If s/he really liked me s/he would . . .

  • Thread starter brainstorm
  • Start date
  • #1
503
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

I have the view that if a partner really likes/loves her/his love interest, they would not want that person to make sacrifices for them. However, some people may think the opposite, that if a person really likes/loves their partner or love interest, they WOULD make sacrifices for them. Then that person would think that if an actual or potential partner DIDN"T make such sacrifices, they weren't really interested or in love.

If, however, I view the expectation of sacrifices as a deficiency of love, how could I ever have a relationship with someone who expected sacrifices? Are these two incompatible beliefs in love or am I short-sighted in some way here? I think people who prove love by sacrifice are possibly irreconcilably alienated from people who prove love by acceptance and non-expectation of sacrifice.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
15
I think it comes down to feeling like you're forcing them to love you in a sense. You love a person if you would sacrifice things to be with them. I think that's not really open for debate. However, on the other side of the coin, you may say you don't demand they sacrifice for you because you may feel like it's saying you demand they love you, which feels unreasonable.

In all practically, I think loving someone means wanting to make sacrifices and demanding sacrifice is akin to demanding love. So you WANT to make sacrifices because you love someone, but you DON'T demand someone make sacrifices for you because you don't demand they love you. The fact that you allow or disallow the sacrifice to take place does not define whether or not the person loves you.
 
  • #3
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,708
2,195
I believe that the biggest mistake a couple can make is to make generalizations and forecasts about what partners are "supposed" to do. The thing about a relationship is that it is yours and no one else's. One decides these things a on a case-by case basis (not for example based on whether one "should" make sacrifices or whether one should not "want" another to make sacrifices).

In my opinion, the problem with answering your question is that the question presupposes there should be an answer.
 
  • #4
503
0
I think it comes down to feeling like you're forcing them to love you in a sense. You love a person if you would sacrifice things to be with them. I think that's not really open for debate. However, on the other side of the coin, you may say you don't demand they sacrifice for you because you may feel like it's saying you demand they love you, which feels unreasonable.

In all practically, I think loving someone means wanting to make sacrifices and demanding sacrifice is akin to demanding love. So you WANT to make sacrifices because you love someone, but you DON'T demand someone make sacrifices for you because you don't demand they love you. The fact that you allow or disallow the sacrifice to take place does not define whether or not the person loves you.
What if someone doesn't "demand" sacrifices but just measures how much the other one loves them by whether they are willing to make sacrifices? To use an impersonal example, there is a video on youtube that counsels women to evaluate a potential relationship for long-term viability by testing whether he is willing to make compromises for you. "Would you want to marry someone who isn't willing to compromise?" the commentator asks.

That youtube video is not expressing an uncommon feeling. Yet how many people would think of themselves as making sacrifice a condition of love by expecting compromise? A better example might be someone who starts to realize that they have always been submissive in a relationship to ensure their partner's satisfaction. When they decide they have to stop being submissive, will their partner take it as a breakdown of love? Another example might be a budding relationship where one person decides to withhold interest until they know whether the other person is really interested in a relationship or just friendship. If they would choose to interpret signs instead of asking directly, they might misinterpret unwillingness to take risks or sacrifice caution as evidence of insufficient interest - but by doing so they would basically be expecting sacrifice.

I think it is traditional for women to expect various forms of sacrifice from men to prove their love or interest. I think the reverse is also the case as women are expected to sacrifice their careers or other personal gain for men. I wonder if there is a possibility of love that doesn't involve sacrifice, since probably many people would claim that one person sacrificing themselves for another is not a good basis for a healthy relationship.
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
15
I think as I stated earlier, it's whether or not the person is willing to sacrifice, not whether or not they actually do that matters. If a person decides they no longer want to sacrifice for a person, I feel that's an indication that they no longer love the person. The quantity of sacrifice is really what matters. If you won't sacrifice at all then there is no love. If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit here but in general want things your way, that's not saying much. If you're willing to sacrifice your whole life and career and whatever, then damn you must love that person!
 
  • #6
503
0
I think as I stated earlier, it's whether or not the person is willing to sacrifice, not whether or not they actually do that matters. If a person decides they no longer want to sacrifice for a person, I feel that's an indication that they no longer love the person. The quantity of sacrifice is really what matters. If you won't sacrifice at all then there is no love. If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit here but in general want things your way, that's not saying much. If you're willing to sacrifice your whole life and career and whatever, then damn you must love that person!
Ok, you are clearly in the camp of "(willingness to) sacrifice = love." Now what about the other camp, that love means not wanting someone else to sacrifice for you? I.e. what about love without submission?
 
  • #7
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,051
17
To use an impersonal example, there is a video on youtube that counsels women to evaluate a potential relationship for long-term viability by testing whether he is willing to make compromises for you. "Would you want to marry someone who isn't willing to compromise?" the commentator asks.
For women, the ideal mate is not someone who possesses some set of desirable qualities - for the obvious reason: what's desirable today will be boring tomorrow - but someone who can be molded, like a blob of uncomplaining putty, into l'homme du jour!

"Willingness to compromise" is code for puttitude. :wink:
 
  • #8
503
0
For women, the ideal mate is not someone who possesses some set of desirable qualities - for the obvious reason: what's desirable today will be boring tomorrow - but someone who can be molded, like a blob of uncomplaining putty, into l'homme du jour!

"Willingness to compromise" is code for puttitude. :wink:
And men would submit to this purely out of desire for sex or some other want/need? Mommy #2? Masochism? Duty? Desire for social validation? House cleaning?
 
  • #9
272
6
I feel that they should want to change for the person to better themselves, but not forced to. But, if the person is supposed to "change" too much, it just isn't meant to be. Find someone that possesses the right right qualities.
 
  • #10
503
0
I feel that they should want to change for the person to better themselves, but not forced to. But, if the person is supposed to "change" too much, it just isn't meant to be. Find someone that possesses the right right qualities.
Why should they want to "better themselves" for another person or according to another person's standards instead of their own? Shouldn't they decide independently how to better themselves and then take or leave a partner based on whether s/he values the independent betterment? Shouldn't a person be willing to leave a relationship if it requires the slightest amount of compromise of one's independence? If not, should their be a balance of sacrifice for the other? If your partner isn't willing to sacrifice/change exactly as much as you are, shouldn't you end the relationship? If you don't end the relationship when they refuse to budge, are you giving in to being dominated by them?
 
  • #11
63
0
Hmmm well I think that the whole premise of relationships is based upon possession and what the other person can do for you. It even makes itself present in language; ie MY husband MY wife. Women are attracted to men who can provide for them, which in some cases means sacrifices. Of course this works the other way around and applies to men as well.
 
  • #12
503
0
Hmmm well I think that the whole premise of relationships is based upon possession and what the other person can do for you. It even makes itself present in language; ie MY husband MY wife. Women are attracted to men who can provide for them, which in some cases means sacrifices. Of course this works the other way around and applies to men as well.

It's amazing to me how many people seem to be comfortable with (mutual) exploitation in relationships. When I was younger, it seems like people would at least be in denial about using each other because it was unpopular to think/admit that you were sacrificing your own life to please a partner. Perhaps now it is viewed as once again noble. One problem, among others, is that it creates a lot of temptation to receive more than you give. This in turn leads to people taking advantage of their partner's generosity and a gradual build up of resentment in the one doing the most giving. This happens gradually because love causes people not to mind the sacrifice(s) they make. It's when they get to the point of wanting something from their partner that the partner is unwilling or unable to give; and that can cause irritation when you (have) sacrifice(d) so much for your partner. I think there is too much temptation to lie (even to yourself) and say that a favor is no sacrifice just because you are afraid of losing that person if you don't please them.

I wonder if anyone is wise enough (no offense) to have this foresight of where relationship sacrifice ultimately leads and seek a relationship not based on sacrifice but on balanced exchanges of positively-experienced favors. In other words, I think it would be good if people would resist expecting sacrifices and would instead seek a partner who would only do things that had a positive effect on both partners. That way, no one sacrifices for the other. I wonder if this is even possible.
 
  • #13
77
1
What is your definition of positively-experience favors?

As my friend said, accepting a relationship is accepting a compromise of personalities. I have never met anyone in my entire life who I match my personality perfectly or even agree with everything that I say/do. But that's what made me grew. The different personalities, perceptions, thoughts, they push you to rethink and redefine who you are.

I don't see why it's harmful to be your better self for someone else. Sometimes, you need a reason, a motivation to "be your better self." For example, I'm a lazy person. I don't exercise regularly. But if I see my friend exercising every day, I would be motivated, and starts to exercise. That's changing who I am because who I am is a lazy person who don't exercise. But who knows, once I start exercising, I might like it, that even if my friend stop, I still do it because who I am has changed.

In general, I don't see how you can be in a relationship without compromising something.
 
  • #14
mathwonk
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
10,899
1,064
.....explain quantum mechanics to me simply and clearly. and not give me flack about my mac just because they prefer a PC.
 

Related Threads on If s/he really liked me s/he would . . .

  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
828
Replies
43
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
8K
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
42
Views
5K
Replies
61
Views
7K
Top