Is this you? Are you doing kind things over and over for others in order to get love?
This subconscious (and dysfunctional) relationship tactic might go something like: “If I give you this (or do this for you) then you’ll give me love (or treat me like I’m important/worthwhile).” And it’s destined for disaster.
Giving with an expectation of getting something in return is a common game we play on ourselves and in relationships.
Reciprocity (give and take) is built on the concept of mutuality; with both people participating. But when you’re playing the “giving to get” game, it’s far from mutual. The game is born out of a feeling of lack, and it ends in emotional pain. That lack is that you might feel needy, unimportant, not “good enough,” unlovable or unworthy exactly as you are.
In a “giving to get” cycle, one person ends up doing most of the giving, the niceties and forgiving while the other person is on the receiving end of all that kindness. Whether or not they asked for it.
In your mind you may think “they ought to love me, after all I’ve done.” You may not even know you do this, you may just wonder why you’ve ended up disappointed in relationships. “After all I’ve done for you, how can you treat me this way?”
May I gently remind you: it was your choice to do all that doing, no one made you do it. But the consequences remain that you may have given all of yourself to someone who wasn’t giving the same back.