Why Should You “Put Yourself First” in a Relationship?

Via Reddit,

I [22m] don’t understand the concept of “put yourself first” in a relationship; isn’t that backwards?

So, I’ve been talking to some of my friends about my relationship lately and I keep hearing that I should “put myself first”. A little background: I’m not feeling too hot about my current relationship of 1+ year with my 26f girlfriend.

I don’t understand this concept; to me that feels selfish. If things aren’t going right in a relationship and it doesn’t feel good to me, shouldn’t I try to stay and work things out. Isn’t love/trust built upon putting the other person first?

tl;dr – I keep hearing “put yourself first” (as in leave) regarding a relationship I’m in that doesn’t make me entirely happy. I feel guilty thinking about that, and I’m not able to see how “putting myself first” isn’t a selfish act that goes against the unselfishness of love.

You put yourself first in a relationship for the same reason they tell you on an airplane to put on your own oxygen mask before helping your child put on his oxygen mask. If you don’t take care of your needs first, you may not be able to take care of someone else’s needs.

On the other hand, in a relationship, if you’re happy and feel taken care of, it’s much easier to feel good about looking out for your partner’s needs. If you don’t do that and you feel unhappy, unappreciated and your needs aren’t met, it’s going to eventually bleed through in how you treat the other person.

Besides, a relationship isn’t about meeting the other person’s needs, it’s about both of you getting your needs met. If her needs are getting met and yours aren’t, it’s not a good relationship.

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John Hawkins
John Hawkins created Rightwingnews.com in 2001; built it up to a top 10,000 in the world website; created a corporation with more than 20 employees to support it; created a 3.5 million person Facebook page; became one of the most popular conservative columnists in America; was published everywhere from National Review to Human Events, to Townhall, to PJ Media, to the Daily Wire, to The Hill; wrote a book 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know that was at one point top 50 in the self-help section on Amazon; did hundreds of hours as a guest on radio shows, raised $611,000 in a GoFundMe for Brett Kavanaugh’s family and has been talked about everywhere from The New York Times to Buzzfeed, to the Washington Post, to Yahoo News, to the Rush Limbaugh Show, to USA Today. After seeing the unjust way that Brett Kavanaugh was treated during his hearings and how a lifetime worth of good work was put at risk by unprovable allegations, John Hawkins decided to create a men’s website. Welcome to Brass Pills!


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