What It Means To Be Truly Selfless In A Relationship
The first step to building a life-long relationship is, of course, finding someone with whom you have a blast! After that, you try to make sure you have the same values. You can try to draw out the details of those things, and make it more complicated, but really, if you ask most couples why they either fight or get along, it boils down to whether or not they enjoy one another’s company, and agree on the fundamentals of life.
Once you find that, there is this third step that is a bit more tricky. In fact, it’s the reason that relationships become turbulent after the honeymoon phase, or after couples have children. That third step is being selfless. If you both commit to being so, you can have a relationship that always feels loving and supportive. Being selfless, in its essence, means putting the good of the relationship above the good of your personal, selfish wants. But it means so much more when put to the test. Here is what it truly means to be selfless in a relationship.
You don’t remember your good deeds
You don’t keep track of the kind things you do for your partner so you can later throw them in his face when you want something.
But you remember all of his
You do, however, keep track of all the kind things he does for you. When you have moments you’d like to be selfish, you remember these times he was selfless and find the strength to be selfless, too.
You’ll inconvenience yourself
You don’t only do nice things when it’s convenient. You will drive 45 minutes to his favorite ice cream shop with him, even though there is perfectly good ice cream down the street because it makes him happy.
You won’t complain to him about what you’ve done
Doing something nice for someone means just doing it, and not saying anything about it. It doesn’t mean complaining about how annoying or inconvenient it is. If you’re going to do that, then you may as well not do the nice thing in the first place.
You won’t complain to others about it
You also won’t complain to others about how annoying his requests and needs are. That’s not really selfless then, is it? Because you still get to vent.
Or point out what you’ve done for him
If you do something nice for him, and it takes a lot of effort on your part, you don’t point that out to him, explaining every detail of your efforts. You just want him to have the end result and not have to worry about the process.
Or point it out to others
And you don’t tell others all the hard work you put into doing something nice for your partner. That’s no longer selfless because you’re seeking praise.
You go out of your way to make it look easy
Not only do you remain quiet about all the hard work you put into doing something nice for your partner, but you also go out of your way to hide it! You don’t want him feeling guilty that you got up early, or worked extra shifts, to do something for him. You just want him to have the nice thing, without a side of guilt.
You do his chores sometimes
In a really selfless relationship, the chores chart is a very loose guideline. If there are weeks that are particularly stressful for you, your partner does your chores, just to make your life easier. You do the same for him.
You know when to let a fight go
You understand that on some days, even though something is really bothering you about the relationship, something is really bothering your partner in life much more. Maybe he lost his job, or a friend deeply betrayed him. You have perspective on those days, and you decide to put your issue aside until a better day.
The company always trumps the activity
You won’t get into a real argument about where to eat dinner or where to go for a hike. Ultimately, you just want to spend time together, and you don’t care how you do it. You don’t need to get your way to have fun with your partner.
In fact, you’ll do things you have no interest in
In fact, you will go to a 10-hour vintage records convention with him, take an interest, and not even complain about it, because it’s important to him. And you won’t use it as collateral to get him to do something for you.
You’ll DD so he can drink at his best friend’s party
Rather than saying, “I should get to drink and you should have to drive since you’re dragging me to your friend’s party” you say, “Hey. This night is important for you. You should have all the fun you want—you drink, I’ll drive.”
You’ll hang with his friend’s GF (who you can’t stand)
You will go on double dates with his friend and her girlfriend who you really can’t stand just so your boo can spend time with his best friend. And you won’t complain about it.
You’ll forsake the fondness of others for him
If your partner has had the worst day in the world, and all he wants is this one item of fast food, and you get to the drive through, and they’re closing, you’ll get bossy with the cashier. You’ll do whatever it takes to get your boo his curly fries. The cashier won’t like you after, and that’s okay: right now, you’re on your partner’s team.
You give him the leftovers you really wanted
Now that is selfless. You’ve been looking forward to your left over pizza all day. But when you get home, your partner has had the toughest day, he’s been awake for 18 hours, he has no groceries, and he’s starving. So you give him your pizza. You weren’t that hungry anyways.
You only sing his praises, even when you’re fighting
You may be in a fight with him, but to the world, you’re getting along. Part of being selfless means knowing, even in a fight, that ultimately you want the world to know how great your partner is. You won’t sully his reputation, even though he is currently driving you nuts.
You leave arguments with his family on the table
He may have a sibling or parent whose values you really do not agree with. In fact, sometimes they kind of offend you. But you look at the big picture and realize that it’s important to your partner that you get along with his family. You leave the argument on the table.
You always try to understand his perspective/experience
Anytime your partner lets you down, or doesn’t give you what he wants, or asks something of you that is a big ask, you always take time to ask yourself what he’s experiencing right now. You don’t respond until you’ve put yourself in his shoes.
You even accommodate his pet peeves
You will even do your best to accommodate his pet peeves. Even though they are unreasonable and ridiculous, as pet peeves are. But hey, he does the same for you.