If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you’ve learned that they require sacrifice. Still, some relationship sacrifices cause pain and disappointment. No matter how much you love someone, you must look after yourself. This can make the difference between a toxic and healthy romance.
Do you know the saying “love conquers all”? Be aware that you should take that with a grain of salt. Sometimes, love drives people insane and makes them irrational. And this can push you towards making all the wrong sacrifices. If you aren’t careful, you might sacrifice your dreams, integrity, happiness, and safety. The relationships that push you to offer that much are the ones that will scar you the most.
You will have nothing but a crazy, toxic, and co-dependent relationship. To have a healthy romance, you must learn which boundaries to enforce. Plus, it’s always better to end something that will eventually burst into flames than to sacrifice everything.
Why Do Relationships Become Toxic?
You might not want to believe that making too many relationship sacrifices is anything but beneficial. So, to better understand why that’s true, you need to know why an otherwise healthy romance can become toxic. If two toxic people get together, the relationship will inevitably be toxic. But often, only one person is unhealthy from the get-go. Or, even more common, it’s for neither of the people to be harmful. So, how do people who seem utterly healthy end up in bad relationships?
They sacrifice too much until it ends up eating away at them. When someone feels their needs are invalidated, they inevitably become worse. When people sacrifice too much, they give up on things they value. Maybe they give up on their freedom or individuality to appease the other person. Slowly, all these relationship sacrifices start to change you as a person. The more you give up, the moodier and sadder you’ll be. This is especially true if you don’t get something in return. Most of the time, these sacrifices are taken for granted if you don’t set boundaries.
So, your partner might quickly get used to them and expect you always to sacrifice. They will stop acknowledging your efforts to the point where you won’t feel appreciated. You’ll also be less likely to have your needs and wants to be respected and met by your partner. The inevitable power imbalance resulting from too many relationship sacrifices is at the core of this problem. There are two possibilities: you’re either the one who sacrifices everything or you both sacrifice more than you should. In the first case, you’ll end up being taken advantage of.
If your partner knows they can make you do anything, they’ll push you to the limit. Even though they are supposed to love you, they’ll still break you if that means they have something to gain. In the second case, you’ll keep swapping the power from one to the other. At some point, you’ll be “in charge,” so to say. And, when you lose that power, the other gains it. So, it’s a constant state of back and forth, with a sacrifice at the center of the problem. When you sacrifice, you lose the power, and you get taken advantage of.
This is not the only reason why relationships become toxic. But relationship sacrifice is and will always be a tricky subject. That’s not to say you should never make any sacrifices. You need to learn how and when to sacrifice. Setting boundaries and communicating are essential to any healthy romance. So, which relationship sacrifices should you avoid and why?
Which Relationship Sacrifices Aren’t Worth It?
1. Sacrificing Your Career
People’s careers are just as important, if not more important, than your romantic relationships. While it’s true that some people value romance above all else, it’s undeniable that everyone needs to have a salary. But there’s something vital that you should note. There’s a difference between a job and a career. Having a summer job that you don’t necessarily need can easily be sacrificed for love.
Especially if you think that relationship is meant to last, it would help if you never gave up on going to a top school because a partner doesn’t want you to. If you have opportunities that could change your life forever, you should always take them. Or if you get promoted to regional manager of your company before you turn thirty, that’s an opportunity that not most people get. If you get a job you’ve yearned for since you can remember, you should take it.
The list goes on and can change depending on your desires. It would be best to remember that you should never give up on such unique opportunities for a partner. If they genuinely love you, they’ll work to make the relationship work without you having to sacrifice. They will make a relationship sacrifice themselves so you can pursue and strengthen your career.
2. Sacrificing Your Dreams
Dreams are one of the most important things people can have. They motivate and push us to improve ourselves. Everyone needs to feel like they can dream. But what’s more important is being able to pursue those dreams. If people think they can’t fight for their dreams, that crushes their spirit. Even history has shown us that there’s nothing worse than robbing people of their dreams.
All social changes have been made by people who never stopped believing that things can take a turn for the better. Psychologically, people need to be allowed to hope for more. And fundamentally, that’s what dreams are all about. But when you manage a healthy romance, you could be inclined to sacrifice those dreams. An association often makes you think you can’t pursue as many crazy things as possible when you were single. Maybe you live with your partner, but your dream is to travel. In that case, you might feel like you must give up on your dream of staying with your partner.
Or maybe you feel pressured to share finances with your partner, so you can’t freely finance your travels. Or perhaps your dream is to have an animal shelter, but your partner hates animals. In that case, they won’t want you to pursue that goal. These are just some examples, but we could spend days listing all the possible situations. What’s important to know is that, in the long term, it’s not worth giving up your dreams. Someone who truly loves you will allow you to follow your dreams. But, once you feel like you need to sacrifice that pursuit, you know the relationship has turned for the worst.
3. Sacrificing Your Personality
You already know that everyone has preferences regarding the partner they choose. Many people even have a type or some strict criteria that their romantic interests need to meet. That means you won’t like everyone, and not everyone will like you. This is not an issue; you can quickly get over not being someone’s type. But some people don’t do that. Instead, they do something extremely toxic: try to change how the person they’re dating acts.
People who end up in unhealthy and toxic relationships sacrifice their personalities too often. They have to become docile and even submissive. A toxic partner usually wants you to be quieter and listen to whatever they ask you. So, when a partner asks you to change your personality, that’s a red flag. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve yourself. If you are mean and snappy and your partner asks you to work on that, that’s fair.
And that’s not a sacrifice; it’s just self-improvement. But if they ask you to stop being bubbly and quirky, that’s a relationship sacrifice you should never do. Don’t change who you are to keep someone around–that’s not a healthy romance.
4. Sacrificing Your Other Relationships
It’s normal to want to spend most of your time with your partner. It’s also normal for them to ask you to hang out if you haven’t made time for them in a while. But what’s not normal is having to forsake other relationships because that’s what your partner wants. Unfortunately, many romantic partners will have jealous tendencies. And, if they act on those feelings, they’ll ask for crazy relationship sacrifices. They might even want you to throw people out of your life so that they can feel more comfortable.
Sure, there are some instances in which your partner will have reasons to be jealous. If your ex is now your best friend, that’s suspicious. But those are not the cases we’re talking about. We’re discussing when your partner asks you to give up on friendships and family. And they don’t have to ask you directly to cut ties with important people. They have to push you to make many small relationship sacrifices. In time, all those sacrifices will add up, and you’ll risk losing essential people. Don’t give up on the ones you love just for a relationship.
Final Thoughts on Relationship Sacrifices That Aren’t Worth It
Having a romantic relationship is not something you need to achieve at all costs. In many cases, you’ll have to learn to choose between continuing that relationship and pursuing your happiness. When deciding, you must remember that not all relationship sacrifices are worth it. Learning to care for yourself and fulfill your needs is much more critical.
Don’t ever give up on your career or your dreams. Relationships come and go, but opportunities to pursue something you’ve always wished for are rare. Make sure you never sacrifice your personality to get someone to like you. And don’t push people you love aside to appease your partner. If you are in a healthy romance, your partner will always support you. They will never want you to make relationship sacrifices that hurt you. Instead, they’ll do their best to see you succeed.