Anyone who's ever been in any sort of serious or long-term relationship knows that sometimes you have to give something up in order to keep things going. It's often something small, relenting in a silly argument about what movie genre is superior or letting your partner choose what's for dinner that night, but there reaches a threshold where what your partner is asking you to relinquish is more than you're willing to let go.
There are some things that specifically should never be sacrificed in a relationship, as it will only cause you pain while granting the other person power.
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A relationship requires quite a bit of effort from both parties to not only initiate and get rolling, but to maintain healthily as the years go by. Discussions need to be had, agreements made, all part of the routine maintenance required for a happy partnership.
There will also come a time where compromises need to happen, where one person must sacrifice something for the other. That's not always a bad thing, but there are, of course, limits. Some things should never, ever be sacrificed for a relationship, as it's a clear sign of disrespect from your significant other.
1. Your Core Values
Your core values are what lead your path not only through relationships, but through life itself. Although differences may naturally emerge and opinions may change, it's important not to forsake those foundational principles or let anyone try to undermine your core beliefs. After all, strong relationships are built on shared values or, at the very least, understanding of what the other person finds important.
If it feels like your partner is attempting to change, warp, or even insult your values, that's a major red flag. Even worse is if they try to intimidate or manipulate you into changing them to better align with their own. This is not someone who cares about your thoughts, they just want someone to echo and agree with whatever they believe.
2. Your Emotional Health
Never compromise your emotional well-being in the name of love. Prioritizing your mental and emotional health is not just important, it's imperative. A strong, nurturing relationship should be a sanctuary for personal growth and happiness, never a source of emotional distress. Remember, the foundation of a lasting love story is built on mutual support and care.
This is one of the more obvious points, but if your partner ever starts to negatively impact your emotional health by putting you down, making you feel self-conscious, or through any other means of degrading you, they're not worthy of your time, let alone your love.
3. Your Autonomy And Personal Space
Finding the right balance between closeness and personal freedom is essential. Even when you're with someone you love, you have to honor your own desire for independence while cherishing your partner's need for space. Cultivating individuality within the relationship is like nourishing its roots, as it prevents the suffocating vines of codependency from taking hold. Respecting boundaries and allowing for distance creates comfort and safety.
A partner that's trying to smother you with never-ending attention might have good intentions, but they need to know that time spent apart is healthy. If they try to make you feel bad for doing things without them or needing a bit of alone time, that's a sign that they won't respect your other needs down the line.
4. Your Individuality
Preserving your individuality within a relationship is an absolute necessity. You should have ample opportunity to continue nurturing your personal interests, hobbies, and dreams, as should your partner. Neglecting your unique essence in favor of the partnership's demands can sow the seeds of resentment and leave you feeling unfulfilled. In this shared journey, remember that your individuality is why your partner fell for you in the first place, and that's not something that should be stifled.
If you're beginning to feel pressure from your significant other to change, conform, or let go of those things that make you so wonderfully unique, this is a sign that they're not really interested in you, just in controlling you. You shouldn't put up with that for even a second.
5. Respect (For Yourself And Others)
Respect is perhaps the most important pillar when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships. Not just respecting your partner either, but having enough respect for yourself to know when you're not being treated right. You should always be considerate of your partner and yourself, treating both with equal kindness, empathy, and understanding. These qualities, when woven into the fabric of your relationship by both parties, make for a loving, supportive bond.
If you're feeling pressured to lower yourself for your partner's sake or are seeing your partner in a seriously negative light after they've done something, it's time to look at the relationship as a whole. A loss of respect on either end is a sign of a relationship that's about to crumble.
6. Healthy Communication
Open, healthy, and thorough communication is absolutely essential in any relationship. It's the conduit through which your thoughts, emotions, and worries find their voice. Nurturing this ability to express oneself is not only important, it's the key to unlocking profound understanding, diffusing conflicts, and forging a path of growth for both individuals within the relationship.
Remember, silence can be a cavernous divide, while words, when wielded with care, can mend even the deepest of wounds. A partner who refuses to communicate or cannot be open with their significant other isn't ready to be in a relationship at all.
7. Your Dreams And Goals
Every relationship will require some form of compromise, but that doesn't mean you should be rewriting your every dream and goal to accommodate it. In a healthy relationship, both partners should be each other's greatest cheerleaders, creating an environment where dreams and ambitions are not just respected but actively supported.
A partner that asks you to abandon the things you want, especially if they ask you to do so in order to better 'support' their own dreams, is not a partner that cares about you, your future, or your happiness.
Giving All We've Got
We, as partners, want to do all we can to make our other half happy. We would go to the ends of the Earth for them, give them all they desire, and support their every choice if we could. But we have our own needs, our own wants, decisions that also need support and encouragement and love.
Being in a relationship where your partner is asking so, so much of you can be draining, especially when what they're suggesting you sacrifice are pieces of your soul or personality. You deserve more than to be bled dry by someone who only wants a willing participant over a true partner. You should always come first.
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