As a Scorpio, I'm pretty sure I feel things way too hard. Like, I absorb so much energy surrounding me and in general care way too much about just about everything. So when it comes to relationships and dating, I definitely know what it feels like when one person is more in love than the other person because usually... I am that person.
But is this an actual issue? Does it create tension in a relationship if one person is more in love than another? How is love even quantifiable? I turned to Danielle Forshee, a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker, and Anita Chlipala, a relationship expert, to answer my questions.
A mismatch of feelings is especially likely to cause problems in the beginning of the relationship, Forshee tells Elite Daily. "The risk for one’s feelings being stronger than the others is likely higher in a very new relationship, because you don’t know each other yet," she says. "In the beginning of relationships, especially in the dating phase, feelings are extremely intense and therefore overall it would be difficult to gauge the true feelings each of you have for each other, because of the intense honeymoon stage."
The potential for conflict arises depending "on what love subjectively means to each partner in the relationship," she continues.
In circumstances where one feels like they "love more" than their partner, that could cause feelings of resentment and insecurity.
"A person may have resentment or feel that they are being taken advantage of because the efforts being put in to the relationship are lopsided," Chlipala tells Elite Daily. "Also a person's anxiety or insecurity can get worse over time because they are not getting the reassurance they need from their partner."
Chlipala goes on to say that you may be feeling like your partner doesn't love you as much when in fact, they're just showing their love in another way. This specific misunderstanding can be solved by figuring out what love language you and your partner speak – maybe they're showing you love by how they like to receive it, but not how you like to receive it.
Forshee agrees. "If you believe this is the case in your relationship, you will start to feel and notice through objective behaviors that your partner is not reciprocating what you are giving out," she says.
The lack of communication in how you want to be loved could lead to unnecessary fights or feeling like you are continuously pursuing something you aren't receiving.
"Some fighting is really about lack of connection and not being able to verbalize unmet needs," Chlipala says. "It's not always easy being vulnerable, especially where there's little emotional safety in a relationship."
So to get to a common understanding, have a conversation with your partner about what your needs are in the relationship. Even if it feels awkward to be so blatantly vulnerable in the moment, this conversation is crucial for your long-term success as a couple. Tell your partner how you want to be cared for, and make sure you understand what they need, too.
"Sometimes this kind of problem gets resolved through [knowing] the five love languages, and [being] specific about how each partner can meet each other's needs," Chlipala says. "Sometimes there's no resolution, but the discrepancy has to be managed, meaning accept that this is a problem you will always have in your relationship, and you will need to be in ongoing dialogue about it and find ways you can both compromise."
If after having a conversation about the discrepancy in the relationship, you still feel uncomfortable or that things aren't changing in the right direction for you, maybe seeking therapy is the next step to working on bettering your partnership together.