How to Stop Overgiving in a Relationship



I advocate unconditional love, but loving someone unconditionally does not mean you have to give bluntly, irrationally and foolishly. Overgiving creates an imbalance in a relationship which may not be healthy. Overgiving also blocks you from receiving, and you may feel frustrated and even resentful towards your partner. One shall listen to Anais Nin on this aspect: 


'I am only responsible for my own heart,
you offered yours up for the smashing my darling.
Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.'

-Anais Nin


I realised in my past relationships, I had the tendency to overgive, a recurring, repetitive pattern, especially during the relationships when I really love someone (I am a Sufi. When a Sufi loves, she loves passionately, intensely, sometimes crazily and madly.  It is perhaps good in divine love, but not so much in human love). I've learned my lessons. In human love, balance is the key (unless the other party is also an equally ecstatically crazy Sufi who is into you!).  

The habit of overgiving is perhaps quite common among many women. Women are particularly emotional beings and more connected to the hearts. Especially when we are in love, we often become love fools. Our inherent maternal instinct makes us more prone to giving, even if it is in a romantic relationship (although I may not want babies in this lifetime, that doesn't mean I don't have maternal instinct. Maternal instinct can be displayed when you feel love, care and protective towards someone or other beings. My maternal instinct is particularly strong when I see animals and other people's babies). 

Of course, this is not to say men are not emotional. Overgiving can happen to men too. Men are also emotional beings. In fact, most human beings are emotional beings, so the situation of overgiving can apply to any gender. This article is written for all genders, including non-binary and other gender identities, but perhaps it is written with a touch of feminine approach, through the lens of a female. 


1. Overgiving creates an imbalance in a relationship. 

Overgiving creates an imbalance in your relationship, and you may find yourself feeling exhausted if you give too much. Also, you may even feel frustrated or resentful towards your partner when you are always the person to give, to initiate. 

The other person may not appreciate what you do if everything comes too easily and freely, unless your partner is a highly conscious being, with Buddha consciousness. It is human nature to take things for granted when it comes too easily, conveniently. 

It is perhaps no mystery that human beings like things that are not easily attainable (even scientific research reveals so). We all like a bit of challenge. Although we may blame others who like to play games, we are also clearly willing to be in the game, just to make things extra interesting, adding spice and passion to our mundane existence. 


2. Overgiving blocks you from receiving. 

When you give too much, you may also block the other party from expressing their love and gratitude to you. Overgiving blocks you from receiving the love you deserve. 

Also, when you overgive, you may overwhelm the other person, especially he or she may not be so open to receive. The other person may feel that it is too much, and he or she may likely to withdraw. 

3. Overgiving may stem from a place of fear and lack. 

If you find yourself always be the one to give, to initiate, then perhaps it is time to stop and pause for a moment, asking yourself where is this pattern of overgiving coming from? 

Are you giving genuinely from the place of your heart or a place of fear and lack? Do you feel that you are not good enough, not worthy enough, hence, you have to "give to get". 

Putting too much effort does not guarantee you will get the same return, it can be quite the contrary sometimes (as you may overwhelm others, and they may likely to withdraw). If it is meant to be, then it will be. One shall adopt the wise philosophy by Lao Tzu -  'Wu Wei', effortless action, only exert effort when you have to do, follow the flow, be like water, be like nature. 


"Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished." - Lao Tzu


Overgiving may also come from a place of guilt, that you feel you have to give because it is your duty and responsibility. This may also be related to fear. The fear of hurting and upsetting others. It is particularly true for empaths.  We don't want to see others getting hurt or upset, so we go out of our way to give, but then we may end up hurting ourselves and others if the intentions are not genuine (Sometimes I say yes and overcommit myself to others, afraid of upsetting others, but when I realise my heart doesn't want to do it, in the end, I have to say no - which may hurt others even more as they have built up expectations). 

Only give from your heart. Only give when you feel your love tank is full and overflowing. And when you give, you give genuinely, don't expect anything in return. Expectations and attachments are the root cause of suffering.  If you find that you have expectations, then perhaps wait until your own love tank fills up before giving or until you receive a response. 

Refrain from overgiving is also a sign of love - It shows that you have unconditional love for yourself, you understand your self-worth and you have love for the other person. You don't want to overwhelm and overburden others. You understand that balance is the key to create harmony in any relationship. 




Poetry books:

My second poetry This Eternal Romance is now available for pre-order

Debut spiritual poetry book Songs from the Soul is also available


Upcoming workshop (Melbourne):

Rumi: the Path of Love & the Wisdom of Heart

18th March, 2-4pm, Summerhealing Yoga Somachi Studio (Collingwood)

You can book here


Love & Light


Anjali LoveComment