17 Signs You Are in a Selfish Relationship

Signs You Are in a Selfish Relationship

A healthy relationship is built on trust, communication, and mutual respect. 

However, sometimes we find ourselves in relationships where one partner’s selfishness takes center stage, leaving the other feeling unfulfilled and emotionally drained.

Recognizing the signs of a selfish relationship is essential to maintaining your well-being and happiness. In this article, we will explore 17 telltale signs that you might be in a selfish relationship.

17 Signs You Are in a Selfish Relationship

If you identify with several of these signs, it’s crucial to reflect on the dynamics of your relationship and communicate your concerns with your partner. Healthy relationships require effort and understanding from both parties and addressing selfish behavior can lead to a more fulfilling and loving partnership. 

1. Lack of Empathy:

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, and it plays a fundamental role in healthy relationships. In a selfish relationship, this crucial trait is often absent or significantly diminished. A selfish partner may struggle to put themselves in your shoes, failing to comprehend the depth of your emotions or the impact of their actions on your well-being.

When you express your feelings or concerns, a selfish partner may dismiss them as unimportant or exaggerate their own problems, diverting the focus back to themselves. They may show little interest in your emotional experiences and may even trivialize your struggles, making you feel invalidated and ignored.

During tough times or moments of vulnerability, a selfish partner may demonstrate a lack of compassion, offering little or no emotional support. Instead of being a source of comfort, they may distance themselves or show indifference, leaving you to deal with your emotions alone.

2. Always Putting Themselves First:

In a selfish relationship, one partner consistently prioritizes their own wants and needs over everything else, including your feelings and well-being. They may act with a sense of entitlement, believing that their desires should take precedence in any situation, regardless of the impact on you or the relationship as a whole.

When making decisions, a selfish partner may fail to consult you or take your opinion into account. Their unilateral approach can lead to feelings of powerlessness and a lack of agency within the relationship. You might find yourself consistently compromising to accommodate their preferences, while they rarely make efforts to consider yours.

This selfish behavior can create an imbalanced power dynamic, where you feel undervalued and unimportant. It may lead to resentment and dissatisfaction, eroding the trust and intimacy that should underpin a healthy partnership.

3. Lack of Compromise:

Successful relationships rely on the art of compromise, where both partners find common ground and reach agreements that benefit both parties. However, a selfish partner is often unwilling to engage in this process. They may approach disagreements with an inflexible mindset, expecting you to acquiesce to their wishes without offering the same in return.

In a selfish relationship, the burden of compromise may fall disproportionately on your shoulders. Your partner may resist any attempts at negotiation, making you feel as if your needs and desires are not valued or respected.

The absence of compromise can lead to unresolved conflicts and a constant feeling of frustration. It hinders effective communication and the growth of the relationship, as both partners are unable to find resolutions that promote mutual satisfaction.

4. Constant Need for Attention:

A selfish partner often craves excessive attention and validation. They seek constant reassurance of their worth and may become demanding or clingy, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained.

Their need for attention can be all-encompassing, making it difficult for you to focus on other aspects of your life. They might become jealous or possessive when you spend time with friends or engage in personal pursuits, creating an unhealthy sense of dependency in the relationship.

This constant need for attention can take a toll on your emotional well-being, as it leaves little room for you to nurture your own needs and interests. It can also create a sense of emotional suffocation, leading to a loss of individuality within the partnership.

5. Manipulative Behavior:

In a selfish relationship, manipulation is a tool that a partner may use to achieve their desired outcomes. They might employ subtle or overt tactics to get what they want, often at your expense.

One common form of manipulation is guilt-tripping. A selfish partner might use guilt to make you feel responsible for their happiness or to gain compliance with their requests. They may play the victim card, using emotional manipulation to evade accountability for their actions or decisions.

Manipulative behavior erodes trust and creates a toxic atmosphere of deceit and emotional coercion. You may find yourself constantly second-guessing your own feelings and judgments, as the manipulative tactics sow doubt and confusion.

6. Lack of Support:

A selfish partner may exhibit a lack of support when it comes to your dreams, goals, and aspirations. They might be indifferent to your achievements, dismissive of your ambitions, or even openly critical of your pursuits.

Instead of being your cheerleader and providing encouragement, they might downplay your accomplishments or undermine your confidence. This unsupportive attitude can leave you feeling unappreciated and undervalued, damaging your self-esteem and personal growth.

In a healthy relationship, partners should be each other’s biggest supporters, inspiring and empowering one another to reach their full potential. However, a selfish partner’s indifference can hinder your progress and make you question your worth and abilities.

7. Controlling Nature:

In a selfish relationship, one partner may display a controlling nature, seeking to dominate and manipulate various aspects of your life to suit their preferences. This controlling behavior can manifest in different ways, ranging from subtle actions to overt attempts to exert power and authority over you.

Controlling partners might try to dictate your actions, imposing their beliefs and values onto you and expecting you to conform to their standards. They may discourage you from engaging in activities or pursuing interests that they disapprove of, leading to a loss of individuality and autonomy.

Furthermore, a selfish partner may attempt to isolate you from friends and family or criticize your friendships, creating a sense of dependence and limiting your support network. They may even use manipulative tactics to distance you from loved ones, making it challenging for you to seek perspectives outside of the relationship.

Controlling behavior may also extend to your appearance and choices. A selfish partner might make unsolicited comments about your clothing, hairstyle, or overall appearance, attempting to shape your image according to their desires.

8. Unwillingness to Listen:

Effective communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Openly sharing thoughts, concerns, and feelings allows both partners to understand each other better and work together to resolve issues. Unfortunately, a selfish partner may be unwilling to engage in active listening or dismiss your feelings outright.

When you express your thoughts or concerns, a selfish partner might be quick to interrupt or talk over you, prioritizing their own voice and opinions. This lack of genuine interest in what you have to say can leave you feeling unheard and invalidated.

Moreover, a selfish partner may trivialize or minimize your concerns, making you feel as though your feelings are not significant or worth addressing. This communication barrier inhibits effective conflict resolution and can create a sense of emotional distance within the relationship.

Over time, being consistently unheard and invalidated can lead to emotional isolation, as you may hesitate to share your thoughts and feelings, fearing they will be disregarded or dismissed.

9. Emotional and Financial Drain:

A selfish partner can take a significant toll on your emotional and financial well-being. Emotionally, they may constantly rely on you to support and validate them while neglecting your emotional needs in return. You might find yourself playing the role of a constant emotional caregiver, absorbing their emotional struggles without receiving the same support in return.

Their emotional drain may lead to feelings of burnout and exhaustion, as you are left to manage your own emotions and theirs simultaneously. This imbalance can leave you feeling emotionally depleted and unfulfilled in the relationship.

Financially, a selfish partner may have little regard for your financial stability and repeatedly ask for financial assistance without reciprocating. They might be careless with their spending habits, expecting you to shoulder the financial burden and provide for their needs.

This financial strain can be damaging to your financial security and future plans, as you may be forced to sacrifice your financial goals and well-being for the sake of supporting your partner’s irresponsibility.

10. Lack of Appreciation:

In a selfish relationship, your efforts, sacrifices, and gestures of kindness may go unnoticed or unacknowledged by your partner. They may take your contributions for granted, failing to express gratitude or appreciation for your love and support.

This lack of appreciation can lead to feelings of being undervalued and unimportant. It erodes the emotional connection within the relationship and may cause you to question whether your efforts are genuinely valued or reciprocated.

Over time, the absence of appreciation can create a growing sense of resentment, as you may feel as though your love and efforts are being taken for granted without any acknowledgment or reciprocation.

11. Constant Criticism:

Constructive feedback is a healthy part of any relationship, allowing partners to grow and improve together. However, a selfish partner may engage in constant criticism, tearing down your self-esteem and making you feel inadequate.

Instead of offering constructive feedback, they may nitpick at your actions, appearance, or choices, focusing on your perceived flaws and weaknesses. This constant barrage of negative feedback can create a toxic environment, eroding your self-confidence and self-worth.

The persistent criticism may leave you feeling anxious and hyper-aware of your partner’s judgments, as you may fear making mistakes or not meeting their expectations. This emotional strain can negatively impact your overall well-being and mental health.

12. Difficulty Celebrating Your Successes:

In a healthy relationship, partners should be supportive and celebrate each other’s successes and achievements. However, a selfish partner may struggle to genuinely celebrate your triumphs. Instead of rejoicing in your accomplishments, they may feel envious or threatened by your success, leading to an unhealthy competitive dynamic.

Their inability to celebrate your successes may be rooted in feelings of insecurity and a fear of being overshadowed. As a result, they may downplay your achievements or avoid acknowledging them altogether, leaving you feeling unsupported and unappreciated.

This lack of celebration can lead to a growing sense of emotional distance between you and your partner, as you may hesitate to share your accomplishments for fear of their reaction. Over time, this dynamic can erode trust and intimacy within the relationship, hindering personal growth and the fostering of a healthy, supportive partnership.

13. Double Standards:

In a selfish relationship, double standards are evident when one partner holds the other to high expectations and rigid rules while failing to adhere to the same standards themselves. This creates a sense of hypocrisy and unfairness within the relationship, as you are expected to meet certain criteria and behavior while your partner avoids accountability for their actions.

The presence of double standards can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration, as you may feel that your efforts are never enough or that you are constantly under scrutiny. It fosters an unhealthy power dynamic, where your partner assumes an authoritarian role, while you are left feeling powerless and unable to voice your concerns without fear of judgment or reprisal.

Double standards may extend to various aspects of the relationship, including responsibilities, personal habits, and expectations of behavior. For example, your partner might demand that you maintain a tidy living space while disregarding their own clutter or untidiness. They might expect you to be punctual and organized while being consistently late and disorganized themselves.

Living under double standards can undermine trust and respect, making it difficult to build a balanced and equitable partnership. It can create a sense of emotional distance as you grapple with the disparity between your partner’s expectations and their own behavior.

14. Emotional Distance:

Emotional intimacy is a crucial component of a fulfilling and healthy relationship. It involves connecting on a deep emotional level, sharing feelings, vulnerabilities, and experiences with one another. However, in a selfish relationship, emotional distance may prevail, leaving you feeling disconnected and emotionally unfulfilled.

A selfish partner might be emotionally closed off, unwilling to share their inner thoughts and feelings. They may avoid discussing deeper emotional issues, leaving you to navigate emotional challenges alone. This lack of emotional sharing can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation within the relationship.

Furthermore, a selfish partner may dismiss or invalidate your emotions when you attempt to share your feelings with them. They may show little interest in understanding your emotions or providing the support and comfort you need, leaving you feeling rejected and unheard.

The emotional distance can be emotionally taxing, as you may yearn for a deeper connection and emotional bond with your partner. It hinders the growth of trust and intimacy within the relationship, making it difficult to foster a sense of emotional security and vulnerability.

15. Ignoring Boundaries:

Boundaries are essential in any relationship to maintain a sense of individuality, autonomy, and self-respect. They set limits on what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior within the partnership. However, a selfish partner may continuously ignore or dismiss your boundaries, disregarding your comfort and well-being.

Ignoring boundaries can manifest in various ways, from invading your personal space to disregarding your emotional boundaries. For instance, a selfish partner might read your personal messages or emails without permission, violating your privacy and trust. They may dismiss your requests for alone time or personal space, demanding constant attention and intrusion into your life.

This lack of respect for your boundaries can lead to feelings of vulnerability and a loss of personal agency within the relationship. You might find it challenging to assert yourself or communicate your needs, as your partner habitually ignores or rejects your boundaries.

Over time, this dynamic can lead to feelings of resentment and emotional withdrawal, as you may hesitate to share your feelings or concerns due to fear of your partner’s disregard for your boundaries.

16. Lack of Accountability:

In a selfish relationship, conflicts and disagreements are often met with an unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s actions. A selfish partner may deflect blame onto you or external factors, avoiding accountability for their mistakes or hurtful behavior.

This lack of accountability can hinder the resolution of conflicts and hinder the growth of the relationship. It creates a pattern of unresolved issues, as your partner refuses to acknowledge their role in the problems that arise.

The lack of accountability can also lead to a power imbalance, as your partner may exert control over the narrative, making it difficult for you to express your feelings or concerns without facing blame or judgment.

Additionally, the absence of accountability can foster a cycle of repetitive conflicts, as your partner’s refusal to change or take responsibility for their actions leads to recurring issues and hurtful behaviors.

17. Refusal to Change:

In a selfish relationship, growth and development may be stunted due to your partner’s refusal to recognize their self-centered behavior and make efforts to change.

Self-awareness and a willingness to work on personal growth are essential in any relationship. However, a selfish partner may be resistant to acknowledging their flaws and shortcomings. They may deny any responsibility for the problems in the relationship, believing that they are faultless and that any issues are solely your doing.

This refusal to change can create a stagnant and unfulfilling relationship, as you may be left feeling trapped and unable to foster positive growth together. Your efforts to address the issues and encourage change may be met with resistance, making it difficult to create meaningful progress and overcome challenges as a couple.

The lack of willingness to change can lead to emotional distance and disconnection within the relationship, as your partner’s stagnation hinders the evolution of the partnership. This reluctance to adapt and grow can ultimately prevent the relationship from reaching its full potential and becoming a fulfilling and healthy union.

Can you be selfish with someone you love?

Yes, it is possible to be selfish with someone you love. While love can be a powerful emotion that motivates us to prioritize the well-being of our loved ones, human beings are complex, and we may sometimes act selfishly, even with those we care deeply about. Being selfish in a relationship means prioritizing your own needs and desires above those of your partner without considering the impact of your actions on them. It is essential to recognize moments of selfishness and strive to strike a healthy balance between self-care and consideration for your partner’s feelings and needs.

Am I self-centered in my relationship?

Understanding your own behavior and tendencies in a relationship is a crucial step toward personal growth and maintaining a healthy partnership. Ask yourself the following questions to evaluate whether you might be self-centered in your relationship:

  • Do I often prioritize my own needs and desires over those of my partner?
  • Do I struggle to empathize with my partner’s emotions or dismiss their feelings?
  • Am I unwilling to compromise or find middle ground in disagreements?
  • Do I frequently seek attention and validation without reciprocating or considering my partner’s needs?
  • Have I disregarded my partner’s boundaries or failed to respect their personal space?

If you find that you exhibit some of these behaviors, it’s essential to reflect on your actions and consider ways to be more considerate and empathetic in your relationship.

Is my boyfriend selfish or am I?

Determining whether a partner is selfish, or if you are also contributing to the problem, requires self-awareness and honest evaluation of the dynamics in the relationship. It is common for both partners to exhibit selfish behaviors at times, as no one is perfect.

Consider the following questions to gain insight into the situation:

  • Does your boyfriend consistently prioritize his needs over yours without considering your feelings?
  • Is he unwilling to compromise or take responsibility for his actions in conflicts?
  • Does he ignore your boundaries or fail to support your goals and aspirations?
  • Do you find yourself reciprocating these selfish behaviors, or are you making an effort to be considerate and empathetic in the relationship?

If you notice patterns of selfish behavior from both sides, it may be beneficial to have open communication with your partner about the issues and explore ways to foster a healthier, more balanced relationship together. If you feel that your boyfriend’s selfish behavior is significantly impacting your well-being and happiness, it might be essential to reassess the overall compatibility and health of the relationship. Seeking guidance from a counselor or therapist can also provide valuable insights and support during this process.


Recognizing the signs of a selfish relationship is crucial for our emotional well-being and the health of our partnerships. It is essential to communicate openly, set boundaries, and foster empathy to create a more balanced and fulfilling connection. 

Let us strive to build relationships built on mutual respect and consideration, where love and understanding flourish. By working together to overcome selfish tendencies, we can cultivate lasting and meaningful bonds that bring happiness and fulfillment to both partners. 

Remember, love is a journey of growth and learning, and with dedication and compassion, we can create the love story we deserve.