3 Harsh Truths About Overinvesting In Relationships

Putting in more effort won’t make them love you.

Ariana E.
4 min readJun 27, 2022


Photo by Julia Mourão Missagia

We tend to assume that the more we do for someone else, the more they will appreciate us.

This unfortunately is not the case.

The crazy part is that it actually makes us want them more. We try harder. We do more. We put in extra effort to get them to feel differently about us.

And in turn, all it does is make us more attached to them. (Regardless of whether or not they care at all.)

This is what we call the toxic cycle of overinvestment.

Physiologically, here’s how it works.

Nobody wants to admit that they’ve made a poor investment.

So rather than cutting our losses, we often double down. The months or years of trying so hard for something propels us to try even harder. We don’t want to give up and admit we wasted our time.

Instead, we continue to waste more time.

It’s a vicious cycle. We tell ourselves that if we hold on for just a little longer, try just a little harder, and invest just a little bit more, it will all be worth it.

But most of the time, it won’t.

Romantic, or friendship, he who overinvests rarely gets the return on investment he was hoping for.

The more we do for another person, the more we assume that they have to appreciate it. They must feel like we really care, and will naturally start to reciprocate.

But it actually has the opposite effect a lot of the time.

If someone doesn’t want you in their life, they might even be put off by your effort. They might wish that you would stop, but not know how to communicate it.

They might wish that you’d stop wasting your time but not know how to come right out and say it.

Or they might.

(And you might just not hear it.)

This was me.

He tried to tell me in every way that he possibly could that he wanted me to stop trying. But I didn’t hear it.



Ariana E.

I said what I said. Counter-cultural opinions on sex, love, and dating.