Maintaining a successful relationship with someone often means making compromises to be with each other — that's just part of being in a partnership. But, there are some sacrifices you should never make in a relationship, no matter how much you love the person you're with.
The thing about loving someone is that it doesn't cancel out the way that person treats you. Being in love doesn't mean that you have to give up all the parts of you that make you who you are. You have to be a whole, independent person, in a relationship with another whole, independent person, and both of you have to be willing to make things work together. If you're giving up everything about you just to be with your partner and they're just taking it all without giving anything back, that's a major problem.
No genuinely supportive, loving partner who wants the best for you (AKA the type of person everyone deserves to be with) would ask you to make sacrifices that aren't good for you — so if you're dating someone who does, it might be time to reassess your feelings. And if you're not sure what kinds of sacrifices are too much, here are six major things you should never give up in a relationship.
1. Your Goals In Life
Here's the thing: If you are dating someone who doesn't want you to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals, you're in the wrong relationship — full stop. No one should ever make you feel like you need to give up your career aspirations or the goals you have for your future to be with them. The only person who can make a decision about your goals in life is you, and in no way do you deserve to be with someone who thinks otherwise. And if you and your partner have different goals and are pursuing things that might lead you to different places and you want to stay together, you can figure things out from there and make compromises that work for both of you. But even in situations like that, there's no reason to give up your dreams or to be with someone who wants you to.
2. Your Independence
It doesn't matter how long you've been dating someone, or even if you have a family together — some things are just sacred, like your independence. Sure, being part of a partnership means considering another person in your decisions and often making decisions together. But what it doesn't mean is that you have to turn over every shred of privacy you have, or your ability to choose things for yourself and do things on your own. Both you and your partner get to have lives outside of your relationship, even when you're building a life together. You should never feel like you need to give up all of your independence to be with someone you love.
3. Your Friendships
Look, there are only a set number of hours in a day, so it can be a bit of a challenge sometimes to factor in work, personal time, time with your friends, time for your family, and time for your partner. Sometimes being in a relationship might mean that you don't always get to see your friends as much as you did when you were single, and that's fine — you can absolutely find ways to prioritize your friendships and figure this out. When things become problematic, however, is if your partner makes you feel bad about spending time with your friends and family without them, or asks you to see or talk to them less. Having to shuffle around your schedule is one thing, but being made to feel like you need to spend less time and effort on your friendships is a major red flag. In a healthy, satisfying relationship with a loving, trusting partner, there's absolutely no reason to have to sacrifice your friendships — and no one should ever make you feel that way.
4. Your Sense Of Self
Sure, change is normal — especially as you get older and experience more things in life. Your identity is always evolving a little bit at a time as you learn more about the person you are and the person you want to be. That's totally healthy. What's not healthy is losing your sense of self when you're in a relationship. You should never feel like you have to water your personality and your identity for love, and if being in your relationship makes you forget who you are, it's probably not the healthiest relationship for you. No matter who you date, hold onto the things that make you who you are, and don't give your identity up for anyone.
5. Your Hobbies & Interests
Part of being in a relationship means spending time with your partner, so it makes sense if some of your free time gets redirected to date nights. What you should be wary of is if your partner demands so much of your time that you no longer have space in your schedule to dedicate to your other interests or do things you love. Not only that, but if your partner makes you feel bad about taking time out to pursue your hobbies or puts down your interests in general, that's a big red flag. You deserve to be with someone who supports you fully and wants you to do the things you like — even if they personally aren't interested in them, and regardless of it taking up a chunk of your time.
6. Your Health & Happiness
No relationship should ever put your health or your happiness at risk. If your partner or your relationship is taking a toll on your mental health, hurting you in any way, or leading you to believe you don't deserve to be happy, it's not a relationship you should be in. It doesn't matter how strong your feelings are for someone, or how long you've been with them if they do and say things that are harmful to your health and make you unhappy all the time. You should never have to sacrifice your happiness for anyone, and honestly, a loving partner would never ask that of you.
After all, at the end of the day, isn't a relationship supposed to contribute to your happiness, not detract from it? If you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, shouldn't you feel even more like yourself when you're with them?
No matter what, you deserve to be in love with someone who builds you up, not a person who breaks you down and expects you to sacrifice your interests and your independence for them. Because, you know what? Asking you to give those things up isn't love.
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