When you first fall in love and feel deeply convinced the new guy you’re dating is “the one,” you might think that if he only loved you back, you’d be in seventh heaven.
This might lead you on an attempt to run that extra mile in order to entice him. You might think it’s a good idea to make sure you’re always available, perhaps going so far as skipping chances to meet up with other people in the hope that he might call and ask you to do something.
You could even find yourself doing all kinds of favors for him you would never even consider doing for anybody else, all because you so desperately want to believe you’ve finally found your soulmate.
That’s a natural response to the attraction you’re feeling, but there’s a fine line between being a kind woman doing what it takes to invest in a loving relationship with a man, and overdoing it in your efforts to get this man you don’t even know all that well to want you.
What does trying too hard in a new relationship look like?
One of the biggest signs you might be trying too hard is when you sense your partner can feel that you both don’t always enjoy the good times. There’s something off, and you might be confused as to what that is; later on, you may not realize it was just you trying too hard, or your partner not trying enough.
To know how to stop trying so hard to be liked and get their attention, you need to know that everyone isn’t going to like you.
Sometimes there are just people out there that won’t like you for no reason at all, and that can be so frustrating because you question why. It’s best to just not pay attention to it, and instead invest your time and energy into people who do like you and want to spend time with you.
Trying too hard can sometimes backfire — you can be painted as an obsessive and egoistic person! It’s easy to fall into the trap of being way too accommodating while not expecting the same in return, so it’s important to learn the distinctions between being kind and completely losing yourself in your overwhelming desire to keep a man’s interest.
Here are 10 signs you’re trying too hard to get a guy to like you and it’s compromising your chances of finding true love.
1. You put him ahead of everyone and everything in your life.
You’re starving for his words and can hardly wait to hear his voice. You feel you have to be constantly available in order to get him to like you.
However, this type of behavior communicates that you don’t have a life, friends, or worse — the people and things in your life, including you, are worthless compared to him.
This is a huge no. It’s important to maintain your regular schedule, work/life balance, meeting with friends, and sleep time. Make sure that you’re not just blowing people off in order to spend time with him. Adjust your time with him into the already existing schedule that you have.
You don’t have to be available 24/7, and it’s healthier that you aren’t.
2. You answer his texts (even when it’s disruptive).
For the “digital native” generation, this might seem like an archaic rule, but answering your boyfriend’s text immediately isn’t always advised, especially if answering will cause you additional trouble.
For example, if you’re hanging out with a friend that deserves your undivided attention, or in a meeting at work, or even exercising at the gym, replying the second he talks to you can disrupt your life and upset people around you.
Make your position clear from the beginning. Wait a few minutes or a little bit to text back. Don’t put your boyfriend’s wants and needs so far above yourself and your own needs.
3. You allow his schedule to determine your own.
If you drop everything in your own life to adjust to his schedule, you’re going to make yourself extremely unhappy. You’ll lose your time with your friends, hobbies, and even favorite pastime activities. Your needs will not be fulfilled.
Unfulfilled needs can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. You can lose sleep rest, social network, support people, and much more.
Clarify your priorities; create a balance between time spent with him and with other significant events of your life. Having a full, independent life full of colorful activities, people and interest are how you get the guy to like you.
4. You never speak up about your own interests.
Within the time you spend together, you might allow him to dominate the conversation. It means that your colorful personality won’t be able to shine and you aren’t experiencing the positive feelings of being seen and understood (as well as appreciated) in the relationship.
You might think it’s up to him to give these opportunities to you, but that’s not always the case.
You need to learn to recognize and then to stand up for your needs. If you don’t do it, no one will do it for you. Don’t expect him to read your mind! And don’t expect him to understand how you’re feeling. Speak up, gently assert yourself, and tell him what you need.
5. You agree with everything he says, even if you feel otherwise.
Supporting his ideas is a good way to get a guy to like you. It feels good to agree on many things. It can make you feel like you’ve found your “soulmate,” since you have so many things in common to share together.
On the other hand, there is no way that you can possibly agree on everything. But disagreements can be good for you, and healthy as well!
You might be concerned about losing his approval because you don’t share his view on something, but if you never come forward with your opinion, your point of view isn’t going to be recognized anyway. You’ll end up feeling lost in your relationship, or that everything is about him.
There’s no need to argue or be overly aggressive about your opinion, but it is important that you draw a distinction between his views and yours when you disagree. This might even lead to spirited conversations, or it might leave you both agreeing to disagree.
If you are with a man that gets angry or disapproves of you when you disagree with him, then he’s clearly not soulmate material, so why worry about it anyway?
6. You laugh at his jokes, even when they’re not funny.
Guys making girls laugh is one of the essential parts of courtship. Many women seek out men with a good sense of humor. So if your significant other makes a joke and you don’t find it funny, what can you do?
If you pretend to laugh every time he tells you a joke or teases you a certain way, you’ll make yourself miserable because you’re putting up a mask and hiding your true feelings on the subject.
And you won’t be able to pretend forever without wearing yourself out and eventually revealing to him all along that you never found those jokes/antics very funny to begin with. If you’re together long enough, this behavior can leave him with a sense of betrayal, or feeling that you lied to him.
The best way to handle this situation is to be yourself! Laugh only when you like his jokes, and politely let him know the ones that you don’t, or perhaps smile and nod rather than saying, “That’s so funny!”
7. You do more for him than you should.
If you express your love by doing favors for him constantly, like running his errands, cleaning his house or even cooking him meals, and he rarely, if ever, reciprocates, you have an imbalanced workload.
This kind of imbalance suggests that he thinks his time is more important than yours, or that he expects this kind of “mothering” behavior, which can be a huge red flag in your relationship.
Create your balance. He does the dishes you do the laundry. He earns the money; you take care of the household. Every couple’s balance is different; there is no right or wrong way to do it.
You might even post too much on social media or do too much and that can be a sad sign you’re trying to prove to yourself and to others that you’re happy when you really aren’t.
The two of you have to agree on what seems fair and reasonable and uphold those standards together.
8. You turn a blind eye to his bad behavior.
If he is not on the same page as you in regard to integrity (like lying, cheating or taking something he is not supposed to take), it’s going to be uncomfortable for you.
It’s possible that in order to get the guy to like you, you may even go along with whatever he’s getting into. And then you’ll end up making excuses for his bad behavior to justify it, which could put you at odds with your own morals and ideas, in addition to your friends and family.
Set up your priorities. If the things he’s doing are not OK in your book, you need to let him know where the line he cannot cross is, and follow up with your decision if he doesn’t listen to you.
9. You apologize all the time, even when he’s the one in the wrong.
Many times, this is the first sign of you bending over backward in your relationship and trying too hard. You take responsibility for your actions; yet, you also take responsibility for his actions when he’s upset you.
You’d like to see him take accountability for what he’s done, but would rather just not upset him. You’re worried that if you call him out on his actions, he’ll get angry at you.
If he has a tendency to blame you for his missteps, pay attention and see if you’re accepting this blame. Determine who is really responsible for what part of a conflict. You can apologize if you did something wrong or hurt his feelings, but you should never accept blame for what you haven’t done.
And when your guy is in the wrong, it’s healthy and normal to expect an apology for the things he did that hurt you.
10. You let him walk all over you.
If you are a “peacekeeper,” you might be more lenient with him than with yourself. While avoiding conflicts can be helpful sometimes, it’s detrimental to your relationship in the long run.
The balance you set up now will stick with you for the duration of your relationship. And if you’re trying to find a soulmate, that means you’re potentially looking at the rest of your life!
Imagine your relationship in 1 year, 5 years, or 10. Are you satisfied with how it is going right now? If not, consider your needs and wants, be aware of your rights, and gather the courage to stand up for yourself. If not you, who else will?
Sacrificing your time, your hobbies, your friends, your ethics, and your needs and wants will not get a guy to like you! This will only create an imbalance in the relationship and leave you feeling resentful of your partner later.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish — it is part of a balanced, healthy relationship. When you’re confident in yourself and know what you need in a relationship, you’re going to shine to potential partners, and attract people to you who admire and respect that confidence.
Don’t try so hard to get someone to like you; like yourself enough to know what you deserve in a relationship.
Zita Fekete is a psychotherapist who helps over-accommodating women stick up for their needs and wants to create a balanced relationship with their partner. Connect with Zita through her website, Sound Soul Counseling.