There are conflicting messages in the world when it comes to who should come first in your life. On one hand, we often hear the importance of putting ourselves first. While it’s good to take care of yourself, selfishness is also a problem when people in our society only care about how they can benefit themselves.
If everyone in the world focused on others before their own needs, then there would be no greed, no hoarding of things that other people needed. So, is there a way to find balance in a relationship? Is there a right way to approach selfishness / selflessness?
Your needs are different
Ultimately, there is probably no one answer to this question. It depends on a multitude of factors, such as your relationship, and your unique needs that the two of you have. For example, if you have difficulty carrying out the heavier bags of trash, it would make sense if that ended up being your partner’s “go-to” chore, while you focused on other tasks better suited for your skills.
We have emotional needs, too. If your partner has a more stressful job than you, then it makes sense if they spend more time venting about work than you do. This doesn’t mean you are putting your partner first necessarily, it just means that you are meeting them where their needs lie.
Focus on the relationship
While it can be difficult to find the balance between your needs and your partner’s needs, it may help to think differently: focus on the relationship rather than you versus them. What does the relationship need in order to thrive? If you are a better partner to someone when you have time to practice self-care, then self-care isn’t necessarily about helping just yourself. Self-care means you are able to take care of what’s important to you – and hopefully that means your relationship!
When you partner with a matchmaker, you partner with an agency that is not just looking to help you – but its other clients as well. That’s a great recipe for success – and the same could said about your relationship with your significant other.
Meeting your own needs doesn’t have to mean not meeting the needs of your partner. Consider cooking a meal, for instance. That’s an act that you do so you can have sustenance, but also so that both you and your partner can get sustenance. You don’t have to view at as “you vs. them,” because both of you benefit.
That’s a huge part of being in a relationship. When you care about each other, then you both can benefit from something at the same time.
It’s not black and white
If you were with someone who didn’t allow you to take care of yourself, then it would be understandable if you could no longer be in a relationship with them. But being in a relationship is not always as simple as deciding who is first – you or them. You can pick both. Keep up the communication, and be honest about how you feel, and your relationship will thrive!