Is Selfishness Killing Our Relationships?

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    black couple in bedOver the weekend I was privy to an interesting conversation among some people whose opinions were, to say the least, different from mine. Any time I can hear another perspective or point of view, I take it. You never know what you might learn.

    In this instance, the conversation, as it often tends to do when you have more than two single people in the same place, moved to relationships and sex. Different people spoke their pieces and some disagreed with others — the usual. What stuck out was one gentleman’s perspective when it came to sex and pleasing his partner.

    (Sidebar: If you know me or have been reading my stuff for any length of time, you should know that I don’t condone sex outside of marriage. It’s because of this that I didn’t have, well, anything to contribute to the conversation.)

    This man believed that, during sex, his orgasm was his responsibility and hers was hers.

    You Put Your Own Ring On It?

    I found that his idea of, “I’m gonna get mine; you should get yours,” while more popular than some would admit, is in fact, the exact opposite of the way we probably should act in our relationships. In essence, his perspective was a selfish one.

    Obviously this runs right along with most, if not all, people’s primary gut instinct. And it makes sense. We’re selfish beings. We could have an all day debate on whether or not human beings even do anything that’s truly altruistic in nature.

    I wonder if that’s where we go wrong in our relationships. Should our primary concern be for the other person instead of ourselves? Is it because we don’t think about the other person enough that we often come into conflict with one another over the simplest things? Is the key to having a great relationship to go against our nature and put the other person first? I think so.

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    However, this idea can be taken to the extreme very easily. People fall into the “whatever you like, I like,” syndrome and subsequently get walked all over and left heartbroken. That’s not only not healthy or respectful, it’s also not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about considering the other person’s needs as much, if not slightly more than yours. And if there’s reciprocity, as there should be in any good relationship, then they’ll look out for you as you look out for them.

    But, is it really that simple? Even if it is, the application surely isn’t. We have to overcome our selfish ambitions and motives and think about another person in addition to ourselves. Not an easy task. Especially when we’re not used to doing it.

    What do you think? Is the “You get yours, I’ll get mine” mentality important to having a healthy relationship? Or does it do more harm than good? Is there a balance? The floor is yours.

    [Written by Stuart McDonald for Elev8.com. For more from Stuart, check out his personal blog, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook.]

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