relationships and such.

10 Jul

I have come to a somewhat sad and disturbing realization about myself:

I am too selfish to be in a relationship.

Listen, relationships require compromise. This we all know. And there are healthy compromises and not-so-healthy compromises, like, there’s a difference between giving in to using a different kind of laundry detergent the other person likes better, and changing who you are in order to be with them. To a certain extent, you DO need to compromise, but you also need to be true to yourself, and who YOU are – who God created you to be, your purpose and identity in Him, your passions and desires and personality. You can’t change it all to make it fit better with whoever you want to be with. You can’t suppress all that makes you you in order to be who they need you to be. I mean, you can, but you shouldn’t. So don’t.

There’s a difference between making sacrifices for the other person out of love and respect, and sacrificing everything that makes you you –and everything that makes you happy (your goals/desires)- to be with someone who you think will make you happier. Because odds are, they won’t. No matter how hard you try, it won’t be worth it in the end. For either of you. And quite honestly, it’s unfair of you to put that on them – to make them your sole source of happiness. No person can completely satisfy you – only Christ.

Most likely, you’ll end up either compromising everything while the other person doesn’t at all (or vice versa), or you both compromise so much that neither of you are really happy because you’re only living half the life you’re meant to be living. Instead of becoming whole and being one together, you handicap each other.

You must embrace who you are. Your personality, your gifts, your identity in Christ, your purpose/vision/mission in life, all of it – and don’t compromise it for anyone. Someone will come along who will fit without being forced. You will still need to compromise, but you wont have to give up who you are and what you need to be everything they need – and vice versa.

Maybe that’s how you know? I’ve always thought the “right person” would be someone that makes you better – where you are both better together than you are apart. (Does this exist?)

So this is why I say that I am too selfish for a relationship. I am not willing to compromise certain things that make me who I am. Maybe I am too “free-spirited” and full of potential to be “controlled” and held back. I have too much to look forward to, too much I want to experience, and I don’t want to settle here. I don’t want to suffocate all that I am meant to be. And maybe there is someone out there who understands that.

I don’t know. I think that might be why relationships end. One person just isn’t ready to give as much as the other, or as much as the other wants them to.

But where is the line?

Where is the line between being selfish and not sacrificing who you are? Perhaps those two things are different. Cant you be who you are without focusing solely on yourself? As Christ-followers, we are called to be all He has created us to be, as well as servants who put others first, right? So is it wrong to pick yourself over someone else? To make yourself happy instead of the other person? Maybe that, in itself, is the problem. If you are having to make that choice, then its probably not a good relationship. Right? Because apparently you should be doing both? Or what if making them happy IS what makes you happy? But then your happiness is defined by someone else. Soooooooo that cant be good, right?

But of course there are times where you have to sacrifice your happiness for the other person’s. Life isn’t all about the pursuit of happiness. Its about glorifying God with the life He has graciously given you. True happiness and joy come from the Lord.

But does this mean we are to live a completely sacrificial life? One where we have no concern for ourselves at all and solely focus on others? I mean, there’s a point where you give so much that you get walked all over. And is THAT what we are supposed to be doing? I don’t think so. But I don’t really know. Now I’m talking myself in circles.

It’s kind of confusing really. This relationship between selfishness and being true to oneself. Is being “true to oneself” even a Biblical concept? I mean, there’s stuff about finding your identity in Him, being created in His image, Him giving each of us a plan and a purpose and hope for the future… So if you’re living your own purpose and going after your dreams (if they glorify God), then that can’t be classified as selfishness really, can it?

Okay, I think I’m getting off track.

What I wanted to point out was that sometimes people just don’t work. And not for any huge reason like cheating or abuse, but simply because they have different perspectives, different personalities, different dreams, different passions, etc. I’m not saying these all have to line up for a relationship to work, because they don’t. I’m saying its okay. Know who you are, know what you need, and don’t become less to fit someone else. Its okay if it doesn’t work, because there is something better. And maybe I sound like a hopeless romantic, but after much depressing thought and self-pitty moments I have emerged to the other side, and I am choosing to believe it. There IS someone better. A better fit for who I am, a compliment.

“But when my loneliness is through, I’m gunna find another you.” – John Mayer

 

But make no mistake. I am thankful for all the past relationships in my life thus far (some more than others). I would not be who I am without them, and I have learned some valuable lessons. No regrets. The pain from my past, while I wouldn’t choose to go through it again, is now seen only as times where Jesus had the opportunity to heal the broken pieces, set me free once again, and bring beauty from ashes.

To do what He do. You know.

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