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April 17, 2024

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Action Over Emotion: Why What You Do Matters More Than How You Feel

In a world where emotions often take center stage, there exists a profound truth: it doesn’t really matter how you…

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In the world of dating and relationships, we often encounter various quirks and idiosyncrasies that can either enhance or hinder our connections with others. One such dating ick is the tendency for individuals to be overly competitive in managing their personal goals and achievements. While ambition and drive are admirable qualities, when taken to an extreme, they can create friction and tension in romantic relationships. In this article, we’ll explore how this dating ick manifests in relationships and provide examples of its impact.

The Overly Competitive Achiever

The overly competitive achiever is someone who approaches every aspect of their life as a competition, even matters of the heart. This person sees relationships as yet another arena to prove their worth and dominance. While ambition is a positive trait, the problem arises when it spills over into romantic relationships, turning love into a battleground of accomplishments and comparisons.

Manifestations in Relationships

  1. One-Upmanship: In a relationship with an overly competitive achiever, simple conversations can often turn into contests. For instance, if their partner shares an achievement, the overly competitive individual might feel compelled to one-up them. If their partner mentions a promotion at work, the competitive partner may respond with, “That’s great, but I just got a bigger raise than you did.”
  2. Constant Comparison: The overly competitive partner tends to compare their accomplishments, possessions, and even their appearance with their significant other. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy and resentment in the relationship.
  3. Self-Centeredness: These individuals often prioritize their own goals and achievements over their partner’s needs and desires. They may neglect their partner’s emotional well-being, assuming that success in their personal pursuits should be enough to maintain the relationship.
  4. Unhealthy Competition: Love should be about mutual support and growth, not a constant competition. When one partner consistently competes with the other, it can create an unhealthy dynamic where both partners feel exhausted and unfulfilled.

Examples of the Dating Ick in Action

  1. Career Competitiveness: Sarah and Alex had been dating for a year when Alex received a job promotion. Instead of celebrating with him, Sarah immediately started discussing her career achievements and how she was on the fast track to success. This made Alex feel like his accomplishments were insignificant in her eyes, leading to resentment.
  2. Financial Competition: Mark and Emily were a couple who were saving up for a big vacation together. However, Mark couldn’t help but constantly compare their savings, and he often contributed more just to “win” at saving money. This created tension as Emily felt her financial contributions were devalued.
  3. Physical Appearance Competition: Jen and Michael were a fitness-oriented couple. Whenever Michael noticed Jen making progress in her fitness journey, he felt the need to work out even harder to stay ahead. This obsession with being “better” in the gym eventually led to burnout and dissatisfaction in their relationship.

Dealing with the Overly Competitive Achiever

If you find yourself in a relationship with an overly competitive achiever or recognize these tendencies in yourself, it’s essential to address the issue constructively:

  1. Open Communication: Start by having an open and honest conversation about how competitiveness is affecting the relationship. Express your feelings and concerns without judgment.
  2. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries regarding competition in the relationship. Ensure that both partners understand the importance of supporting each other rather than competing against each other.
  3. Seek Balance: Encourage your partner (or yourself) to strike a balance between personal ambition and the relationship’s well-being. Remember that a healthy relationship should enhance, not hinder, personal growth.
  4. Counseling: In some cases, seeking the help of a relationship counselor or therapist can be beneficial. A trained professional can provide guidance and strategies for managing competitiveness in a relationship.


While ambition and competitiveness can be admirable qualities, they must be managed appropriately in the context of a romantic relationship. When these traits become excessive, they can lead to the dating ick of being overly competitive in managing personal goals and achievements. By recognizing the signs, fostering open communication, and finding a healthy balance, couples can work together to ensure that their love remains a source of support and happiness, rather than a competition.


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