QQ,QA #3: About Making Effort

“If one party in a relationship is making more effort than the other, does it mean your partner has lost interest? Are they just being lazy or taking you for granted? Which is worse?”

When it comes to making effort in a relationship or a marriage, we often hear ladies complaining that their other half does not make enough effort.

And when you talk to the guys, they will say that they are really making the efforts, but those efforts are never enough.

So what’s happening here? :)

It is the different point system that a lady and a guy keep. It goes like that. For a guy, working hard, bring back the bacon would score them say 20 points. But to their wife, it’s probably 1 point. When they buy a bouquet of flowers for that once in a year Valentine’s Day, they thought that would score them 20 points, that would also score them only 1 point. However, if they buy a stalk of rose for their wives for 20 days, that would actually score them 20 points! :)

As you can see guys, it’s the frequency that matters. You can buy her a huge gift which cost you a lot, but that would only be 1 (or maybe 2 points max). But if you buy her small gifts regularly, that would score you 1 point every single time!

Women want to feel loved and cared for. They want to know that they are loved. And how do they know that? By your daily words, actions and gestures.

As for my dear ladies, the guys are just wired differently from us! That is why they are said to be from a different planet altogether! :) Hence, sometimes, guess we just have to take a step back and examine whether he is really not making the effort, or are we just not appreciating the effort.

For our 1st year Wedding Anniversary, Jamie and I were actually apart due to work circumstances. I could have kicked up a big fuss (which I almost did, I have to admit). From a female perspective, I would see it as he’s not making the effort to rearrange his work schedule to make sure that we are together on the anniversary. This means that he does not care enough about me, or our relationship.

But looking at it logically, we really did not need to celebrate it on the day itself! Hence, I let it go. We celebrated 5 days later. And we had an almost perfect celebration! :)

I guess sometimes, when we are so busy making the effort, and keeping tabs on whether our partner is also making the effort (the type of effort that qualifies as effort in our eyes), we miss out on the efforts that our partner actually put in.

Do you agree? Do you think you keep a different point system from your partner? :)

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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7 Comments

  1. Carol Loh /

    Sometimes, making an effort for the one that you loves doesn’t even cross our mind as hard work as we are very much willing to do whatever it is for our loves ones. It’s like a subconscious actions that energies us to just do it for our partner. This comes with love; I guess but sadly most of the time, it’s only last for a period of time for most couple.

    People used to says, courting and marriage are 2 different kind of thing. Your last-time bf-now husband will behave differently towards you. (I personally didn’t know how true this phase is)

    However, sometimes, it even happened to couples who have been dating for 8-10 years due to being in the relationship since secondary school.

    I guess this all comes down to being too comfortable with each other and taking your partner for granted.

    If you would have ask me, I would say taking you for granted is much more worse than losing interest as this shows your partner doesn’t really care about the things that you do anymore and he doesn’t really paying much attention to you or the life that both of you share.

    Yes, to us ladies, frequency really counts more than expensive and huge gifts. It’s not the gift that counts but the heart and sincerity that comes with it. This shows how much they care for us and have us in mind.

    For me, personally, I don’t care much about how expensive the gift is or what labels it was under, or how huge it is.. For me, I will be happy for the thoughts that count. Yes, special occasions to us ladies is quite important but with just a short phone call telling us you do remember but cant be able to make it, do makes a big different even though without any gifts or surprises on that particular day.

    It’s not necessary to be the exact date as everyday feels like a valentines day as what matter the most is being able to be with the ones you love beside you.

    Based on my previous experience, a phone call accompanied you throughout your journey home and checking on you whether have you reach home safely are as sweet and highly credited as he being able to send you home personally due to some unforeseen circumstances that he can’t be able to send you home himself, although all girls prefer the latter if possible.

    Efforts from both parties do makes the relationship grows because continuous one-sided effort will tires the one that contributes and thus, will affect the relationship in the long run.

    A simple phone call or sms once a while no matter how busy you are, just to say “I miss u”, “I love u”, “Just want to hear your voice”, “Been thinking of you”, can makes your love ones’s day. :) and this effort doesn’t even cost much but means a lot to your partner.

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  2. I hate it when my ex used to keep tabs on her effort and contribution to our marriage. It’s like everything I’ve done was for naught…

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  3. Hi Carol,

    Love your example of ‘accompanying you home’ on the phone… Yup! Think that’s really a very sweet gesture! :)

    Sincerely,
    Violet

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  4. Hi Rudy,

    Thanks for your input… yes, I guess us women sometimes can be too calculative…! Keeping a score card!

    Sincerely,
    Violet

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  5. Carol Loh /

    Yupe :) That’s 1 of the gesture that makes me pretty touched..

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  6. The scoring system makes total sense and it’s like an epiphany reading about it! I have to say though from the guys point of view this might seem a tad unfair.

    I just got an expensive gift for my birthday from my bf and even though I totally love it, you’re right, it’s probably only worth 1 point in the whole scoring system. Whereas a hug or a kiss on the forehead while we are pak-toh-ing (i.e. in public) is worth a lot more. Because lets face it, we girls are insecure beings and need our partners to reaffirm their feelings for us constantly.

    Another thing I’m worried about is the fact that my partner is not giving 100% to this relationship because he was burned before. Try as I might to be understanding about it, as an ‘investor’ in this relationship, I feel a bit short changed. I mean, if I know he’s not giving 100% then I am inclined not to put my 100% into the relationship as well so as to protect myself. Does that make sense?

    Maybe I’m just thinking too much.

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  7. Hi Kea,

    Haha… we women are like so evil right? :) Expensive gift and normal gift still counts as one point! :)

    Anyway, I think you probably cannot help but feel the way you feel. Yet at the same time, I think it’s not healthy to keep holding yourself back as well. I think at the beginning of my relationship with Jamie, I was always worried about things like, “Will this work out? Will he cheat on me like my ex?” and all other “What ifs”. But after awhile, I figure that it’s not being fair to him. And by holding back, I am not giving the relationship a fair chance.

    Sometimes, one party will feel as if he/she is short changed. But I think circumstances change, and if by being “short changed” for a while, to build something for the future, I think it is worth it. :)

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