Some people are too demanding in a relationship, and because of that, things can fizzle out. I’ve been dating my boyfriend Josh for a little over a year now, and over the course of it I’ve truly taken one lesson to heart: the most important factor is his happiness, as long as I’m also happy.
How do I achieve this zen outlook? It’s really quite simple. Dating is like being a member of a team, so one person’s achievement is both of your achievement. To continue the metaphor, if my boyfriend has scored a “happiness” goal, then I’m happy too, assuming that I have also scored my own happy goal. By putting my boyfriend first and/or second, I am showing him that his happiness is my happiness, if I’m also independently happy.
For example, earlier this week, Josh and I were deciding where to go for dinner and realized that we had different restaurants in mind. While I wanted to go somewhere upscale, he was in the mood for a sports bar where he could watch the game and eat wings. Because I love him, I wanted him to be happy—and knew that would make me happy. So, I indulged him by agreeing to go to bar, then threw a tantrum so that he offered to take me to a fancy Italian restaurant in which I allowed him to check the score on his phone every twenty minutes. It’s compromises like this that keep our relationship strong.
The sacrifices I sort of make for my boyfriend aren’t always that obvious; sometimes they reveal themselves in small ways during everyday life. Every once in a while I’ll give him exactly what he wants, like a head massage while he goes down on me or a marathon of his favorite TV show right before I leave the house. When I can do something that I know will put a smile on his face, I just have to do it—unless it’s not exactly what I want; then I definitely won’t do it.
Since adopting this mantra, the bond between Josh and I has only become stronger. There are times when I swear he can read my mind—but then I remember that it’s because I told him exactly what I wanted and he did it. Over the past thirteen months I’ve watched myself grow into a girlfriend who’s incredibly easygoing and giving, as long as I’m getting my way at all times.
Some people may say that being this selfless with my boyfriend is unnecessary, but I know that with all the time and effort he puts into our relationship, it always eventually comes back to benefit the both of us. But most importantly, me.