A few years ago, someone gave my friend this piece of relationship advice: “Find a man who loves you a little bit more than you love him – that’s the only way things will work.” Unfortunately, I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve heard that playing it cool and not caring about someone quite as much as they care about you is the way to be. That doesn’t mean that you don’t care at all, it just means that you should want to be the person who loves their significant other a little bit less than they love you. Why? Because being the one who loves more makes you more vulnerable.
The person who loves less seems to have all the power in a relationship, and we’ve all seen it, even if we didn’t quite realize it. In a lot of relationships, there is someone who seems to care more – they’re more willing to go out of their way for the person, they make the sacrifices, and they seem to be the glue keeping the two people together. How do you know if you’re the one who loves more or less? The balance can shift during the course of a relationship, so you might not always be in the position you’re in at the moment, but aren’t you curious to know?
First, though, let’s make one thing clear: it’s time we stop romanticizing and idealizing being the one who cares less. Having the upper hand is overrated and totally unnecessary in a good, lasting relationship. When you’re with the right person, those types of things don’t matter, so if you’re actively trying to be the one who cares less, then maybe you need to reconsider who you’re dating. That said, let’s figure out where you stand. Here are a few signs that your significant other loves you more than you love them:
You Never Call or Text FirstOkay, this sounds lame, but it's actually a sign! If your partner constantly texts or calls first, that could be because they're more into you. There's a difference, though, between them always reaching out because that's what you're both used to, and them always reaching out because you just forget to. Maybe hours and hours will go by without you even thinking, "Oh, I should say hi." Or maybe you just don't feel like calling them. Whatever the reason, if they're the person who makes everything happen - texting, phone calls, plans to hang out, etc. - that could mean they're more into this. Source: iStock
Bae Remembers More About You Than You Do About ThemSome people are just forgetful, but generally, when someone really cares about someone else, they remember stuff about them. If your S.O. remembers every little detail you mention, but you can't even recall the last huge thing they shared with you, that could be a sign that they're a little bit more invested in the relationship than you are. Source: iStock
They Always Put You First, But You Don't Always Put Them FirstIf you're number one in bae's life, but they're only sometimes number one in yours, that shows a clear imbalance in feelings. Maybe your priorities are just different - you might prefer to hang out with friends while bae always wants to be with you. Or maybe your S.O. is willing to make sacrifices for you that you would never make for them. Think about it! Source: iStock
You Feel A Little Guilty When They Do Nice Things For YouIf your S.O. cares about you more than you care about them, chances are good that you can kind of tell - and it probably makes you feel guilty as hell sometimes. Of course, you would never hurt them by telling them that you think you love them less than they love you, so you don't tell anyone, and this just intensifies the shame. If you notice a pang of guilt whenever they go out of your way for you (because you might not think to do the same), that could be a sign that they care about you just a little bit more. Source: iStock
You Often Wonder If You're Really Into This Person Or Just SettlingIt's normal to second guess any relationship, even a truly happy one. But if you have these kinds of thoughts more often than not, it could be a sign that you're just not as into things. You might sometimes feel like you're just settling for them, or that you deserve better. Sometimes you might not feel that happy, but then you look at them, and they seem totally fine. If something's up, it's probably worth examining to figure out if you truly are settling or if it's just your paranoia acting up. Still, sometimes you find yourself wondering if you're actually excited to be with this person or if you're stringing them along, and that sucks for both of you.Source: iStock
You Try To Balance It Out By Trying To Make Bae Love You LessSometimes when we feel guilty about something like this, we do things without even realizing we're doing them - like trying to act like a jerk so that they stop being so damn great all the time. If you find yourself getting frustrated whenever they show off their love for you, so much so that you have to do something to sabotage it, that could mean you're uncomfortable in your position in the relationship. Source: iStock
You Are Very Guarded When It Comes To Your HeartOne of the biggest reasons that people don't seem to care that much is because they won't let themselves care too much. Caring a lot means being vulnerable, and if you've been hurt before and feel very guarded with your heart, that could be a sign that your S.O. loves you more. You're more selective, not apathetic. In fact, you probably have a ton of feelings - more than you let on, for sure - so the thought that people consider you uncaring or manipulative after a break up hurts double because they just don't know. Source: iStock
Have you ever been the one who loves less? Did it suck? Did the person you’re dating ever find out? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.