Love only hurts when it’s selfish. James Michael Sama thinks you deserve more.
There are many perceptions of what “true love” looks like in today’s society. People attempt to quantify it or put characteristics or actions or labels on it – but it is a difficult thing to define since every situation is unique.
Though, once we filter through all of the pop culture interpretations and checklists of what someone who really loves you does or doesn’t do, there is one thing that remains true in all types of “real” love.
Sometimes – it means putting someone else’s happiness ahead of your own.
Love is about compromising with someone, or even sacrificing for them. This is why people can think that love hurts, because if it is one-sided, it will hurt. But the only thing that’s telling you is that you’ve given your heart to the wrong person, because in a situation where it is reciprocated, both people will be willing to give to the other.
For this reason, selfish people can never truly love another, because they will be less willing to compromise. This will inevitably lead to one partner giving more of themselves than the other, which can cause resentment or confusion about feelings that are, or aren’t expressed.
This easily illustrates the importance of communication in all relationships. If a couple isn’t meshing well or is facing an obstacle in their relationship, it first has to be determined that there isn’t simply an easy fixed addressed by opening up to each other and expressing the frustration or challenge. It is not the job of either partner in the relationship to keep track of the good and the bad – it is a mutual, team effort.
It is often forgotten that compromise needs to go both ways in order to actually be effective. the gap left by the distance you’ve budged from what you want is filled by the happiness of your partner. This is why great relationships are about give and give, not give and take.
While I fully believe in giving emotionally to your teammate, I also stress the point that there is such a thing as giving too much (here are some signs that you are). You should never do something for others for the sake of a return – as kindness for the sake of a reward is not really kindness.
If someone truly loves you, you will know it and feel it. If they don’t, you will always be left wondering if they do.
Originally appeared on James Sama’s blog.
Looking for a relationship? The Good Men Project promises to have a really good one with your inbox. Sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter here.
Photo by Artem Popov