Are you doing what makes you happy? If you are in an unsatisfactory relationship, I bet your answer is no. Taking time and space for yourself is essential to being satisfied in your relationship. But selfishness is not just about taking time for yourself, it’s about telling your partner what you need as an individual. This selfishness is important for your relationship – here’s why:
Related: Aaron Anderson’s latest video about how therapist’s make time for themselves.
Why it’s OK to be Selfish
I am NOT talking about going out to the bar every night or hanging out with friends in your only spare time. Additionally, I am NOT talking about disregarding your partner’s feelings. I AM talking about finding a way to meet your own needs. You know what you like. You used to spend a lot more time going to the mall, exercising at the gym, or socializing with friends. But what happened to that? You think that putting aside the things that you enjoy is somehow helping the relationship. You’re wrong.
When you are no longer doing the things you enjoy, you are not being true to yourself. And you are not doing any favors for the relationship. You will build resentment over time, even though you think you are putting the relationship first. You will have the sense that something is missing from your life and your partner will know that something is wrong. Do yourself and your relationship a favor by telling your partner what you want. Speak up for yourself and for your needs. Let your partner know why it is important to you and how happy it will make you. Come to an agreed upon resolution about how you can spend your time differently so you can be happy as an individual. Ultimately, your partner will be happy that you are content in your life. This, in turn, will lead to being satisfied in your relationship.
Selfishness is not Just About Time, It’s About Needs
Your partner does not know what you need from them unless you tell them. Oftentimes, people expect their partner to know exactly what they want. If they don’t get it, they assume their partner is inconsiderate. Or worse, they assume their partner does not care about them. Instead, tell your partner exactly what you want and WHY it is important. It is only fair that they know your expectations of them. Be selfish through establishing clear expectations of what you need in your relationship.
If you need at least a daily compliment in order to feel appreciated or attractive, let them know. It can be difficult and you may think to yourself, “Well I really shouldn’t want that.” This is not a time for your to judge yourself. If something from your relationship is missing, and your partner’s words would make a difference, then you should let them know. This way, you can avoid the all-so-popular argument “You never appreciate me!” When really, you were waiting for a compliment all along and they did not know. Be specific about what you want in the compliment (i.e. I want you to tell me that I am a caring wife/husband.). This part may seem silly and you may think that they are not genuine when you ask them to be this specific. However, it will get to the outcome that you need while avoiding the miscommunication – “But I complimented just like you asked.”
Related: 5 Tips for a Fall Romance out her most recent article. – By Amanda Cummins
Being selfish is the fun way to improve your relationship. By taking time for yourself and telling your partner what you need, you will be happier as an individual. Also, encourage your partner to do the same. Be open to their needs now that you know how wonderful being selfish can be.
About the Author
Chris Cummins is a couples specialist with The Marriage and Family Clinic. He focuses on working with substance abuse and couples in high conflict. Chris enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.