Stop Giving So Much!


Learn to Receive!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

One of the mistakes I’ve made in past dating relationships has been giving too much. 

Marianne Williamson says, quoting A Course in Miracles, “Only what you are not giving can be lacking in any situation.”

I took that to mean that if I wanted a man to compliment me, I should compliment him.  If I wanted a man to be generous with me, I should be generous with him.  If I wanted a man to feel cared for, I should do things for him to make his life easier.

This was a complete misunderstanding of what Ms. Williamson was saying.

While it’s true that women are nurturers, in a male-female relationship, it’s the man who gives.  Think about sex: the man “gives,” and the woman “receives.”

The same is true outside the bedroom.

When women initiate the giving, or give more than the man gives, that is masculine behavior. 

Dr. Pat Allen says you can’t have 2 feminine energies or 2 masculine energies in a relationship.  Even in gay relationships, you need one partner who is more feminine energy, and the other who is more masculine. 

If you want an alpha male, you can’t be an alpha!

When I’ve wanted men to step up more and take the lead, I’ve learned I need to step back. 

Men don’t want to compete with women they love, and a man won’t compete with you to be the man in the relationship.  He’ll either become passive (feminine energy) or he’ll leave.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t give.  But give as a response to his giving.

One year, I had a date with a man who had pursued me for years.  I’d never been interested in him, but I ran into him at the grocery store and suddenly felt a spark.  It was the holidays, and I gave him a gift. 

He didn’t have one for me, and he seemed uncomfortable that I’d given him something.  We never went out again.  I think that gift killed his interest! 


By giving him a gift FIRST, I showed him I was interested.  I had eliminated the thrill of the hunt.  I was no longer unattainable.

Men want to feel appreciated.  This means, thank him when he pays the check at dinner - don’t cook him a meal “to pay him back for taking you out.”  It should be his pleasure to take you out and spend time with you.  When you give to men first, you are taking the masculine role.

After that ill-fated holiday gift non-exchange, I learned my lesson!  Now, I’ll have a gift ready, but out of sight.  If the man presents me with a gift, I have one for him.  If not, I return it or keep it or give it to someone else.  

The greatest gift you can give a man is your respect and appreciation.  What he really wants to earn is your trust - another thing that shouldn’t be given too readily. 

He doesn’t want an Easter basket or a tin of cookies or even a Valentine’s Day card.  He wants you to respect him and appreciate what he does for you. 

And if he’s not doing anything?  Girl, that’s a big red flag that is pointing to the fact that he doesn’t value you.

So, get out of the greeting card aisle, put down the wrapping paper, stop baking him cookies, stop taking him chicken soup when he’s sick.  

Let him give.  You reciprocate.  But don’t out-give him.  Remember: a man who loves you won’t want to compete with you!

Want someone to give things to?  Volunteer at a nursing home.  Be a Big Sister or a foster parent.  Help out at the local children’s charity.

When I got honest with myself, part of the reason I gave so much was because I wanted the guy to like me. It was a form of buying his love.  That doesn’t work with men.  And if it does, you really have a problem because a man who accepts more than he gives is using you. 

Instead of reading the signs that his lack of giving was an indication of his lack of valuing me, I tried to “model” what I wanted him to do.  But, that never works in relationships!  Plus, it’s manipulative.

Today, I don’t try to buy a man’s love with Christmas presents, Easter baskets, or tickets to watch his favorite team play.  I let him give, I receive, and I reciprocate appropriately.

Having a One-Derful Life means having the confidence to let a man be the man, knowing you are okay if he isn’t the right man for you!

Question: Do you give too much in relationships with men?

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