Although someone could pay attention to their own needs when they are single, this could be something that changes when they are in a relationship. It could then be said that one will have a sense of self when they are single and end up losing their sense of self when they are not.

Two Problems

Therefore, when one is single, they might think about what it would be like to be in a relationship. Yet, when they are in a relationship, they could spend a lot of energy thinking about what it would be like to be single again.

Due to what they go through each in each experience, it could be a challenge for them to feel at peace. At the same time, when one is in a relationship they might not be aware of how they feel.

The Priority

The reason for this is that one could be so caught up in doing what they can to meet the other persons needs, that they completely ignore what is taking place within them. And even if they do have moments when they do tune into how they feel, this could be something that rarely takes place.

One is then going to be behaving as though they are nothing more than an extension of the other person. Their purpose will be to do just about everything they can to full the other persons needs.

A Role

It is the not going to matter what one did to meet their own needs before they were in a relationship, as they will now have something else to do that is more important. This could be something that their partner is completely on board with, or they might wonder what is going on.

If they do have a problem with it, it still doesn’t mean that one will be able to change their behaviour. Instead, one could make out that it is fine, and continue to behave in the same way.


Alternatively, their partner could believe that other people exist to take care of their own needs, which is going to stop them from changing their behaviour. If this is the case, there is going to be no reason for them to try to get one to change.

If anything, they are going to reward this behaviour, and this is going to show that they believe that their needs are more important than other people’s needs. They might not even realise that other people have needs.

Down Hill

It is perfectly clear that when one is in a relationship like this, it is not going to add anything to their life; the only thing that it is going to do is wear them down. There is going to be the effect this has on their wellbeing and on their life in general.

For example, before one was in the relationship, their life could have been going in the right direction. But as the weeks and months go by, their life could end up getting progressively worse.

The Next Step

If one is able to get to the point where they can no longer tolerate what is taking place, they might be able to end the relationship. This could be a time when they will begin to get back in touch with their own needs and as a result of this - their life could start to improve.

After a little while, they could end up getting into another relationship and the same thing could take place all over again. This could then be the second time that this has taken place or it could be something that has happened on other occasions.

A Victim

One way of looking at this would be to say that this person just happens up end up with people who are self-centred. Consequently, there is only going to be so much that they can do; they will need to wait until the right person appears in their life.

If this is the outlook that one has, it is not going to be much of a surprise if they feel powerless, helpless, and as though they have no control over this area of their life. What this wouldn’t take into consideration, though, is that one is not simply an observer of their reality.

The Common Denominator

At the end of the day, there is one person who keeps showing up, and that is the person who one sees whenever they look in the mirror. With this in mind, it is going to be essential for one to look into why they neglect their own needs when they get into a relationship.

One might also see that they find it hard to fulfil their own needs even when they are not in a relationship. Either way, what this could show is that one doesn’t feel safe enough to pay attention to their own needs.

A Deeper Look

Focusing on someone else’s needs and doing what they can to fulfil them is going to be what feels safe. It can then be hard for them to comprehend why they wouldn’t feel safe enough to pay attention to their own needs.

However, if they were to think about what their early years were like, they may begin to understand why they behave in this way. This may have been a time in their life when they had to focus on their caregiver’s needs.

Role Reversal

It wouldn’t have been possible for them to be a child; they would have had to act like a parent instead. Furthermore, this would have meant that their boundaries were not respected.

So, through being walked over and not receiving the kind of care that they need in order to develop a strong sense of self, it is going to be normal for them to find it hard to assert themselves. Through having to be there for their caregivers, one could believe that there is something wrong with their own needs.


If one can relate to this, and they want to change their life, it might be a good idea for them to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand five hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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