35 Signs You’re Being Selfish In A Romantic Relationship

Have you ever wondered if you’re truly being fair and caring in your romantic relationship? It’s sometimes hard to realize when we’re being selfish, as we naturally tend to focus on our needs.

If you’re curious to know more, let’s unravel some signs that might suggest you’re being selfish in your relationship. Remember, this isn’t about blame but about understanding and growing together!

Table of Contents

Communication Problems

1. You Dominate Conversations

Let’s face it; you love to talk. And that’s okay! But if you’re the only one talking all the time, your partner might feel like their voice isn’t being heard. It’s important to remember that conversations are a two-way street.

If you’re doing all the talking, it can seem like you’re only interested in your own thoughts and opinions.

2. You Regularly Shut Down Communication

Your partner has something important to share. But the moment they start, you shut it down. They might feel like you don’t care about what they have to say. Communication is like the blood in the veins of a relationship. If you’re always blocking it, things can’t flow smoothly.

Tip: Next time, try to listen and respond to what your partner is saying, even if you don't agree with it. Remember, it's not about winning a debate; it's about understanding each other better.

3. You Frequently Use the Silent Treatment

Instead of talking things out, you often prefer to go silent. Sure, it’s okay to take a breather and calm down when things get heated, but refusing to communicate for extended periods can leave your partner in the dark. They might feel dismissed, unimportant, or even scared.

Try this instead: Express to your partner that you need some time to cool down before having a conversation about what happened.

4. You Use Passive Aggressive Techniques

Passive-aggressive behavior can seem like you’re trying to get your way without being direct about it. This can make your partner feel confused, manipulated, or upset. If you’re unhappy or dissatisfied with something, it’s better to communicate directly.

5. You Frequently Interrupt Your Partner

We all get excited and want to share our thoughts. But when you’re always cutting your partner off mid-sentence, it can seem like you don’t respect or value their ideas. Remember, everyone deserves to be heard fully. So, try to be more conscious about interrupting and let your partner express their views fully.

Disrespect and Lack of Empathy

6. You Prioritize Your Needs Over Your Partner’s

You value your own comfort, happiness, and growth. That’s great, but remember, in a relationship, it’s not just about you. Consistently disregarding your partner’s needs can feel to them like their happiness isn’t important to you.

7. You Lack Empathy

Understanding and caring about your partner’s feelings isn’t always easy, but it’s crucial in a relationship. If your partner feels like their emotions and experiences don’t matter to you, they can feel ignored or lonely.

Tip: Try to place yourself in your partner's shoes. How would you feel in their situation?

8. You Lack Respect

Do you sometimes disregard your partner’s boundaries or feelings? This can be hurtful and disrespectful. Each person deserves to be respected in a relationship. Disrespect can lead to feelings of resentment and tension.

Related: How to Respect Your Partner’s Boundaries (10 Tips)

9. You Disregard Their Personal Goals

You might not share your partner’s aspirations or understand their career goals. That’s okay. But it’s important to show interest and offer support. If your partner feels like their dreams don’t matter to you, they might feel unsupported or dismissed.

Think about it this way: By supporting their goals, you're encouraging them to be the best they can be.

10. You Disregard Their Requests

Whether they’re asking for help with chores or expressing a need for emotional support, ignoring your partner’s requests can feel dismissive. It’s as if their needs don’t matter to you. It’s important to respect their requests, even if you can’t fulfill them every time.

“The key to a great relationship is not only understanding but action.”

Self-Centered Behaviors

11. You Take More Than You Give

It’s normal to need support, affection, and resources in a relationship. But if you’re always on the receiving end and rarely giving back, your partner might feel used.

12. You Make One-Sided Decisions

Always deciding what movie to watch or what restaurant to go to can leave your partner feeling unheard. A relationship is a partnership, and decisions should be made together.

Practical example: Next time you're deciding on a movie, ask your partner what genre they're in the mood for. Or better yet, alternate who gets to pick the movie each time.

13. You Display Controlling Behavior

Trying to control your partner’s actions or decisions can make them feel stifled or disrespected. It’s important to respect your partner’s autonomy and encourage their individuality.

“Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.”

– Rabindranath Tagore

14. You Never Let Your Partner Win

Always insisting on winning, whether it’s an argument or a friendly game, can be exhausting for your partner. Sometimes, letting things go is okay, even if you believe you’re right.

Take this advice: Next time you're in an argument, try to understand your partner's point of view instead of focusing on winning the debate.

Avoidance Tactics

14. You Avoid Serious Discussion

Dodging conversations about feelings, future plans, or relationship issues can be hurtful to your partner. These discussions are key to understanding each other better and growing together.

Tip: Be open and honest about your feelings. If a topic makes you uncomfortable, let your partner know why.

15. You Avoid Family And Friends

Skipping events or gatherings with your partner’s loved ones can make them feel like you’re not fully invested in the relationship. It’s important to show interest in all areas of your partner’s life.

16. You Avoid Expressing Genuine Apologies

When you’ve hurt your partner, it’s crucial to apologize sincerely. Offering a shallow apology or not apologizing at all can make your partner feel like you don’t understand or care about the impact of your actions.

17. You Do Not Accept Criticism

Feedback, even when it’s negative, can help you grow and improve in your relationship. If you always get defensive or dismissive when your partner tries to discuss something they’re not happy about, it might feel to them like you’re not interested in growth or change.

Consider this: Constructive criticism isn't an attack on you; it's an expression of your partner's needs or desires for the relationship. Try to listen openly and understand their perspective.

Materialistic and Possessive Tendencies

18. You Don’t Share Your Possessions

Do you get upset when your partner borrows your stuff? A relationship is about sharing, not just feelings but possessions too. If you’re uncomfortable or unwilling to share, it might make your partner feel like you don’t trust them.

19. You Use Money To Control Your Partner

Money matters can cause friction in relationships. But using money as a control mechanism isn’t fair. It can make your partner feel like they’re under your thumb and their opinions don’t matter.

Lack of Affection and Gratitude

20. You Avoid Physical Affection

Affection is important in a relationship. If you limit your affection to only certain situations, your partner might feel unloved or unimportant. Hugs, holding hands, a simple touch on the arm – these gestures can go a long way.

Try showing more physical affection outside of the bedroom. It can make your partner feel more loved and appreciated.

21. You Rarely Express Gratitude

A lack of gratitude often points to selfishness in a relationship. If “thank you” isn’t part of your regular vocabulary with your partner, it might signal that you’re taking them for granted. Reflect on this, and make an effort to show more appreciation to foster a healthier bond.

22. You Do Not Initiate Reconciliation

Arguments happen. But if you never make the first move to apologize or make things right, it might make your partner feel like they always have to be the bigger person.

Lack of Interest

23. You Show No Interest in Their Personal Growth

If your partner is trying to learn a new skill or make a positive change, your support can mean the world to them. If you’re indifferent, they might feel like their efforts aren’t important.

Try this: Show an interest in their goals. Ask them about their progress, encourage them, and celebrate their achievements.

24. You Don’t Ask About Their Day

“How was your day?” It’s a simple question, but it shows you care. If you don’t ask about your partner’s day, they might feel like you’re not interested in their life. So, next time you see your partner, ask them about their day. Listen to their stories, and share your own.

25. You Don’t Take Their Health Seriously

Health is important. If your partner is sick or emotionally upset, it’s your job to be there for them. If you don’t, they might feel like you don’t care about their well-being.

Tip: Next time your partner is unwell, take care of them. Make them a cup of tea, give them a hug, or just be there to listen.

Self-Importance and Attention Seeking

26. You’re Always the Center of Attention

It’s great to shine. But if you’re always trying to steal the spotlight from your partner, they might feel like they’re living in your shadow. It’s important to let your partner have their moment too.

27. You Put Your Pride Before Your Relationship

Ego can be a relationship killer. If you let your pride get in the way of your relationship, your partner might feel like you value your ego more than them. Try to put your pride aside and think about what’s best for your relationship.

Lack of Balance and Flexibility

28. You Do Not Invest Time in The Relationship

Relationships require time and effort. If you’re always busy with other aspects of your life, your partner might feel like they’re not a priority. Try to set aside dedicated time for your partner. It can be a date night, a movie night, or just a quiet evening at home.

29. You’re Unwilling to Adapt

Change is part of life. If you refuse to adapt or change, even when it’s hurting your partner or your relationship, they might feel like you don’t value them enough to make a change.

Tip: Be open to change. It might be hard at first, but it could be what your relationship needs to grow and thrive.

30. You Don’t Show Work-Life Balance

Work is important. But so is your relationship. If you’re always prioritizing work over your partner, they might feel like they’re in second place. Try to find a balance between your work and your relationship. Make sure your partner knows they’re just as important to you as your career.

Dismissing Partner’s Feelings

31. You Ignore Your Partner’s Opinions

Everyone’s opinion matters. If you dismiss your partner’s ideas or opinions, they might feel like you don’t respect them. Next time your partner shares an opinion, listen. You might not agree, but it’s important to respect their viewpoint.

32. You Invalidate Their Feelings

Feelings are personal. If you belittle your partner’s feelings or tell them they shouldn’t feel a certain way, it could make them feel unimportant or misunderstood.

Tip: Validate your partner's feelings. Even if you don't understand why they feel a certain way, let them know that it's okay to feel it.

33. You’re Aloof About Your Partner’s Problems

Your partner’s problems are your problems too. If you ignore them or act indifferent, your partner might feel like you don’t care. Next time your partner shares a problem, be there for them. Offer advice, comfort, or simply listen. It can make a big difference.

Unhealthy Dependence or Separation

34. You Depend on Your Partner for Your Happiness

Happiness should come from within. If you rely too heavily on your partner for your happiness, it can put a lot of pressure on them. Remember, find happiness in yourself, and your relationship will be happier too.

35. You View Your Personal Growth as Separate

Personal growth is important. But in a relationship, it’s important to think about how your growth affects your partner. When you’re considering a new activity or hobby, think about how it might impact your partner or your relationship.

You might find that it’s something you can do together or that it brings a positive change to your relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a selfish person change their behavior in a relationship?

Yes, people can change their behavior, but it requires recognition of the problem, willingness to change, and consistent effort. It may also require professional assistance, such as counseling or therapy.

How can one handle a selfish partner in a romantic relationship?

Dealing with a selfish partner can be challenging. However, these steps might help:

Communicate Openly: Express your feelings and concerns honestly, without blame or accusations.

Set Boundaries: Establish what behaviors are acceptable and what are not.

Seek Professional Help: If the selfish behavior continues, consider seeking help from a relationship counselor or therapist.

Can selfishness lead to the end of a romantic relationship?

Yes, if left unaddressed, selfishness can damage and potentially end a romantic relationship. It can cause feelings of resentment, dissatisfaction, and disconnection between partners. However, with open communication, empathy, and effort, it’s possible to address and correct selfish behaviors before they cause irreparable harm.

How does selfishness in a romantic relationship differ from self-care?

Selfishness and self-care are different. Self-care is about taking care of your own physical, emotional, and mental health. It’s a necessary aspect of a balanced lifestyle and doesn’t harm others.

On the other hand, selfishness in a relationship involves consistently prioritizing personal needs and desires over those of your partner, often to the detriment of the relationship.


Now that you’ve journeyed through these signs of selfishness in a romantic relationship, it’s time for some reflection. If you see yourself in some of these behaviors, don’t worry—realizing is the first step to improvement! Relationships are about balance, understanding, and respecting each other’s needs.

So, let’s continue to learn, grow, and aim for healthier, happier connections with our loved ones!

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Brenda Calisaan

Brenda Calisaan is a psychology graduate who strongly desires to impact society positively. She aspires to spread awareness and knowledge about mental health, its importance, and its impact on individuals and society.

She also has a passion for working with children and hopes to dedicate her career to positively impacting their lives.

Outside of work, Brenda is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring new experiences. She is also a music enthusiast and loves to listen to a variety of genres. When she's not on the road or working, Brenda can often be found watching interesting YouTube videos, such as Ted-Ed content.