February seems to be the month dedicated to love. Valentine’s day reminds people about the importance of love. It is a time to celebrate relationships. Often people share stories of the great successes of love. Couples will share their secrets for staying married 30+ years. I listen to their nuggets of wisdom, and try to apply the things that might work in my own relationship.
Recently I came across a post on the Internet dedicated to love and relationships, and the advice shared, saddened me. Instead of feeling inspired, I felt concern for the unknown writer.
“you must compromise your independent self in order to be successful in a relationship. Expecting a man to love you just the way you are- means you’re unwilling to compromise. You MUST comprise yourself for a relationship to work. There is nothing wrong with letting a man take care of you, they want to do it. And they like being acknowledged and thanked just like we thank God for blessing us. It does not mean we give men a power over us, it means we let them because we let ourselves be vulnerable. It’s Trust. Trust leads to Love.”
The word that struck me the most was compromise. In my eyes, a good relationship should be about collaboration, not compromise. In compromise one person must give something up. Often it is not one thing, but a series of things. And after giving up so much, you lose sight of who you really are.
Collaboration is harder because two people have to come to an agreement where they are both happy. It is harder because both people need to be victorious. It is harder because no one gives up a part of himself or herself in order to satisfy the other.
I understand this, because I have been in relationships where I compromised. While I gave things up to make my relationship work, I lost me. Every time I was in a relationship where I had to compromise to make it work, they failed. In the end, I was not happy. I was not happy because I was not being true to myself.
The other part that really stands out to me is equating vulnerability to allowing someone to have power over you. Vulnerability is not about losing power; it is about allowing you to be exposed, wide open. When people see you in your weakest moments, you are vulnerable. When you share things with people that you never share with anyone else, you are vulnerable. You become vulnerable when you trust someone to not use your weak moments or secrets against you. Vulnerability is not about power.
These words sadden me, because I know many girls believe they are true. Some young women take pride in satisfying their partner so much, that they give up their true self in order to preserve the relationship. Love is about finding someone who wants to be with you, for who you are. A person who truly loves you would never ask you to change or become a new person because it makes them feel good.
Stay true to you, always.