10 things to never sacrifice for a relationship, no matter what

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It’s necessary for couples to make sacrifices for the good of their relationship, but you’ll run into trouble if only one of you is making the bulk of the sacrifices for love. The person making the most sacrifices may feel used if their partner isn’t also sacrificing for the good of the relationship.

If you aren’t prepared to pony up the time and energy to build your relationship, this could stifle growth between you and your partner. Research suggests that relationship sacrifice is a positive thing if done willingly, which makes perfect sense.

In your relationship, it’s better to strive for compromise than sacrifice. This allows both people to find equal ground to avoid either party feeling more put out when it comes to making concessions for the relationship.

1)Your self-esteem

Instead of bringing out our best qualities, some relationships leave us feeling unworthy and off-kilter. If you find you are less confident than you were at the beginning of the relationship, you may want to dig deeper to discover where this deficit originated from. 

A healthy relationship should provide a secure base from which you can explore your options and achieve your personal goals. If your relationship is diluting your strengths and stifling your potential it’s a red flag that demands your attention.

2) Your authenticity

Never relinquish the real you on the altar of a relationship. If you’re willing to sacrifice your authenticity, you could very well end up losing yourself in the process. 

Your partner should love you for who you are. A healthy relationship entails enjoying each other’s true self and growing together. If you find yourself pretending to be someone you’re not, then your relationship is built on nothing but shifting sands right out of the gate.

Maintaining the facade is exhausting and that play-acting eventually causes major cracks in your relationship.

The people who truly love you will accept the real you and all your imperfections with open arms. Changing yourself to please your partner is demoralizing and will erode your self-confidence.

3) Your Independence

Being in a relationship can be a wonderfully transformative experience. However, it’s crucial to maintain your independence instead of morphing into one shared couple identity. 

Continue to see your friends; enjoy your personal interests and have your own separate bank account. 

Retaining your independence is healthy. It’s an indication that you’re in a relationship because you want to be, not because you need to be.

4) Your existing relationships

Good friends are one of life’s greatest blessings. If you’re lucky enough to have a few loyal friends, never sacrifice them for a relationship. Any partner that expects you to relinquish your friendships for them is selfish and has control issues.

It’s not acceptable if your partner is campaigning to isolate you from the other important people in your life. It’s important for you to maintain your relationships with friends and family. If your partner is the only person in your life, stop and ask yourself why that is. 

A healthy relationship welcomes the presence of friends and family in its orbit. If your partner is trying to isolate you from your loved ones, this is a dangerous sign.

5) Your goals

Never give up on your goals to be in a relationship. A healthy relationship should inspire you to chase your dreams rather than keep you chained to one spot. 

It’s common for insecure people to stifle their creative and talented partners in the hopes of maintaining control over them, which is lame. 

Does this sound like your relationship? If so, you are caught up in a toxic situation. Solid relationships encourage growth and help both people to move forward rather than stagnate.

6) Your identity

When we merge ourselves and our lives in a relationship, we often pick up the interests of our partners. There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself. ‘Mirroring’ helps us to bond and feel more in tune with each other. Sharing common interests with your significant other is always a plus.

Problems arise when you don’t have a strong sense of self to start with and you adopt your partner’s characteristics instead of developing your own identity. 

Never a good idea. A relationship should encourage you to be you, and if it’s not, it’s probably not the right one for you.

7) Your self-respect

In the pursuit of love, we sometimes cross boundaries that we wouldn’t usually ever even consider crossing. Or we allow our own to be broached in ways we once thought unthinkable.

Whether it involves demeaning behavior or allowing yourself to be disrespected, it’s yet another sign that the relationship is not good for you. 

You deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and decency. If your partner crosses this line you should consider if what you’re getting from this relationship is worth the self-respect you’re losing because of it.

And remember, if you allow disrespectful treatment to continue, it will only become worse and you’ll end up hating yourself for sitting back and taking it.

8) Your autonomy

The more often we defer our decisions to our partners, the less likely we will be able to think for ourselves. This sets a dangerous precedent.

You don’t have to make every decision alone, but double-checking with your partner before making any decision – especially for mundane matters, like small household purchases, is unnecessary. 

Continue thinking for yourself and keep making your own decisions. Relationship or not, it’s important to maintain your sense of individuality and your ability to stand on your own two feet.

9) Your opinions

Never change your opinions to keep another person happy. Compromise is important to a healthy relationship and a win-win scenario is the desired result, but be wary if it seems your partner is trying to control you. 

Whether it involves your political ideology, spiritual practices, or your friends, choose for yourself and do not be manipulated to do things you don’t vibe with just to keep the peace.

10) Your happiness

Sometimes our fear of being alone is bigger than our wish for genuine happiness. We stay in go-nowhere relationships because the devil you know is better than ‘the devil you don’t know.’ 

You have one life to live. Why squander it by staying in a relationship that makes you miserable? Anything or anyone that consistently undermines your happiness doesn’t deserve a place in your life. 

If you’re dissatisfied and unhappy, honestly assess whether your relationship has anything to do with your current state of mind, and take action accordingly.

Final thoughts

Loving relationships require sacrifice and compromise, with compromise being the key component here. Compromise suggests reciprocation, which is the cornerstone of any successful long-term relationship. 

Even though relationships require plenty of give and take, there are some things you shouldn’t sacrifice for another person, and those are the qualities that make you uniquely you.

Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden lives in a New England forest paradise with her cats, kid, and trusty laptop. She has been writing since age 8 and is such a pack rat she can back that up with physical evidence. Music is her solace and words are her drug, so her house is strewn with records and books. Watch your step.

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