All healthy relationships involve compromise and sacrifice, and some people are more inclined to put their own needs aside in order to please others. Especially if you have a bent toward people-pleasing and being conscientious, it is important for you to know where to draw the line.
5 Things You Should Never Give Up in a Relationship
1. Your family and friends. If your partner is urging you to give up your relationships with your family and friends and trying to isolate you, this is a definite red flag.
2. Your identity. This seems like a no-brainer, but all too often, I see clients who have completely abandoned their identity and sense of self in the service of pleasing their partner and making their relationship work. Usually this is something that does not happen overnight, but once it does happen, it can be extremely damaging for people.
3. Your career. Let’s say your career is important to you but your partner is fed up with how demanding it is. Or, let’s say your partner gets a job elsewhere and expects you to up and leave. You may very well make an informed decision to move with them and get a different job, but that needs to come from you. If you are pressured to give up your career because your partner is threatened by it, wants you available to them at all times, or is repeatedly undermining it and your successes, this is a big problem.
4. Your well-being. Let’s say you regularly engage in self-care that involves exercise, therapy, time alone to decompress, or time with your friends to pursue hobbies. If your partner pushes you to give up these things, especially while knowing that they are important to your health and well-being, run far, far away.
5. Being “you.” If you do not feel comfortable being yourself, and 100% yourself, with your partner, whether this is by request or your own decision, this person is not “The One.” It is essential that you feel comfortable expressing all of your wants, needs, desires, and can be honest with your partner. If you cannot do these things because you don’t feel comfortable and are wanting to be the person you think your partner wants rather than yourself, this is a problem. Similarly, if your partner is subtly pushing you to be someone else by putting you down or telling you what you should like, this is also dangerous territory to step into.
The bottom line is that you should never have to give up or lose who you are, at your core, in order to make your relationship with someone work.