In modern relationships, we tend to play a game of tit for tat. Reciprocity is the basis on which we build healthy and unhealthy relationships. You are a team but although you’re playing for the same side, you’re still focused on how you play, what others are contributing and how well you play together.
If someone thinks it’s okay to sit on the sidelines whilst the other person runs up and down the pitch, they’re in for a big surprise. They may think they can go under the radar, neglect their responsibilities in their relationships with their family/friends/colleagues, and it’ll go unnoticed but in reality, the truth will always prevail. It takes people anywhere between a few days and several years to discover that someone has not been reciprocating fairly. They may have been taking them for granted or have been taking the shortcut to their own happiness at the detriment of the relationship. When the truth comes out, it will undoubtedly impact the relationship.
When one person continuously neglects the other party’s needs because they are too focused on their own desires, this will corrode the relationship over time. How astute the victim in this scenario is, will determine how quickly the culprit is found out. However, sometimes, the sheer love in the relationship will encase a couple in an unequally balanced relationship that is not even noticeable, until that is, the situation has corroded enough to make the bubble burst. Once it has, those involved in the relationship will either make or break the relationship with their response to it. Again, the response may make or break that relationship within a few weeks or several years. It’s these undetected patterns and improperly resolved issues that lead to the breakups of long standing relationships, whether with a partner, family, friend or whoever.
Remember the following when you think about what you truly want out of each of your relationships:
- If I don’t care, they won’t care.
- If I don’t help, they won’t help.
- If I don’t show them respect, they won’t show me respect.
- If I don’t act like a friend, they won’t act like a friend.
- If I don’t fulfil their needs, they won’t fulfil my needs.
- If I can’t be bothered working at this relationship, they won’t be bothered to work on it.
Take note of any reciprocity imbalances now and do what it takes to restore the equilibrium. There’s no point in dwelling on the past. Just learn from it, make the appropriate changes and move on towards a mutually fulfilling relationship, and yes, it really is that simple.
It ALL starts with YOU.