4 Sacrifices You Need to Make When You’re in a Relationship

date, couple, relationship

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All relationships require making sacrifices. What is a relationship without sacrifice? The short answer: one that is probably not going to work. It’s a tough reality to face when in a relationship where one partner sacrifices everything while the other refuses to compromise on anything. Both you and your significant other should be willing to make sacrifices — it’s all part of the package. The name of the game is compromise.

A study, which can be found via Glamour, examines what happens to relationships when one partner makes more of a sacrifice for the sake of the relationship. As it turns out, the person who is OK with making sacrifices is probably happier in the relationship. “People who are more willing to sacrifice for an intimate partner are more satisfied with their relationships,” the researchers said in the Glamour article.

If you or your partner is on the receiving end of that person happily sacrificing for you, it leads you to be more committed, the study also reported. That said, there is something that can go terribly wrong in this equation: If the sacrifice is done begrudgingly with one partner suppressing how they really felt about making the sacrifice, while the other senses that their significant other is silently stewing about it, the sacrificed effort is viewed as less authentic. In other words, if you’re unhappy about making the sacrifice, making it isn’t worth it.

Further proving this point, Psychology Today reported on an 80-couple study, conducted by psychologists affiliated with the Universities of Toronto and Cambridge, UC San Diego, and UC Berkley, observing couples authentic emotional expressions when it comes to making sacrifices for their relationships. According to lead author Emily Impett of the University of Toronto the study showed that, “When people listened to their partner recall an important sacrifice in the lab and when people thought their partner sacrificed in daily life, they thought that their partner was less authentic the more they perceived them to have suppressed their emotions. In turn, perceived partner inauthenticity during sacrifice was associated with poorer personal well-being and relationship quality. These effects persisted over time with perceived partner suppression predicting poorer relationship quality 3 months later.”

The bottom line? Making sacrifices is a natural part of healthy relationships. If you’re unhappy about making any, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.

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Wondering what you should sacrifice in the name of love? Read on.

1. Alone time

When you’re in a relationship, a lot of your free time is spent with your significant other. You’ll find that you willingly giving up that free time because you want to spend time with your partner, not because you feel like you have to. Having said that, there are times when you just need to be alone. When that happens, simply let your partner know you’re carving out some “you time.” That’s a normal part of any relationship. Lifehack recommends spending time with your friends, and partaking in hobbies that you enjoy doing by yourself.

2. Privacy

When you choose to share your life with someone, your partner will eventually learn everything about you. Your significant other will often know many details of your everyday life, like what you’re doing and where you’re going. In other words, your private life is no longer as private as it was when you were single. This can often mean sacrificing some of your physical privacy as well, like the bathroom in the morning, especially if you’re living together.

3. The need to be right

Disagreement, couple fighting

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Fighting is a natural part of being in a relationship. When fights arise, you can go on and on about it, but at the end of the day, it’s important to ask yourself whether the argument is worth trying to prove that you’re right. Often, dragging out small fights is a waste of time. You’re a team and you should sometimes agree to disagree about things that aren’t important. Continuing the argument can lead the other to feel belittled, and it’s not beneficial or healthy to behave that way in your relationship. If there is a problem, communication is key to figuring out how to solve it.

The Power of Morality offers this advice:

Oftentimes we are given a choice between being right and having peace. Peace of mind and peace in our relationships. I’m certainly not advocating that you let people walk all over you in the name of “keeping the peace”. You should still stand up for what you believe is right. My advice is to let go of the need to be right as soon as the decision is made, because if you cling to it beyond that point, you are living in the past. And living in the past can only lead to suffering.

4. Independent goals

This doesn’t mean that you’ll sacrifice your passions and dreams — that is something completely separate that you should never give up. Rather, this means that when you’re in a committed relationship, you are sacrificing the ability to just pick up and go because you feel like it. You’re a team now, and you need to make decisions together. Always remember you’re a partnership — your goals should benefit the relationship.

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