Relationship mantra: Fight for self respect, not ego | sex and relationships | Hindustan Times
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Relationship mantra: Fight for self respect, not ego

Relationships are always tricky to navigate, particularly if one partner is the demanding sorts. But always remember, while it is good to fulfil expectations, there is only so much that one can do. It’s then that one must let one’s ethic define a relationship, not ego.

sex and relationships Updated: Mar 03, 2016 11:18 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Fulfilling expectations for love and kindness can enrich a relationship. But when expectations become demands that impinge on one’s values, and violate one’s self-respect, an individual needs to take a stand.
Fulfilling expectations for love and kindness can enrich a relationship. But when expectations become demands that impinge on one’s values, and violate one’s self-respect, an individual needs to take a stand.(Shutterstock)

In a recent interview with HT, while answering a question about whether her new movie had changed or affected her as a person, Sonam Kapoor spoke about her personal life. Without naming her ex-boyfriend, the actor talked about how she used to go to great lengths to please him. “There was a point in my life, when I was in a relationship, where I was desperate to be somebody else and make somebody happy. I broke up with that person because I realised that I can’t change myself to be with somebody,” she said.

It’s common for people in relationships to conform to what their partners want. Also, expectations are inevitable. But Neha Shah, psychologist, says one should know where to draw the line. “Fulfilling expectations, and requests for love and kindness can enrich a relationship. But when expectations become demands that impinge on one’s ethics and values, and violate one’s self-respect, an individual needs to take a stand, and politely discuss the situation with his or her partner,” she says.

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However, at times, drawing the line becomes difficult. Sometimes, not doing what a partner wants could affect the relationship adversely. “In some situations, even when the expectations are innocuous, partners refuse to fulfil them due to trivial ego issues. So, it is important to be aware of one’s own thought process -- are you refusing to fulfil an expectation because it violates your ethics and self-respect, or is it out of ego? If it is the former, discuss it with your partner. If it is the latter, some self-reflection may be needed,” says Shah.

There can also be situations, in which a partner may not speak to the individual about crossing the line, purely out of love. Relationship expert Mary George Varghese says that in such cases, the partner, who is at the receiving end, may end up doing something drastic. She adds, “In several cases, people who do everything that their partners want, either stop responding to the other person’s demands abruptly or just end the relationship without any warning.”

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There can also be situations, in which a partner may not speak to the individual about crossing the line, purely out of love. Such cases can be dangerous as the affected partner may end up doing something drastic. (Shutterstock)

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Also, at times, even if too many demands and requests don’t end a relationship, they eventually put extra strain on it in some way. Shah says partners need to decide what they want from each other in a relationship. She says, “Firstly, the definition of ‘too much’ and ‘too little’ must be mutually agreed upon. What might be too little for one might be too much for the other. Also, multiple demands could make one feel like he or she is putting in too much effort, time and energy into fulfilling another person’s needs. If this is not reciprocated or appreciated, the relationship becomes more of an obligation.”

So, whatever it is that you are asking your partner to do, tread carefully. After all, you could be putting your relationship at risk.