If You Never Say These 9 Things To Your Partner, You're Not Standing Up For Your Needs

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Being assertive, and knowing how to speak up for yourself in a relationship is a vital part of learning to love as an adult. Partnerships cannot truly work unless both people are able to express themselves fully. If not, you may become a doormat in a relationship since you don't stand up for your own needs. It's important to keep your eye out for signs it might be happening to you.

Being a doormat in a relationship may not necessarily mean you're being used, but it may mean you and your partner are teetering on the edge of what is healthy in terms of communication. "The biggest mistake most people make in a relationship is avoid expressing their true thoughts, fears, concerns, [and] desires," Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. clinical psychologist and Host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "They often keep things 'off the table' in an attempt not to hurt their partner or not to ruin the relationship. In the short run this works. In the long run the end product is weeks, months, years, some times decades of quiet frustration and resentment." You may have a few more difficult conversations, but you will be able to achieve more equality in your relationship.

"Equality in relationships is not necessarily about sameness, as your needs are likely different," Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, sexologist and host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast, tells Bustle. "Communication involves both speaking and listening and oftentimes when you’re good at the former, you struggle with the latter — and vice versa." If you find that you may be listening to your partner more than speaking up, it can be worthwhile to take inventory on what you may or may not be saying to them.

Here are nine things that, if you never say to your partner, may mean you're not asserting yourself enough.