General Question

CBrennan15's avatar

When you're in a relationship, and you seem to care more about it, what does it really mean?

Asked by CBrennan15 (353points) February 9th, 2011

Too many times you here people say something along the lines of “I care more about you than you do me” or “I’m putting more into this relationship.” My question to those who have experience with this is what does that usually mean?

Doesn’t one person always have to care than the other? It’s not like it can be a tie. There’s no score when it comes to feelings.

Also, do you think it’s that person just being insecure?

All thoughts are welcome

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

I think people say this when they realize that there is too big of a gap in the “giving” department. This usually happens when a relationship is really not on equal terms. Maybe one of the people in the couple is truly in love with the other person and the other person is mostly in it for the sex. Or sometimes it can happen when one of the parties is very clingy and needy and the other person may love the partner, but does not like the fact that he or she has been made the center of the other person’s universe. And another example is when a couple (usually a married couple or people living together) don’t take the day to day responsibilities of running and maintaining a household properly. Like when one person does all of the housework and cooking and child rearing and the other person doesn’t help very much.

You are right that no relationship is truly equal in the sense that each partner gives exactly the same amount and takes the same amount, but good relationships work when there is a good and acceptable balance. When one of the parties (or both) don’t see the relationship as being equal, all sorts of problems will arise.

john65pennington's avatar

After being married to a great woman for 45 years, from experience, I can tell you that no relationship is exactly 50–50. Someone, has to always be the giver a little bit more than the other person. I guess I demand more, than my wife. The big difference is that I realize this and try to make it up to her. Relationships and marriage is a give and take proposition. As long as the respect and love is there, it really does not make any difference.

sanmo01's avatar

I recommend reading a short book called “The Four Agreements.” You can find it very cheap at If you can be happy in your own life, your relationships will work. Nothing is equal. People love in different ways and people communicate in different ways. If someone is insecure, that is actually a personal issue rather than a relationship issue.

Soubresaut's avatar

This reminds me of something that my friend told me her mom had told her while growing up. That [my friend’s] goal in terms of love should be to find someone who loves her more than she loves them, that way she knows it’s a ‘secure’ relationship. I found it surprising to think in love in those terms, as a way to hook in a partner for yourself. It’s different from what my mom always told me: to find someone that I can stand to be with for a long time. But I guess both are kind of sad ways of viewing relationships.

Back on topic, a thing I think that phrase can mean is one person feels they’re making a more outward effort of loving the other person. Some people feel like you can just love each other, other people think you should say it once in a while to them. That they’re thinking, if you love me so much, what’s so hard about saying so? My parents are like that. They want to be told, so the air’s a sort of witness, I guess. My sister and I are fine being with each other and not affirming how we feel to each other. Maybe in family it’s a little different than in a romantic relationship, but that’s the best example I’ve got.

perspicacious's avatar

People are different. That’s all you need to understand about this.

Kardamom's avatar

@perspicacious No kidding, people are different. But there has to be some kinds of measuring sticks for figuring out whether a relationship is worth tending to or continuing.

If you just say that people are different, then anyone of us should be happy to be with anybody. But that’s just not the case. I think the OP is trying to find out if his or her relationship is OK or if it is in trouble.

Coloma's avatar

It means that the person who loves less has the power advantage, which is never a healthy situation.

To cling to someone that is not mutually invested in a relationship is to put yourself in the one down posistion as you stand to lose more in one capacity or another.

Shifts in power balance occur in relationships but if it is an intrinsic part of it’s function it is inequitable to at least one party the lions share of the time.

perspicacious's avatar

@Kardamom I think it’s just looking for something to call a problem. If the person with whom you are in a relationship doesn’t care about the relationship, end it. That’s not rocket science. There’s no measuring stick.

Seaofclouds's avatar

To me, the ‘who does more’ thing should ebb and flow back and forth between the people involved in the relationship. It’s when it’s constantly one person doing more than the other that there tends to be problems for various reasons. When one person feels like they are constantly doing/giving more, they may grow to feel neglected, resentful, mistreated, unloved, and many other feelings. Without discussing these feelings before they get to be a huge issue, the relationship would be doomed to fail. If the person that feels the balance is off brings it up early enough, it could be worked on and corrected if both people want the relationship to thrive.

Kardamom's avatar

@perspicacious The OP is trying to figure out whether the other person in his or her relationship cares about it. That’s why they are asking the question. Sometimes people can be in a relationship where there is an un-equal balance, but both people still love and care enough about each other to continue. In other circumstances there can be an un-equal balance, but one of the parties has no idea if the other person really cares or if they are just in the relationship for the convenience of it. That is why the OP is asking the question. There are all sorts of measuring sticks for relationships. And things are not always as obvious as we would like them to be.

There are plenty of people who get married and truly love each other, but then they find out that they have very different ideas of what a “good” relationship is. One person might want children and the other person might not. They have to “measure” whether the relationship is strong enough to withstand the different desires or whether they need to break up to find someone that is a better match. If everything was so simple, all of us would be in completely perfect relationships and no would would have to go on Fluther to ask opinions.

The OP is trying to find out from our experiences if his or her relationship is worth it. If they knew the answer to that question they wouldn’t be asking. Some things are not always so black and white.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I finally found, at the advanced age of 64, my first relationship where both of us were equally committed to the relationship and to each other. So yes, it IS possible, but my own experience would tend to indicate such relationships are relatively rare. They require constant work to maintain, but the effort is well worth it! : )

CrammaDoodle's avatar

That means you’re in a bad relationship..

Pattijo's avatar

It means one person is giving more in the relationship than the other person usally , though a insecure person would more than likely feel this way , no matter what .

blueiiznh's avatar

You are right in that there should be no score keeping, but if it is so one sided that a person says something, then there is something potentially wrong.
Its like the analogy of a bank and making deposits. You want few withdrawals and each should be making deposits. If a person is noticing it is truly one sided, they may be making the disparity known, or the may be judging too much of the other person.
Its really hard to say with such little info in this case.
All I know is that it one person thinks they are doing more it may be real or an insecurity.
The last thing you want is a feeling of resentment over a disparity.
This is not about peoplebeing different. It is potentialy about one person not getting their emotional needs met.
The Four Agreements is an excellent suggestion.

kheredia's avatar

Sometimes it’s just lack of communication. Maybe one of them doesn’t realize that the other expects more from them. Maybe one expects too much from the other. If they don’t talk about it then they can’t meet in the middle. I’ve felt like this with my so in the past but the problems usually get fixed after we talk about it and it’s usually just about his sloppyness anyway. Nothing that can’t be fixed.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther