel and make them realize that you will be with them through all thick and thin. Once your partner vents it all out, he/she will feel light-hearted, and things will go back to normalcy. 

6. Accept your mistakes

No matter how many precautions you take, you will still make mistakes for one simple reason: you’re a human. And accepting them doesn’t make you any less in the eyes of your partner. Then, why would you deny that you made mistakes and instead blame your partner for them?

You and your partner – both of you have flaws, and both can make mistakes. Making mistakes in a relationship, realizing it and ensuring that you don’t repeat it ever again – that’s a life cycle of most healthy relationships.

After all, without making mistakes, how would you know what your partner likes and what they don’t like?

7. Be open-minded

With reference to the last point, you must be open-minded to accept that you may be wrong too. You should keep your ego aside and be able to accept the situation.

So, while having arguments or conflicts, learn to look at things from a different perspective also. Don’t be too stubborn to prove yourself right always.

Remember, it always takes two people to argue and fight. So, if things are not smooth between the two of you, you and your partner, both are wrong.

So, accept your mistakes with an open mind and try to fix them.

8. Put your partner first

You and your partner – both of you have your own desires but when you always keep your own on top, that’s when things start spiraling.

Right from your weekend vacations to your dinner dates, every decision should have both of your consent. So, it is no harm to ask your partner about their desires before you communicate about your own. It will make them feel valued and cared for.

Putting your partner first will only strengthen your relationship because your partner will feel more attached to you. Ultimately, you will feel more loved.

9. Think about “US”

It is never only about you in a relationship. So stop with the ‘me’ thoughts, and focus on ‘us.’

Whenever you make a decision, do not see what is suitable for you. See if the decision will benefit your partner. Will the decision make them happy? Will they have to suffer because of your decision? If yes, then it’s time to rethink.

Hence, if you want to work on your relationship, you have to keep reminding yourself that this relationship has two people in it – and each of you have an equal share in it.

10. Be humble

If you are earning more than your partner, or are more successful in your field, never let it come between the both of you. Don’t show your arrogance or try to dominate your partner.

Always stay grounded and behave well with your partner. A little change in your behavior can trigger insecurity in them, so be extra cautious. They may be cranky and extremely difficult on days, but you must not give up because why would you? After all, it’s the love of your life.  

Remember that you love your partner, and no amount of pride is more important than being with them.

However, there are instances where you should think about yourself first in a relationship. But there’s a positive way of being selfish… let me tell you how.

How to be positively selfish in a relationship?

Being selfish may not always be wrong. Sometimes it’s good too but you should be able to practice it wisely.

Confused? Don’t worry. I will explain it with a few pointers here. Let’s go!

1. Make separate bank accounts

We have seen that through generations, women have been dependent on men to meet their financial ends. Fortunately, we do not have to deal with this patriarchal thought process anymore.  

The women today earn and finance themselves. I believe love and money are two different aspects, and one must never be in a relationship for money. Also, one must never be in a relationship where there is no love. Hence, both of you must learn to keep your bank accounts separate and earn your financial freedom.

Sure, you and your partner can have a joint account where you save some money every time for investment. But, you must also have an account where you can save for yourself and can spend from it without seeking your partner’s permission.

2. Spend time with your own friends

Remember, just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t have your me-time and spend some quality time with your friends.

Friends help you deal with this cyclone called life, make you feel yourself and help you get ready for all the new challenges that are to come.

If you and your partner have a different set of friends, it’s not necessary for you to enjoy each other’s group. And if you don’t, you must clearly tell that to your partner and not feel obliged to attend every party with them.

After that, establish some basic rules where both of you can spend some time off with each of your friends and relish it without regrets

3. Spend some time apart

If you analyze successful couples, they are happy with each other because they DON’T cling to each other all the time. Successful couples take their time off from each other and enjoy their freedom.

Similarly, you can also spend a few evenings by yourself and go watch a movie that you want to watch. Or maybe chill with your friends, or hit the bar. It will give you a different level of peace and will refresh you for the upcoming days. 

Even when you are together at home, you can be in different rooms, watching your own TV, or spending time doing your hobby. You shouldn’t be guilty about doing any of these and must not compromise on such activities for the sake of your relationship.

4. Take time for yourself.

Having some ‘me-time’ is important for every individual. It does not mean that you are unhappy in your relationship. But relationships ask for daily efforts, don’t it?

You may get tired for a while and want to spend some time resting or just being locked in a room or going somewhere. Usually, people get these feelings once they become parents as their kids require 200% attention.

But you need some breathing space too. When you feel drained and need time for yourself, you can ask your partner to handle things for a while, and take a day off. Similarly, you must also handle things and give some ‘me-time’ to your partner.

5. Have healthy arguments

You may disagree, but every relationship that has love will have arguments. And I know that you compromise on your desires many times to maintain peace between the two of you. But is it only your duty to compromise every time?

Yes, relationships are all about sacrifices, but it is also a two-way street. So if you are compromising, your partner must too. If you are the only one who will keep compromising, then there are chances that you may get frustrated with your relationship.

So, just put your foot down, and let your partner know what makes you happy instead of silently suffering in the corner. It may lead to arguments once or twice but will give you freedom from compromises.

6. Travel solo frequently

Traveling with your partner is certainly romantic. But have you ever tried traveling solo? Oh, God! It can be the most satisfying experience ever.

There is nothing wrong with traveling without your partner. It is more fun because you don’t have to take care of someone. You don’t have to answer anybody or go to places of their choice. You can be by yourself and do as your heart says.

If you don’t like traveling completely alone, you can join a group of solo travelers and make new friends during the journey. Such a trip will certainly be refreshing for your soul.

7. Demand oral sex

I agree sex is sacred for both you and your partner. But let me tell you that very few relationships survive without sexual satisfaction. So, on days when you want things on bed your way, tell that to your partner.

Oral sex turns most people on. So, if you are one among them, ask your partner to go down there.

Your partner may not enjoy giving you oral sex, but they will definitely enjoy seeing you enjoy it. Moreover, they’ll feel proud that they give you the satisfaction that you’ve been yearning for.

So, demand oral sex and be vocal about everything. Tell them how you like it and how you think they are doing it wrong. Be a boss in bed.

8. Focus on your career

I know holding onto your relationship is important, but so is your career. You cannot give up on your career only to be with your partner.

Life has its ups and downs, and your career may ask you to be long-distance too if your partner cannot accompany you. But isn’t that what relationships are all about? Shouldn’t partners be supportive of seeing you happy and doing great in life?

See, you cannot plan life, and hence, you will have to deal with the odds. No matter what happens, you have to figure out a way to focus on your career and outgrow yourself.

9. Be firm about your opinions

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you cannot have your opinions. It also does not mean that you have to agree with your partner. You are still an individual free to have your own opinions.

So, even if your partner shares different ideologies than you, agree to disagree. Both of you can have different perceptions, and you do not have to forcefully abide by their thoughts and vice versa.

10. Be the boss of your wardrobe

In a healthy relationship, usually, there are no debates on what a person should wear. Hence, your wardrobe is entirely yours. You can decide what to wear, when to wear it, and when to not wear it! 😉

There may be times when your partner finds your dressing awkward. But if you like that body-fit tee, go and flaunt it to the bar on Saturday night buddy!

Closing Thoughts

Whether you can move past such behavior and help your partner become a better version of themselves is up to you. It should also be noted that not everyone may want to cure their selfishness, and in such cases, it is best to walk away.

You should also not feel obligated to stay and help you partner grow into a better person. If their selfish behavior is too much for you to handle, again, just walk away.

Ultimately, it is up to the selfish partner to work on themselves and become better. All you can do is make them self-aware. If you both can do that, it will be beneficial for your relationship.

If even one party is not committed to this, it is better to prioritize your mental health and leave such a person behind.