How Far Should You Go to Please Your Mate?

It's an easy pattern to fall into. As early as your first date, you may find yourself professing your love for modern art or folk music, all to impress - and please - your new flame. As the relationship progresses, you make all kinds of sacrifices to make your man, or woman, happy.

Partner pleasing's gotten a bad rap over the years. While that reputation is deserved if you're forfeiting your own needs and wants to hang on to your lover, indulging someone you love can make you feel good.

While, deep down, you should be able to tell if you're just extending yourself to please or utterly changing yourself, sometimes it can be tricky to tell if you're trying a little too hard. Here are some things to consider:

Are You Acting Out of Love or Fear?

Pleasing your partner (outside the standard Golden Rule type stuff) should always be a choice, not a condition. While that might mean you choose to do something you otherwise wouldn't, you should never feel that you have to do those things all the time - or else.

Does It Feel Fake?

Indulging your sweetheart shouldn't mean lying to him or her - or yourself. That means not pretending you love the country when you're a city slicker at heart, or pledging your desire to stay at home and raise a family when you're really set on climbing the corporate ladder.

Do You Know What He/She Wants?

Maybe your problem isn't that you try too hard to please your partner, but rather that you assume what your partner wants without knowing for sure. It's so easy to assume that all men or women are the same, and that what Mom did to make Dad happy, or what you did to make your ex happy, will make your current lover swoon.

Does It Feel Like It's Never Enough?

While it seems like a no-brainer, many people often find themselves stuck in this situation because they fail to recognize it at first. You think you just have to do something better, or differently, and he or she will finally be happy. But that's never the case. A partnership doesn't have to be split exactly down the middle, but if one person is doing all the pleasing, there's a problem.

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