2019-02-14
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Relationships are all about compromise and working together. For them to work, both parties in the relationship need to be involved in and happy with the decisions that are made. Both people need to be willing to make sacrifices, approach problems with open minds and accept that they are not always going to get their way. In short, relationships are all about putting “we” above “me.” This, however, is hard for someone who is being selfish.

Selfishness in a relationship is a strange thing. People who are generous and giving in the rest of their lives can become uncompromising and deeply possessive in a relationship. Those who are normally unbearably self-centered can turn out to be stunningly willing to put their significant other first. This is not always the case, and a selfish person is more likely to be selfish in a relationship, but love and romance can change people both for better and for worse. 

Regardless of whether a person is normally selfish or not, selfishness in a relationship is enough to doom any future the couple has together. As such, it is important to recognize when someone is being selfish. There are literally hundreds of websites that have advice for identifying when your partner is being selfish, but what if they are not the problem? What if you are the selfish one in your relationship?

You always get your way.

Everyone likes it when they get their way. In a relationship, however, you should never be the one always getting your way. If you are, that means your partner never gets their way. In a healthy relationship, you two will be experts at compromise. That means that sometimes you will not get what you want. If you are always getting your way, then you are not compromising. You are likely being selfish and insisting that your partner do what you want to do. The only other ways one person always gets their way is if both of you agree on literally everything, which is almost impossible, or if your partner refuses to make their preferences known no matter how much you ask, in which case you have an entirely different set of problems you two need to address. 

You try to fix your partner.

Your relationship will in many ways always be a work in progress, but your significant other should be your partner in this endeavor not another project. It is extremely selfish to try and fix your partner. When you two got together in the first place, you knew what you were getting into by dating them. Their quirks and habits should not come as a huge surprise. As such, you should have gone into the relationship already accepting them for who they are instead of getting together so that you could be with the person you hope they will become. 

When it comes to trying to fix someone, there is a large difference between trying to get them to break a bad or irritating habit and trying to change their personality. Trying to get your partner to stop leaving their sweaty socks all over the sofa is both acceptable and reasonable as long as you do not get angry when they practically beg you to please stop leaving the TV remote in the kitchen. Attempting to get your partner to stop having a somewhat dark sense of humor is trying to change who they are as a person.

You have to win every argument.

Couples fight. This is news to exactly no one. There is simply no way to avoid disagreements when you two live in each other’s space all the time, but there are right and wrong ways to go about fighting with your significant other. When you do argue, one of the least helpful things you can do is treat the argument like a battle to be won. Fights with your partner should always be productive. They are not pleasant, but they should bring about some sort of resolution to an issue or at least result in a plan to deal with some preexisting problem. They should not be about winners and losers and scoring points in some ill-defined game. If you are digging in your heels and refusing to admit your mistakes or back down because you do not want to lose an argument, you are being extremely selfish. 

You are always right.

There is a trend in wedding and couple gifts to have pairs of mugs or shirts that say “Mr. Right” and “Mrs. Always Right.” While the comparison is played for a laugh, the idea that one person is always right is actually deeply damaging in a relationship and a sign of selfishness. In a healthy relationship, you need to be able to listen with an open mind and really see things from other perspectives. You have to be able to admit when someone else was right and, even more importantly, when you were wrong. No one likes to eat humble pie, but if you want to have any hope of a relationship working out, you need to get used to the taste. 

Selfishness has no place in a relationship, but that does not stop some people from making things all about them. It is true that your significant other should always keep you in mind, but that does not mean that they have to agree with you all the time or cater to your every whim. If you want the relationship to last, you need to make sure you give at least as much as you take. Otherwise, your partner will get tired of giving without receiving anything in return and leave you for some who actually appreciates them.