Sacrifice, Am I Struggling With You, Or Because Of You?
Relationship experts tend to list compromise and sacrifice at the top of their list of ways to make a relationship work, next to communication that is. This, I do agree with because compromise helps us all to be more selfless in an individualistic society. It helps us view things from someone else's standpoint, learn how to resolve conflict, and even make others happy. Compromise and sacrifice are the prelude to servitude.
Sacrifice can mean delaying gratification, or putting your own wants and needs to the side for someone else. It can be something small such as watching a certain movie because that’s what bae likes, passing up on trip out of town because you agreed to help someone out financially, or something big such as passing a job opportunity in a different city for the sake of the relationships. We make sacrifices every day, whether big or small. It shows true selflessness.
Sometimes sacrifices are needed to build character, a strong bond, and the foundation to a relationships. It shows you who really wants to, and is capable of putting in the hard work. No relationship is easy and trials will be sure to come. If you ever want to have a solid marriage of 20 plus years then you know it will take dedication, consistency, communication, love, and trust to name a few.
But what happens when sacrifice and compromise creates havoc, struggle, pain, and a world wind of emotions? What happens when your efforts go unnoticed, and you begin to feel as if you are being taken advantage of? What if your relationship has postponed, or shattered your personal goals? There's a fine line between struggling with someone versus struggling because of them. You must pay attention, and recognize the difference before it’s too late. But how can you recognize that fine line? I'm glad you asked, here's how.
1. Not everyone is meant to experience the way you love. Fools will definitely try to imitate authenticity, but don't fall into the trap. Often times relationships do go through the ebbs and flows of difficulty and some storms will linger for more than a season. The questions to ask yourself are "Is it worth it?", "Why am I doing this?", and "What is it that I hope to gain from this?"
2. Please realize you cannot make someone love you, nor fall in love with you. Reciprocity is the mother of them all. I know in a real world efforts won't be exactly 50/50, but they can come pretty close. I actually believe both parties should give 100 percent at all times, but not everyone is built for that. Point is, it's exhausting to continually receive less than what you put in.
3. Gratitude. It's amazing how far gratitude can go. It has the power to turn any stressful, disheartening, and upsetting event into an "it's okay" type of situation. People love to feel appreciated, and a person who feels appreciated will continue to give their all. Mark my words.
4. Find someone who respects everything about you. Time, effort, actions, love, and relationships should all be respected. If my time is respected then it won't be wasted. If my efforts are respected then I won’t be taken advantage of. If my love is respected then my partner won’t jeopardize losing it. If my relationship is respected then the other person will make sure to keep it intact. You get my point right?
5. Explanations are needed, contrary to what your pride is saying. Yes, you're grown, but if someone is clearly going "above and beyond" for you then questions need to be answered. You need to explain yourself if you truly respect the other person. Even more important is being able to initiate a conversation, instead of waiting to be questioned.
All in all, I can't be your ride-or-die chick because I have expectations. I have standards and I know my worth. We can compromise all day, but is the relationship healthy for me? Most assume compromise means you have to be accept whatever is given, but you don’t have to be okay with that. Stay woke ladies!