When you’re in a romantic relationship with someone, you should be able to feel happy about it. To know that you’re loved by them as much as you love them. To feel good about yourself when you’re with them, and to know they want you to feel good.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Sometimes one person thinks they’re in a relationship while the other might think it’s just a friendship, with or without “benefits.” Sometimes one person enjoys and needs physical contact, like hugging and hand-holding, in public, while the other isn’t comfortable with that.
Sometimes one person wants to be happy and make the other person happy, and the other sees that as “smothering” or “clinging,” and because of it tromps over the first person. Makes them feel lucky to get a smile occasionally and makes them wonder what they’re doing wrong the rest of the time.
To me, that isn’t love. It’s pain and manipulation, and it makes the person on the receiving end feel like crap, which is pretty much the opposite of the way love is supposed to feel.
Everyone deserves to be happy and to be treated well in a relationship. Sadly, it doesn’t always work that way. But if you’re in a relationship where you feel “less than,” or where you have to work your ass off to make the other person happy while they do nothing for you, you’re out of balance and not getting what you deserve.
Note that I’m not talking necessarily about abusive relationships. That’s a whole other topic. Someone can be a jackass and hurt someone else emotionally without completely crossing the abuse line. But that doesn’t make it any better, and it’s something no one has to accept.
I encourage everyone to believe in their right to happiness, and to surround themselves with people–including a partner–who makes them happy to be who they are.