I see a lot of Facebook posts about how “I just want someone that will love me for me and accept me for who I am.”
But, here is the bigger question: Are you reciprocating that?
Here is the thing. A lot of people put love in this position: I’m going to let it all hang out and you are going to accept it or I’m going to leave. This seems to be a pretty big norm in society and – like it or not – that is abusive of the relationship. It’s almost put out there like a challenge.
YES, you should be able to be yourself and be comfortable around your partner, but in saying these type of statements, you are putting yourself completely in front of that other person in every way. In fact, you are sending the message that your relationship is only temporary, because you are and always will be more important than they are. Let’s take a look at what I mean.
1. Doing things that are against your partners beliefs. If there is something that your partner has spiritual beliefs in, don’t make it a point to stomp all over those beliefs. For example: If a certain swear word bothers your significant other, don’t use it. If meat horrifies them, don’t slap a raw steak in front of them. It’s sort of the “duh” factor, here.
2. Doing something that makes your partner incredibly uncomfortable. If your partner tenses up every time you climb over the speed limit, get it under control. If you make crazy hair turns and it freaks him out, then slow it down. If you want music blasting and it makes it so they can’t think, be considerate.
3. Imposing your will every time on the things that you don’t agree on. If you want the fan on at night and your partner doesn’t, then find a compromise. Don’t just push a discomfort on them so that you can be comfortable. That isn’t love. I’m not saying you need to cave in on everything. You shouldn’t. I’m saying you need to find a solution where you both can be comfortable.
4. Forcing your partner to deal with your bad habits. Is they are a neat freak and you are a slob, don’t leave your wrappers all over their floor when you visit their house. Don’t stuff a sandwich in between the couch cushions for him to find a week later and have to clean up. That isn’t being yourself, that’s being inconsiderate and taking advantage of that person’s affection for you, knowing they will clean up your mess.
5. Not saying thank you. I don’t care how long you are together, your partner deserves the respect that you would give a stranger. Give it. You don’t have to say it constantly or it will get old, but DO say it. Likewise, say “I’m sorry” when you should. Not all the time, but there are times you need to say it.
6. Don’t treat your partner as a shouting post. You had a bad day at work. Don’t go home and start screaming like a maniac because there is an empty milk carton in the fridge. Again, get yourself under control. Your partner is not a whipping post.
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT ONE SIDED. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.
I frequently see people acting towards their significant other in a way they would never do to a friend. If you put your significant in that position over and over, threatening to “deal with it or else”, you are going to find yourself single over and over again.
We’re all guilty of letting the ugliest part of ourselves out in front of our significant other. We are human and we can’t help it. We love each other despite our flaws and that’s what being in a relationship is all about. However, you shouldn’t take “being yourself” to the point of abuse or becoming a bully in your relationship.
YES Be yourself, but don’t be yourself to the point that you aren’t letting them be themselves too.