Love Shouldn’t be a Power Struggle

By Alisa Patience

It has been said that if something isn’t worth fighting for then it isn’t worth having, and this has been especially said about love. After all, where’s the satisfaction in something if it came easily? The beginning part of a relationship is often about the chase, the dating, the testing to see if this person would fight for you. Once you’ve entered into a committed relationship it shouldn’t still be about the fight or the chase. All the tests are over. Good relationships shouldn’t have to constantly be fought for. If you’re meant for each other, it shouldn’t feel like work.

The key to a healthy relationship is communication and showing each other acts of love without expecting anything in return and, of course, compromising. Compromise is a good way of resolving a conflict, but if compromise is all you’re doing, maybe it’s not a good match. You shouldn’t have to give up all of what makes you happy for the other person. Let’s say you need to give up something, maybe a night out, and you find that extremely difficult. Maybe you’re with the wrong person. Giving up a night out is not particularly difficult, and you should want to spend time with your significant other anyway.

If playing video games all day is your favorite thing to do,and it makes you happy, you shouldn’t be with someone who wants you to give that up. If you’re a person who needs things to be clean, you should be with someone who at least respects that and does their best not to make a mess.

Ross and Rachel, Rory and Dean, Dan and Serena, etc. are all examples of fictional, toxic relationships. These are examples of TV love — love that should be avoided, but it is instead idolized. TV love looks good because when they’re together they seem happy, even though they’re always fighting and doing things to hurt each other. They’re on and off again, untrusting partners, and they all contain someone who is giving up what they need for their partner. All these couples do is fight to be together. The men are possessive and demand the women to change things about themselves. In all honesty, these couples should have given up at the first signs of trouble. What they had wasn’t worth the arguing and the drama. Up until the last episode of “Friends,” Ross was jealous and possessive over Rachel. She had an amazing job opportunity in Paris that she really wanted, but she ended up not taking it because Ross convinced her otherwise. Her potential bosses even accepted that she fly back to New York whenever she wanted to visit, but that wasn’t enough. Rachel never really wanted Ross except for when he was in a relationship with another woman, and she never found it interesting when he talked about his job, something he’s passionate about. They both compromised too much to make the other person happy, and it always ended in disaster. Similar instances occurred with Rory and Dean and Dan and Serena.

Say your lover is taken hostage by a dragon. You should be thinking, “I’m going to do everything I can to escape, and I hope my partner will do their part to help.” You should not be thinking, “My partner better come and save me. I don’t care if it puts them in danger, because they owe me for all the support I give them.” They owe you what they want to owe you. By being a capable human being, you should be figuring out how to do your part to save yourself and not demand your partner do things that could hurt them. You should fear for your partner as well as yourself, and acts of graciousness should not feel like work. Relationships are not about owing each other favors.

Maybe to some extent, only things worth fighting for are worth having. But you shouldn’t have to constantly fight for a healthy relationship. It should be about support, where the two of you take on battles together. If you and your partner have to keep changing in order to fit in each other’s lives better, there’s no shame in breaking up. It’s for the better. You both can find someone who is a better match for you.

The person you’re truly meant to be with won’t ask you to give up anything you love. You won’t have to change the fundamentals of who you are, because the person you’re meant to be with will love you for who you are. Not being with the person you love hurts, but being with someone who doesn’t make you happy hurts most of all.

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