I was in a relationship once where I was always looking out for him. Looking for ways to help him succeed, to make his life easier. And in the same breath, I was always changing myself for him. Forcing myself to like that he moved away for his job when I wasn’t allowed to move away for college. Forcing myself to hang out with his friends or like his friends when I had to limit my friend group because of his jealousy.
Obviously, it was not a healthy relationship. Even on my end. And after we broke up I decided I just needed to do what’s best for me and stop caring about other people, at least for a little while.
I took it to a bit of an extreme, not really caring about other people’s feelings, constantly hurting people even if that wasn’t my intent. But I felt like I did what I had to do to feel like I owned myself. I was being selfish and I don’t regret it.
I think everyone should be a little selfish sometimes. But I have a hard time drawing the line between doing what’s best for me and being selfish. Especially in a relationship. Because a healthy relationship requires a lot of give and take. I feel like I often take too much, I still have that little voice in the back of my mind that is pushing me to succeed, pushing me to do the things I need to do to be happy.
You can’t always do those things though when there’s someone else to consider. I struggle with it because I don’t want to put my life, career, or happiness on hold for anyone. But I also don’t want to hurt anyone anymore either. Where’s the middle ground?