“The more you love the more you sacrifice”. This is a quote I remember from the movie The Reader. My younger self seemed to believe in this quote and made herself trapped in a few of toxic relationships where either the guy should sacrifice more than her or vice versa. I just found out two years ago that actually this theory goes nowhere and forces someone to do things she or he never really wants to do. Ever since, I realized how often I made my ex-boyfriends’ life so miserable to expect them sacrifice for me. I think I used to live in a fairytale where my prince was ready to give up many things for me and desperately love me to do anything just to be with me. And I think some of women still believe the same way like I did.
The fact is our happiness does not depend on our partner. Not. At. All. Some of us unconsciously let our partners create a happy place for us so we are dependable to them. Then it slowly becomes a habit that it is their job to make us happy and is their job to be responsible of our sadness. Ugh..don’t you in a way pity them now?
The understanding of self-love is not yet clearly comprehended by some. Self-love is not selfish. It is more about how we are responsible for the happiness we want to receive and also the sadness. It means that we don’t blame our partner if something bad happens to our relationship. It takes two to tango. It does not mean we blame ourselves as the only one wrongs the situation as well.
Couple weeks ago, I discussed this with my friend and she unfolded her recipe to self-love in a relationship. She is single at the moment. Not because she is not out there and trying to find one. She is just not in rush of anything. She takes her time to invest good things in herself before later starting another relationship. So she revealed her recipes for self-love. First of all, she believes that to give something to someone else, she needs to be content with herself. She cannot give out if she is not yet satisfied of herself. Secondly, she feels okay if she has to be alone for some time. It is better to be single rather than be trapped in a long unhappy relationship. Thing is numbers of people can be her company not a mere boyfriend. For her, self-love is about her self-discovery where she knows more about herself, what she really wants in a relationship as the hardest person to encounter is actually herself than others.
I can’t agree more with her as I now suggest myself to cope with my complicated self before entering other human being to my attachment. At the end, we are a singleton, an individual who has interest, hobbies and habits that is different from others. No matter how much we adapt, no matter how much we suppress ourselves to prioritize our partner in the first place they will not entirely feel our love as we actually cannot successfully treat ourselves well. It is just like blind leading the blind.
Another thing to remember is compromise. It is not to sacrifice everything just to make our partner happy but to meet in a middle state where the settlement agreed reaches a mutual concession. No party is more or less than one another. Both are happy, both are satisfied in the modification. Remember that no matter how much you love your partner, you have to love yourself more to love your partner better. You are an individual who has life. She or he is an individual who has life. Nothing good comes from codependency.
Illustration by @sabinaka