Are You Tired of Taking the Initiative in Your Relationships?

Are you always taking the initiative in your relationships? In this article, we'll show you how to put an end to this situation.
Are You Tired of Taking the Initiative in Your Relationships?
Andrés Navarro Romance

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Andrés Navarro Romance.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Taking the initiative in relationships isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, you must address the situation if it makes you uncomfortable. This is because taking full responsibility for it doesn’t allow the other people involved to do their part.

It may also be that the person you’re demanding initiative from is passive and comfortable, or perhaps that they have different priorities. Whatever the case may be, the important thing here is to analyze how you feel in every one of your relationships. That’ll make it easier to identify who you have better connections and feel more comfortable with. In contrast, you’ll also discover who you have difficulties with, especially when it comes to taking the initiative.

The force of habit

The force of habit is quite powerful. According to Darwin, it makes you comfortable in a given situation, until one of the parties gets fed up and jumps out. It can trigger rejection and embarrassment, as the person who doesn’t “jump” is usually the one who never takes the initiative in the relationship. However, you can begin to take action to solve this.

  • Communicate what’s happening and be direct and respectful. You need to let the other person know how you feel about the situation and inform them that you want things to change.
  • Allow the other person to express themselves. Knowing what they think and feel is also important and will allow an exchange of opinions that can lead you to the next point.
  • Shuffle perspectives. You have to take some time to think about some alternatives or discuss possible options on the spot if you have the time.

The important thing here isn’t to make a radical change. Instead, take small steps. For example, a person who never takes the initiative can start proposing weekend get-togethers once a month. What you need to analyze is whether they do their part or not.

Two people happy together.

Always taking the initiative can be frustrating

Some people are just passive and won’t change. Therefore, no matter how much they tell you that they’re going to change and will start taking the initiative, it just won’t happen.

In these cases, it’s important to understand who they are and not expect a big change, even when they really try to please you by saying they’re going to make an effort.

The article “Integrative behavioral couple therapy: an overview of a model with an emphasis on emotional acceptance” explains this type of situation in detail and says it’s quite common in romantic relationships. In fact, the issue of initiative may be so important to someone that being with a passive partner will eventually make them angry and lead to resentment. Thus, you must reflect on your relationship and identify which values are truly important to you.

Two people having coffee.


Another important thing you shouldn’t overlook is why you keep interpersonal relationships with people who seldom take the initiative. For example, you’re always the one who reaches out to them. Why does this happen?

Does this person only seek your company when they need a favor or company? You must question if their invitations are just out of convenience. Why are you the only one who always makes fun and meaningful plans? It might be time to stop hanging out with them and make room for other people.

Often, people take the initiative in some areas, but not in others. In fact, some people never take the initiative in any area of their life.

You should reflect on this important issue and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you think you need it, as they’ll be able to provide some helpful tools.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Martínez-Álvarez, José L., Fuertes-Martín, Antonio, Orgaz-Baz, Begoña, Vicario-Molina, Isabel, & González-Ortega, Eva. (2014). Vínculos afectivos en la infancia y calidad en las relaciones de pareja de jóvenes adultos: el efecto mediador del apego actual. Anales de Psicología30(1), 211-220.
  • Pinto Tapia, B. (2000). Terapia de pareja: una perspectiva cognitiva-sistémica. Revista Ciencia y Cultura, (8), 79-85.
  • Rivera, Diana, Cruz, Constanza, & Muñoz, Catalina. (2011). Satisfacción en las Relaciones de Pareja en la Adultez Emergente: El Rol del Apego, la Intimidad y la Depresión. Terapia psicológica29(1), 77-83.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.