How much sacrifice is considered too much in a relationship? And how much love is too much love?
When Rapunzel continuously let the charming prince in through that tiny window of that mythical castle, she did so at the very high risk of being caught by her evil mum.
But she continued doing it nonetheless, hoping that the pieces of rags would become long enough to escape, like Alice, into a wonderland with Prince Charming before their plan was discovered and torn to shreds by the black, ugly claws of that witch.
Of course, everyone knows how that story ends. If you don’t, just type ‘Rapunzel’ into google after reading this article and you’ll be good.
We just published a story here about Japanese Princess, Mako, the real-life, modern Rapunzel, who is risking it all for love.
As Japanese culture dictates, the princess will lose her place among royalty if she marries a commoner; and although she is well aware of this, reports say she intends to go ahead and seek permission from her grandfather, the emperor of Japan, to be with her lover who she met while in University.
This inevitably leads to the question of how much sacrifice one deserves from a partner, and how much of the same one should be willing to make.
How much of myself am I supposed to invest into a relationship? How much do I give? Not just in monetary value now but in more general terms.
How much sacrifice is too much sacrifice? How committed do I have to be? How much discomfort/inconvenience do I have to endure with a partner before giving up on them and moving on?
This wouldn’t have been a difficult to answer or a complex issue to address if relationships hadn’t become what they are today.
It is a reality that an insane number of people are entering into relationships with a part of them scared and uncertain; fearful and treading in the relationship as if you're on a mine field.
They really want to trust completely, to love without reservation and commit fully, but they can’t because former experiences and numerous stories of genuine sadness that came on others who have loved in that manner have taught them that this might not be the way to go.
Like I wrote in a previous article, “You are left wondering if [your present relationship] is the real deal…
"You fear that they might be like the previous people you’ve once been with, if they would rip your heart out and remorselessly trample on it as someone has previously done."
So you tread carefully and love partially. You give just enough of yourself to be one leg in and the other poised to run away.
You enter with paranoia, cynicism and uncertainty and because you were never dedicated to the relationship/marriage in the first instance, every problem or difficulty encountered in it seems like a verification of the fear that came into the relationship with you.
What you could have calmly resolved is either discussed from a place of distrust, indifference or way too much aggression.
You cannot go into a relationship, let alone a marriage without the right intentions and mindset. You need to know what you want and what you are willing to give.
And regardless of what you have seen or heard, your all is what you should be willing to give to your partner. All of you – body, soul and spirit.
Genuine, meaningful relationships are such that you either go hard, or stay home. You’re either in it all the way or not in it at all.
Logically, this means you need to be careful before getting into anything. Take your time, look before you leap.
You know what you are looking for in a partner, and you know what you’d like to give to bring to the table in a relationship.
You know your desires, your goals, your values and the traits that are deal breakers for you. So ask questions, and make sure a potential partner has these before you commit to anything. As in, anything.
The certainty is not there that it’ll last forever, but at least you can be sure that you held nothing back; before the relationship, and during it.
It'll be their fault, not yours if things go south. And even if it hurts terribly when it happens, it'll still majorly be their loss, not yours.
Lessons from failures make us stronger, and better. And of course, there are always second chances to get it right, to hit jackpot.
Actually, some might need to try again a third or fourth time. Maybe even a fifth! [Hopefully not, though]
But whatever your lot, just make it count at all times. You need to love truly, deeply, really.
Every. Single. Time.