What Is Reciprocity In A Relationship?

What Is Reciprocity In A Relationship

So you think you’re in love, but do you feel loved back? Find out what is reciprocity in a relationship, why it’s important, and the signs that tell you it’s missing.

If you have ever experienced unrequited love, then you’ll know just how heartbreaking it can be. Any kind of relationship that lacks reciprocity will eventually result in hurt, betrayal, and humiliation for all those involved. You should never sacrifice your happiness for unrequited love, and that’s why you should know the signs that say your beloved just isn’t that into you.

Every relationship has strengths and weaknesses, but mutual love and respect are fundamental to a long and healthy partnership. Yet, few people know the signs that say their love is unrequited, or what they can do to prevent it.

So what is reciprocity in a relationship and why is it so important? If you want to skip the frustration, games, and heartache that comes from an unrequited love affair, then keep reading.

What is Reciprocal Love

Is it wrong to expect reciprocity in a relationship

Reciprocal love should be considered as being the most important characteristic of any successful relationship, yet it’s a concept that few women stop and think about, or even understand.

So what is reciprocity in a relationship? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “reciprocal” means “shared, felt, or shown by both sides”. So we can assume that reciprocal love is where both partners share love, feel love, and show love. A synonym of the word “reciprocal” is “mutual”, and by this token, a reciprocal relationship is one that is defined by mutual feelings of love, as well as mutual demonstrations of love.

Reciprocity is a key characteristic of true love, although it’s mainly prevalent in romantic relationships rather than familial relationships. For instance, a mother’s love for her child is unconditional, and doesn’t thrive on being reciprocated.

It’s very easy, and common, to assume that the love in your relationship is reciprocal, and sometimes just the fact that you are in a relationship is enough to make you believe it’s so. However, if you feel that something is missing from your relationship, and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, then this could be a sign that your relationship isn’t as reciprocal as you thought.

Why a Reciprocal Relationship is Healthy

What is the meaning of reciprocal relationship

If you want to experience a relationship that not only stands the test of time but provides comfort and pleasure for both you and your partner, your love must be reciprocal. All humans, both male and female, want to feel reciprocal love, but what is reciprocity in a relationship?

Everyone wants to hear “I love you” back when they tell their partner they love them. They want to be kissed back when they kiss their partner. They want to feel as though their partner prioritizes their feelings and emotional wellbeing when they know that they would do anything for their beloved.

People who are experiencing reciprocal love usually feel happier and more content with their lives, sometimes finding that all their other cares simply melt away. They might even feel more confident in their sexuality, assured by their partner’s attraction for them and the desire they feel for their partner.

Most of all, those who experience reciprocated love tend to feel strong and powerful. They have a solid sense of identity and self-worth, respected by their partner, and treated as a complete equal in the relationship. For years women have battled for respect and equality, and truly reciprocal romantic relationships are just one manifestation of female identity and empowerment.

To find out more about the importance of reciprocated love in the 21st century, take a look at this article published in Psychology Today:

Is True Love Always Reciprocated?

True love is the stuff of fairytales. Most little girls dream of growing up and meeting their Prince Charming, and many women spend years of their lives trying to find their one true love.

When you are in a truly reciprocal relationship, where you and your partner share a mutual love for one another and genuinely care about each other’s wellbeing, then it could be that you have found true love.

Remember though, it isn’t enough to assume that your love is reciprocated. Just because you know you love your partner doesn’t mean that they feel the same about you, even though they might say it. Unrequited love is the main reason many relationships fail, ending in heartbreak, embarrassment, and pain.

Is My Relationship Reciprocal?

What does no reciprocity mean

We hope now that you understand what we mean when we talk about reciprocal relationships and can see how reciprocity is central to any successful and long-lasting romance. Now comes the inevitable question; “is my relationship reciprocal?”.

Perhaps you’re in an exciting new relationship. Maybe you’ve been married to your partner for years! No matter how long you’ve been with your love, it’s natural to wonder if your partner is as into you as you are into them. Answer the following questions to see if your romantic feelings for your partner are truly reciprocated:

  1. Do they seem to genuinely like you and respect you as a person? Answer “yes” if your partner compliments you and doesn’t try to change you.

  1. Are you both mutually exclusive, having agreed not to date other people?

  1. Does your love respond when you text them, phone them, or suggest spending time together? If they make excuses or ignore you, then the answer might be “no”.

  1. Do they ever reach out to you to plan dates, catch up, or spend time together? If you’re the only person who plays an active role in your relationship, the answer might be “no”.

  1. Does your partner seem to genuinely enjoy spending time with you? If they laugh and smile when they are with you, then you can probably answer “yes”!

  1. Is your beloved open and honest with you, never telling lies or hiding things from you? If there is no trust in your relationship, you might need to answer “no”.

  1. Is your relationship free from fights, constant disagreements, disrespectful language, and danger?

  1. Do you discuss your future together, and what it might look like? This can be short term or long term, depending on how long you have been together. If your partner acts as though your relationship is temporary, then you should answer “no”.

If you answered all of these questions with “yes”, then that’s great news! You are in a reciprocal relationship, defined by honesty and integrity, as well as mutual love and respect.

Your reciprocal relationship is a beautiful thing. You feel as though you are the most important person in your partner’s life, and you’re pretty sure they think about you all day long. You feel special whenever you are with your partner. You feel cherished by them, and most importantly, you feel truly loved by them.

What is Unrequited Love?

Unrequited love is feelings of love that aren’t mutual. It can be extremely damaging and humiliating for all those involved if classic tell-tale signs aren’t recognized early on.

Ever heard of the 2009 film He’s Just Not That Into You starring Hollywood stars Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, and Scarlett Johansson? The film, based on a self-help book of the same name, is all about unrequited love and the search for fulfilling reciprocal relationships.

Many of the characters experience obvious signs of unrequited love from their love interests, including missed calls, ignored messages, misleading words and actions, and worst of all, glaring dishonesty. The film is pretty heartbreaking but it conveys an important message; unrequited love isn’t worth the pain and suffering it causes, and there are some key signs you need to look out for to avoid experiencing heartbreak yourself.

Unrequited Love: What are the Signs?

Is true love always reciprocated

Do you have a niggling feeling that something is missing from your relationship? Or are you at the start of a new relationship, wondering if your loved one has serious feelings for you? It could be time to check if your partner is as invested in your relationship as you are.

Here are five common signals you should look out for to see if there are unrequited feelings between you and your loved one:

  1. Your love doesn’t seem interested in progressing your relationship. They might be acting as if your relationship is temporary, and they seem noncommittal when you talk about the future. They might steer clear of deep and meaningful conversations, and trivialize your feelings when you share them.

  1. You are in denial about your partner’s true feelings for you. You find yourself obsessing over every word your partner says and every physical gesture, trying to convince yourself that they love you, despite other signs that show they don’t.

  1. You are changing yourself to please them. You might be making choices about your appearance with the sole aim of pleasing your partner. You might even be taking up their favorite hobbies so that you have things in common. Your partner should love you for who you genuinely are, not who they think you should be.

  1. Your partner is all you think about. Perhaps you don’t even realize it, but you are obsessing over your loved one all the time. You might be constantly checking your phone to see if they have messaged you, or keeping tabs on their actions and whereabouts. You might also be talking about them constantly to whoever is listening.

  1. Your love doesn’t try to spend time with you. If you are the person who always starts conversations, suggests dates, and initiates sex, then this could be a sign your love is unrequited. For a relationship to work, both partners need to be as committed and enthusiastic as each other.

If these signs sound familiar to you, then there might be unrequited love in your relationship. Unrequited love can cause a lot of distress and sadness, but it’s important to realize that it’s not your fault. Don’t start blaming yourself.

It can sometimes take time for a relationship to become truly reciprocal ‒ emotions develop at a different pace for each person. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait around forever and sacrifice your own happiness. What is reciprocity in a relationship if it isn’t to provide comfort and pleasure, and to bring out the best in a person?

If you had known what secret signals to send your partner and the exact words to say to make them love you, perhaps you could have prevented unrequited love. Sadly, without professional input, there is little you could have said or done differently. The most important thing to do is stay true to yourself ‒ don’t lower your expectations or self-worth to please your partner and make them love you. There will be someone else out there who will.

For expert advice on how to deal with unrequited love, visit:

How to Build a Reciprocal Relationship

What are the three forms of reciprocity

Whether you’re taking those first tentative steps in a romantic relationship, or you’ve been with your partner for many years, here are some great tips and tricks to help ensure your relationship stays reciprocal and healthy:

  1. Maintain great communication with your partner. Be open and honest, and never hide your true feelings. Good communication can help to build trust and respect between you and your partner.

  1. Build a genuine emotional connection with your partner. It’s not enough to simply coexist without making an effort to truly understand and support your partner. You might assume your partner loves you, but do you really feel loved? Take the time to understand each other’s emotions, and learn to respect and emphasize with them.

  1. Always stay true to yourself. If your happiness and sense of identity resides solely within the perimeters of your relationship, then there may be too much pressure. Try to take time for yourself ‒ enjoy your own personal hobbies and make time for your friends and family.

  1. Trigger your man’s “hero instinct”. Every man has an inner “hero instinct”, whether they know it or not. It’s a deep-rooted biological desire to feel needed by his partner, as though he is irreplaceable to them. Once you know how to satisfy this “secret obsession”, you’ll be well on your way to building a healthy and reciprocal relationship.

Every relationship has ups and downs, but by following these easy steps you could overcome the barriers to experiencing the magic of truly reciprocal love.

What is Reciprocity in a Relationship?

What is the true sign of love

Building a reciprocal relationship can be frustrating and even heartbreaking, but it is crucial if you want your love to stand the test of time.

So, what is reciprocity in a relationship?

Try to be honest and open about your feelings, and never sacrifice your self-worth or identity to make someone love you. Remember, you are special and unique ‒ there is someone out there who will show you the mutual love and respect that you deserve.

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