Love is a beautiful thing; being with someone you love is even more beautiful. However, love is not always a bed of roses; it takes commitment, a lot of sacrifices, and even tears to make it work. You will see the best and the worst in your partner. The relationship may even hit rock bottom that sometimes, you are left with a choice to either be selfless or selfish.
Selflessness: big word, isn’t it? It takes great responsibility and sometimes, it seems impossible to do, but selflessness leads to a wonderful and lasting relationship. Truth is, it’s not hard to do if you truly love the person because it simply means loving unconditionally.
Here are some ways for you to be selfless in a relationship. Of course, these are not absolute, but considering these tips might make a big difference- in your relationship and in your life.
1. Have a proper mindset.
It all starts with a proper mindset. Remember that you are in a relationship, so things are not always about you. You have to think about your partner’s well-being. You have to consider his/her wants and needs. You have to be willing to do selfless acts, and you have to understand the value of being selfless. Only then can you become one.
2. Learn to compromise.
Are you into action movies and he/she is into drama? Are you into visiting museums while he/she prefers staying at home? It wouldn’t hurt to make some form of compromise. You can watch his/her favorite movie today and watch yours tomorrow. You can go out today and stay at home tomorrow. When you share different perspectives about an important issue, engage in a healthy discussion. Consider his/her insights. Come up with a compromise. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you always have to be right. Rather, it means accepting your differences and making the relationship work despite those differences.
3. Put yourself into your partner’s shoe.
It’s so easy to judge a person if you don’t put yourself into his/her shoe. Same goes with having a partner. Instead of jumping into conclusions, try to understand where your partner is coming from. He/she may be going through tough times. He/She might just need a little bit of your help and support. Broaden your perspective, and try to be more understanding. Be the very first person to pick him/her up instead of letting him/her down.
4. Learn to appreciate your partner’s interests/passions.
You need not pretend that you like gaming or that you’re crazy about art just as he/she does. However, at least learn to understand why he/she or passionate about these things. Take interest in doing the things he/she enjoys the most. Focus on how his/her eyes sparkle whenever he/she writes a poem or how he/she giggles when he/she wins in his/her favorite game. You will end up loving each other even more.
5. Learn to forgive.
Being in a relationship doesn’t only mean giving that person a chance to love you but also giving him/her a chance to hurt you. At some point, your partner will commit mistakes. You will see his/her flaws, but loving selflessly means loving the person even with those flaws, accepting them wholeheartedly, and at the end of the day, learning to forgive.
6. Be genuine.
Don’t try to be selfless because you want something in return. Don’t try to be selfless because you want to make yourself look like a hero. Be selfless because you want to. Be selfless because you want your partner to be happy. Be selfless because you’re happy doing it. Be selfless because it’s the right thing to do. Be selfless because you simply are.
7. Don’t broadcast what you’ve done for him/her.
Just because you have made selfless acts doesn’t mean you have the right to throw these things on his/her face whenever you get into a fight. There’s no need to broadcast what sacrifices you have made for him/her. Rather, try to make it look easy. He/She doesn’t have to know what you went through just to make him/her happy. Don’t make him/her feel guilty. You’re doing it because he/she deserves it. You’re doing it because you love the person.
8. Appreciate his/her selfless gestures for you.
Instead of counting how many times you have helped and saved your partner, try to remember the times that he/she was being selfless to you. Remember how he/she made compromises and sacrifices for you. Remember how long he/she would wait for hours just to see you. Remember how he or she would throw surprises for you. Remember how you two are capable of giving so much love for each other.
9. Go the extra mile.
Going the extra mile means knowing what he/she is not saying. Is he/she craving for his/her favorite ice cream or barbecue in town? What about driving for hours just to get him/her what he/she wants. What about waking up in the middle of the night just to get him/her a glass of water? What about paying attention to his/her pet peeves? What about surprising him/her every once in a while? Isn’t it fulfilling to see the person you love happy?
10. Be a good listener.
You keep hearing his/her sentiments, but you don’t listen; that’s where problems start growing. Be a good listener. Listen to what your partner needs. Listen to what he/she is feeling. Listen to his/her frustrations. Just listen. Maybe, that’s everything your partner needs right now to make him/her feel better.
11. Establish balance.
Paradoxically, you need to be a little bit selfish for you to be truly selfless. Being selfless doesn’t mean becoming a martyr. It doesn’t mean setting aside your own needs or forgetting your personal space and time. Being selfless means loving your partner and loving yourself at the same time. Sounds confusing, right? But, being too selfless might lead you to losing yourself. Being too selfish might lead you to losing the one you love. They key is balance. The key is knowing when to be selfless and when to be selfish.
12. Pray for guidance.
Not everyone believes in it, but prayers can make a difference. You might want to pray for strength. Pray for your relationship. Ask for help. Sometimes, things get harder and harder, but let His will be done.
Becoming selfless seems to take a lot of courage, patience, and understanding. It’s a process, but it will come naturally to you if you genuinely love the person. Let these tips serve as a reminder for you to keep loving selflessly.
ALSO READ: 8 Ways to be Compassionate in a Relationship