Originally Posted by SimonSays
Love is how much you will change your life selflessly for someone else because you WANT to (not because they demand it). When you love someone completely, i believe you would sacrifice willingly for their happiness without being asked or told, only because you place their needs above your own.
Holy crap, do I ever disagree! I don't know if you mean that literally as strongly as you wrote it... I hope not. But if that is done by one person in the relationship, it leads to them sacrificing to the point of resentment or feeling like they don't know themselves anymore. If it's done by both persons in the relationship, neither will be getting what they actually want.
I think a healthy and loving way is to view a loved one's as equally important to one's own. Even in the case of a child, it is also in the best interest of the kid for its parent to take care of themselves as well as the child. With a child you are responsible for the child's needs and of your own. But in a partnership, even as needs are seen as equally important, each adult is primarily responsible for getting their own needs met, but the loving thing to do is to not be in the way of the other adult getting their needs met, and to help whenever possible.
I think seeing partner's needs and wants as equally important to one's own needs and wants is a lot. I think seeing them as more important is too much. I also think seeing one's own needs and wants as fundamentally more important than other person's is too much to the other direction, and selfish. That actually goes for any relationship, whether aquintances or friends or partners. Obviously, recognising the importance of other people's needs and wants doesn't mean that you need to put all your
energy into making sure they are met. Usually partnership involves some extent of pooling of resources (whether financially or time/energy-wise), so often all strive for something that is more important to one than the others, and that is great. I simply don't think it's healthy to sacrifice one's own needs (or too many wants) in the process if they for some reason aren't compatible.