Why Your ‘Selfless’ Attitude Is Selfish In Your Relationship

While selfless love is disguised as putting others’ needs above your own with seemingly no expectation in return, Dictionary.com defines it as “having little or no concern for oneself.”

Here’s the thing about having little or no concern with yourself — you can’t build a deep, meaningful, authentic connection if you’re not part of it.

All of us actually have needs and opinions. “Selfless” lovers usually don’t share them because they don’t believe that their thoughts are as important as other people’s. There’s a small but mighty voice inside them that tells them that their needs, wants, and emotions are simply not as important as others’.

On the outside, while it looks like they put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own, two completely different things are actually happening on the inside.

With every give, there’s a bitter pill of resentment that they don’t talk about. It feeds their assumption that again their needs aren’t as important. Constantly meeting others’ needs leads them to believe it’s their ticket to being in a relationship. If it happens often enough, they build a dependency on their partner. But unfortunately, no amount of appreciation or gratitude can fill the void they feel inside.

Those “selfless” acts aren’t about you — they’re about your partner.

The struggle for authenticity is real — especially when it comes to being selfless. It can be so difficult to convince your partner that you’ll accept their authentic self and their vulnerability.

The hard part is that there are no guarantees. Learning how to stand in your authenticity can be a lifelong lesson — and for most of us, it is. The key is to start small.

To stop being “selfless,” just be a little “selfish” in your relationship.

The movie The Runaway Bride, which stars Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, is a powerful reminder of this truth. Julia’s character is so out of touch with who she is that she says “yes” to every proposal and then runs from the altar on every wedding day she has. The audience learns that she can’t even decide which kind of eggs she likes because she’s been so accustomed to ordering “whatever he’s having.” She thinks that not expressing herself is doing everyone a favor, when in fact, the only thing she’s doing is building reasons to leave. At the end of the movie, she finally realizes who she is and the type of relationship she actually wants.

Our decisions in our relationships need to be authentic. If we misrepresent ourselves, our “selfless” acts will leave a trail of hurt and betrayal.

Originally written by Lisa Pisha on YourTango.

Featured Photo by Kate Miheyeva on Unsplash.


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