Oh. My. Gosh.
It is going to be so hard to put into words just how different it is dating someone who is selfish versus someone who is selfless. Selfish people can still have good hearts; they’re just not the kind of person I want in a significant other.
One ex I have in particular is someone I think was pretty selfish. I don’t think he means any harm by being that way, I think it’s just the way he was used to behaving and possibly his nature. In fact, one could argue that being selfish is just simply human nature. I think it takes a lot of practice and self-control to be a selfless human being.
Here are just a few ways dating someone who is selfish differs from dating someone who is selfless:
Being with someone who was selfish gave me constant anxiety. I never felt at ease in the relationship, as I always knew something major could change and I would have absolutely no say in the matter. Sure we would discuss big decisions, but when it came down to it I never really had a say.
Being with someone who is selfless makes me feel secure. We talk about big things in life and I believe him when he says he wants to know what I would like to do. I don’t have the same suffocating fear that I am not in control of my future at all, and this actually makes me more willing to compromise, as I know he will do the same with me.
To a selfish person “no” means “I’d rather not, but ultimately you get to choose.” Why? Because their desires are more important than your boundaries.
To a selfless person “no” means “no.” And they won’t push the boundaries because they respect you and would never want to make you feel bad.
When a selfish person hurts you they do not learn from their mistake. They may have it in the back of their mind that you don’t like something that they are doing, but that ultimately won’t make them think twice about a repeat offense. Selfish significant others are more interested in making themselves satisfied than pleasing you.
When a selfless person hurts you, they sincerely apologize and don’t just try to fix their mistake, but also take note of it to avoid being a repeat offender. This doesn’t mean they’ll be perfect from there on out, but it does mean they might rethink future decisions and be more cognizant of how their actions might affect you.
Dating someone selfish is exhausting. You know you can’t ever really win with them. When you’re with someone who is selfish it’s their way or the highway, and you can have the same fight over and over again but never actually come to a resolution — that is, until you finally give in to their wishes.
Dating someone selfless is seamless. We don’t have a perfect relationship, but disagreements are a whole lot easier knowing that we listen to actually hear what one another is saying, and can come to a conclusion at the end of the day. We’re both “winners,” as we care about each other and are happy to make the other person happy.
This barely scratches the surface of dating someone who is selfish versus someone who is selfless. I didn’t take the selfless examples to the extreme, but a selfless person will truly put your heart above his own — not because he wants something from you — but because he loves you even more than he loves himself. This does not mean he is perfect, will never make mistakes, or will never make a selfish decision. It does mean, though, that you can have a healthy relationship with compromise and so much less stress than dating someone who is always looking out for himself.
Today’s lesson: At the end of the day you should be with someone who wants to make you happy and will compromise. No, you shouldn’t be with a pushover who does whatever you say — in that instance you are quite possibly the selfish one! You should, however, pay very close attention to the way your significant other reacts to your feelings. If he tells you that you “can’t possibly choose a place to live based on where friends and family are” and they are something he knows is important to you, run for the hills! There are plenty of people in the world who will understand your heart’s desires and will make a joint effort to work towards your dreams together.