Being on the verge of my thirties has got me thinking. You know how it rolls: you sit down one night, you have a panic attack and you wonder if you’ll have enough time to do all the things on your bucket list.

Now, I sound like I’m about to turn 80 at least. But, this is a big deal as well – your thirtieth birthday is not just a milestone – it is also an important turning point.

Having this in mind, you recapitulate everything you’ve done so far; you put each one of your accomplishments and failures on a scale and you wait to see which side will be heavier.

That’s exactly what I tried doing. After I analyzed my friendships, family relations, and my career, there came the scary part: my love life.

I’ve been running from these thoughts for a while now, but there has come a time for me to admit the bitter truth: compared to other aspects of my life, my romantic relationships are (and each one has been) one big, fat disaster.

This is not a phase that will go away. In fact, it’s not that I’m heartbroken as we speak.

However, the fact is that my love life never looked the way I pictured it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been unhappy in love.

depressed and sad woman sitting on top of the mountain with face down embracing her knees

This doesn’t mean that I never had a serious, committed relationship. I had my share of boyfriends whom I loved and who loved me back.

“So, how come you’ve always been unhappy?”, you must ask. How come all of your relationships have failed?

These questions bugged me for a while, but I finally got the answers.

Are my standards too high? No. The hell with it; most of the time, it seemed that I had no standards at all.

Am I looking for too much? Yes. But wait; how is it possible to expect too much while having no standards at the same time?

Well, you see – the only thing I asked for in all of my relationships was love.

Hi, everyone, I’m addicted to someone loving me and I do require too much love from the other person. And, there has come a point for my addiction to be healed.

mirror reflection of a woman sad and depressed looking away holding the broken mirror in close up photo

You see, for all these years, I blamed my partners for never caring for me enough. This way or another, I’ve been the one who loved more in all of my relationships.

No, I’m imagining things – I was really the one making most of the sacrifices, the one putting in more effort, and the one carrying all the weight.

Consequently, I kept ending up as the one who got played and left behind.

Sounds like a pattern, right? So, who is to blame here?

For years, I thought that neither of my exes had the capacity to love me the way I deserved. I felt emotionally neglected, and I considered them guilty for my dissatisfaction.

But, then it hit me: I was comparing the amount of love I was receiving to the amount I was giving. All of this time, I thought that my way of loving was the only right way.

If a guy loves me any less – it’s apparent that he doesn’t love me at all.

pensive healthy woman in sports clothes inside the house

Each of my relationships looked pretty much the same: As soon as I came to this realization, I put all of my efforts into changing the situation.

I was doing everything in my power to make these men care for me more. I was subtly begging for attention and affection, and I kept falling into despair every time I didn’t receive it.

After some time, things would break apart. Sometimes, the men next to me couldn’t handle the pressure of being constantly accused of indifference.

On some other occasions, I ended things because I couldn’t stand feeling so unloved.

Then, I realized that I was born to give more love than I’ll ever receive. That is my fatal flaw that will eventually be the cause of my emotional downfall.

I don’t know if I have a greater capacity for love than most people; if I consciously choose men who are unable to give their hearts out or if I secretly enjoy my role.

But, the truth is that the same thing happens each time: I let men into my entire heart without holding any parts of it for myself only.

What I do know is that I make a huge mistake every time I try to force a guy to love me more. Instead, I should put my efforts into making myself love him less.

pensive woman leaning on a tree during a camp with a car at the back

You see, you can’t control the way others treat you. You can’t force anyone into loving you more nor can you push them into reciprocating your feelings.

The only person you have complete control over is you.

You can’t force a guy to text you more often, but you can start texting him less frequently.

You can’t make a guy make sacrifices in your relationship, but you can stop taking all the weight on your shoulders. You know what they say: “If you can’t beat them, join them”.

The examples are endless, but you get the point. No, you shouldn’t do it as part of your hidden agenda to make him fall for you harder.

You’re doing it to take your dignity back and to heal your own broken ego.

Or, you can just leave and wait for a man who will give you the same amount of love he’s getting from you.

Nevertheless, before you make this decision, please tell me this: Do you love too much? I know I do.

Finally, is this amount of love and devotion you give to your partner good for your mental health?

Is it healthy to love someone more than you love yourself? I think both of us know these answers.