The concept of doing "anything for love" tends to get romanticized a lot. When someone's willing to give something up for the sake of their partner, some people may think they must really love them. But according to experts, this thinking can be problematic. While there are some things you can give up for your relationship, there are other things you absolutely cannot.
"A good relationship is one that encourages and supports you as you are now," Lesli Doares, couples consultant and coach, tells Bustle. "It's one that encourages you to be your best self, not some version of who they think you are or should be. Being asked to give up or sacrifice who you are creates resentment which will eventually kill the relationship."
Love shouldn't require you to sacrifice something that's important to you. A love that's built to last doesn't come with conditions. If you feel the need to give something up for your partner, they're likely not the one for you.
"This doesn’t mean that you can't lean in on things that are not big issues," Margaret Paul, PhD, bestselling author and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "But with issues that are very important to you, compromising and making sacrifices will lead to problems."
If you feel like you can go without these things in your relationship, experts say your partner may not be "The One."
Your Hobbies And Passions
"You are you and whatever you enjoy is what makes you unique and exciting," Trombetti says. "Don’t give it up for anyone." Besides, it's healthy to have a life and interests outside of your relationship, and if your partner can't understand that, it's likely a relationship you don't want to be in.
The Love You Have For Yourself
When loving someone else makes you question things about yourself, something is wrong. "You should never compromise the love you have for yourself," Brian Jory, PhD, relationship therapist and author of Cupid on Trial, tells Bustle. "It’s the flame you were born with, the flame that propels you through life." The right one will love everything about you, even the parts of yourself that you may not like as much.
Who You Really Are
"It can be good and awesome to give up who you are if it transforms you into the person you are meant to be," Dr. Jory says. "But never compromise your values, beliefs, or your sense of well-being." Change for the better is good, if you're willing to make a change. It's not a good thing if your partner pressures you into doing so. As Dr. Jory says, "Anyone who loves you will not ask you or pressure you to do that."
Expressing Your Honest Feelings And Opinions
If you hold back on sharing your opinions because you know your partner will disagree and you don't want to start a fight, that's a pretty good indicator that you are not in the right relationship. "You are entitled to your own perspectives and opinions," Doares says. If your partner shuts down or says hurtful things just because they don't agree with you, they are definitely not "The One."
Your Background And Religion
"If your partner is 'The One,' they will not ask you, either directly or indirectly, to give up your cultural background and your religion," clinical psychologist Nicole Issa, PsyD, tells Bustle. This is a decision you can only make yourself. It's never something you should feel pressured to do. If it's important to your partner and you're not completely willing to change, this isn't the right relationship for you. You can love each other a lot, but at the end of the day, this can be an incompatibility issue.
Your Sense Of Wellbeing
Relationships can get stressful at times. But it shouldn't be that way all the time. If thinking about your partner or your relationship fills you with stress or anxiety, it's taking a toll on your wellbeing. If that's the case, your partner is likely not "The One." The same goes for your self-care practices.
"Let’s say you regularly engage in exercise, therapy, or time alone to decompress," Issa says. "If your partner pushes you to give up these things, especially while knowing that they are important to your health and wellbeing, [you may want to reconsider]."
When you're in a healthy, well-balanced partnership, you shouldn't feel the need to really give up anything. A good relationship should add to your life, not take anything away from it. If you ever feel pressured to give something up for the sake of your relationship, you're not with the right one.