Love is not selfish and love does not insist on its own way.  However, there are times you have to do what’s best for you–even if it means not doing what your loved one prefers.  This does not mean you are selfish or insisting on your own way.  It only means you are taking care of your own health, safety, sanity, and well being.  The difference in self-care versus selfish is in the balance and in the underlying intention.  Remember, the meaning of love applies both ways.  If your loved one also loves you back, then they, too, will be unselfish and not insisting on their own way.  The principle is not one sided whereby one person in the relationship (you) do what the other person wants and put yourself last 100% of the time.  You act according to your heart and what you choose to do out of love.  You are not required to prove that you love someone by treating them like the king or queen with you being the humble servant whose only purpose is to fulfill their every whim.  If you truly love someone, you will naturally consider their needs, desires, and preferences and will automatically want to please them.  On the other hand, it won’t feel like you MUST please them and that the very survival of the relationship depends on you subjugating yourself.  You may, actually, be in a relationship for years blindly believing the love is mutual until a situation arises where you truly need to take care of yourself or decide that, just this once, you are going to do something for yourself. Usually this happens due to emotional or physical depletion and you simply have to take care of yourself to stay healthy or recover from an illness.   This situation is when the cover is blown if the other person does not love you in return.  You may, sadly, discover that the entire relationship has been one-sided and that the harmony, peace, and companionship you’ve enjoyed was an illusion.  You then realize the relationship was only maintained for the benefit of your loved one to the exclusion of you as a valued, equal partner in the relationship.  You may find this is in relation to a spouse, friend, or relative.  Relationships do need to be tested to make them stronger, more resilient, and more satisfying to both individuals involved.  Don’t be afraid to test the relationship by saying “no” every now and then.  Don’t be afraid to sometimes do what’s best for you, even if it means the other person does not get their way 100% of the time.  If you are fearful of testing the relationship, the fear may be unfounded.  You may be surprised to find that the other person adjusts just fine and is happy for you to be happy too!  On the other hand, you may also discover that the relationship was not what you thought it was and it may suffer.  If taking care of yourself does damage the relationship, then the hard truth is that it was not a relationship based on mutual love to begin with.  It’s better to find this out sooner than later.  Remember, you are a person too and your life, health, happiness, and wellbeing matter as much as anyone else’s in the world.

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