We never get one by sacrificing the other
Writer Nikita Gill wrote “I Chose My Self Respect Over My Love For You,” saying:
“I would put my pride second to my love… I would do everything I could to make you happy.”
And that may resonate with us, but the reality is that calling self-respect “pride” and thinking we can ever set it aside and still have love is inaccurate. We can’t. Love can’t exist without self-respect.
What we’re doing (and think we’re getting) when we sacrifice self-respect in the name of “love” is not love.
Love is not “allowing mistreatment.” Love is not “acquiescing to abuse.” Love is not “inviting ourselves to be used personal punching bags.”
Loving a dog does not mean “allowing it to attack us.” Loving a child does not mean “allowing it to hit, shout, or name-call.” So why would we ever think loving a person means allowing similar things? None of this is real love.
Love means feeding; nourishing; providing guidance, shelter, and companionship. It means supporting positive traits and growth — not yielding and allowing for negative behavior. Love involves compromise, but healthy “compromise” never involves our self-respect.
Gill goes on,
“I’ll never forget the words you said to me. ‘What happened to you, you used to love me.’
I began to choose myself. That’s what happened to me. I realised I was worth more than what you were giving me. I began to believe in myself. I chose my self respect over you…
I am better than the toxic love you tried to give me.”
And in doing so, she didn’t choose self-respect over love… on the contrary, she chose real love by choosing self-respect.
In real love, we don’t ever have to choose between “love” and “self-respect.” In real love, self-respect is a required component; a strong backbone to a healthy and nourishing relationship — for both parties.
Which is, after all, the only thing real love is.