Consider a primary relationship in your life where you love someone and they love you. This could be an intimate partnership, a child-parent relationship or a very close friendship. Here are the two things to avoid, if you want to make sure love is present at all times.
Relationship killer #1:
Firstly, you should never expect that because someone loves you, they need to sacrifice themselves for you and put your needs first. We often mistakenly think that the degree to which someone suffers is a testimony for the amount of love they have for us. Likewise, we mistakenly believe that if someone puts their needs first, they don’t love us. But that is not true at all. If I refuse to sacrifice myself for you, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It simply means I am clear on what works for me and what doesn’t, and I don’t mess with my own needs. Please don’t take this personal. I love you nonetheless, but I certainly don’t have to suffer in order to prove my love for you. Besides, if you doubt it, chances are no matter how much I suffer, you will never believe me anyway. Get this: your partner having fun while you are in hardship doesn’t mean they don’t love you. The people who love you don’t owe you any suffering on their part whenever things are not working out for you. So don’t be jealous when your loved one is out with friends while you are working hard or cooking alone at home. No one needs to put their own life on hold only because yours is (even when they truly love you!). Of course, you can ask for support. That’s perfectly reasonable. But asking someone to sacrifice themselves and to suffer so you can feel loved – that is totally unreasonable. And it is a sure relationship killer.
Relationship killer #2:
The other way to kill a relationship is by trying to prove your love for someone by sacrificing your own needs and suffering as a consequence. See, whenever you suffer, there is no real love to speak of. If you were doing something for someone because you wanted to and because you loved them unconditionally, you wouldn’t be suffering. But if you sacrifice yourself out of obligation and/or guilt, the unconditional love is gone and you are likely to expect something in return. In other words, you try to manipulate someone into loving you back by doing things for them which they then have to repay you for. Sadly enough, you are playing a game thinking you can control someone else’s feelings and buy their love. Of course, the result is just the opposite – you are slowly but surely killing the relationship. So stop that immediately by starting to put yourself and your needs first. Find your own truth and start honoring it. Understand that you are allowed to have a good time without feeling guilty when your partner does not want to or cannot participate. Of course, you can support them when they are feeling low. But you don’t have to suffer with them or else you will become resentful and kill the relationship as a result.
- Love should be free – no attachments, no suffering, no trading of favors, and no feelings of obligation and guilt.
- Love should be independent – I love you and I put myself first; you love me and you put yourself first; we love each other and we honor our independent needs nonetheless.
- Love should be by choice – I love you how I want to, not how I feel have to.