When you think about love, you probably imagine the things you will get out of a relationship.
A partner who will dote on you. Who will support you in times of need. Who will be there to share things with. Who will make you laugh. Feel secure. Feel happy.
In a good relationship, all of those things are true.
But here’s something most people don’t really put a lot of thought into. It goes both ways.
You need to dote on them, too. Support them. Make them feel secure and happy.
At times, this is going to require you to alter things about your life. What you do. How you view the world.
You are going to need to make sacrifices.
Well, imagine this scenario.
As a single person, you went out to drink with your friends every night. In fact, that’s how you met your partner.
Unfortunately, they aren’t as interested in doing that. They want to go out drinking maybe once a week. But they still want to spend time with you. And you want to spend time with them.
If neither of you budge, this relationship isn’t going to last. So, you make a deal: you’ll go out drinking together once a week and the other six nights will be split equally between your friends and time with your partner.
In other words, you sacrifice some of those drinking days for the good of your relationship.
We do these kinds of things all the time in other areas of our lives, but for some reason, when we are asked to do it in our relationship, it can make some people balk.
I’ve heard it time and again in my work as a marriage coach: “Why should I have to give up something that makes me happy?”
Simple answer: because you’re getting something out of it.
In that way, relationships are no different than, say, having a job.
If you want your employer to pay you, most likely you need to show up for work. And certainly you need to complete the tasks they have hired you for.
You are sacrificing your time and doing things that you otherwise probably wouldn’t choose to do because you get something out of it: money.
With relationships, you’re getting all those benefits I laid out at the beginning of this article: love, support, security, laughter, happiness, and so much more.
But you must be willing to make the kinds of sacrifices your partner needs – and vice versa.
That’s how love works. We each give a part of ourselves to another person. We join together to become new people. That unit can be stronger than each of you individually.
In turn, you’ll not only enjoy those benefits, but also discover new things about yourself. You’ll be forced to experience new things and pushed in new directions. And you can open your partner up to new experiences as well.
Engaging in that kind of sacrifice can be scary, but it’s well worth it for all that both of you will get out of it.
Rooting for you!