How selfish one should be?

(Disclaimer: To all those who read this blog, this blog contains MY opinions that may or may not agree with yours. My word on ANYTHING at all is not final and you’re free to reject the opinions if you think they don’t make sense)

Hi! Here’s me, the blogging addict (an e-version of a writing addict really) blogging again about something that has been puzzling me for a long time………relationships………

Well, I have read so much text about the self-lessness of a relationship………..there are so many romantic novels professing the same. There are books after books written about how to retain your relationship’s happiness! And since I am a self-help addict too, I must say, I have read a good number of these! And after having researched so many of these, I wondered if there is something called complete selflessness? And if there is, is it practical to be completely selfless in a relationship? More than practical, is it healthy to be selfless? Puzzling, isn’t it? Well, it puzzles me still!!!!!! So, here are some views of mine………….

There’s this particular website: (it was sent to me by my friend a long time back to read and build up my lost self-confidence). This website says, love’s honest and live’s selfless and love’s kind and such things!

Hmmm………if love is so nice then, why do relationships break? Why do people drift apart? The same people who said they were in love fall “out of love”…….so, is love such an EASY thing? In my opinion, NO! The stages in a relationship can roughly be divided into three stages:

1. The initial one, where your “loved one” is the best person you’ve ever come across, where everything has a rose-tint to it………

2. The middle one, where you start realizing that the other person in NOT SO PERFECT afterall…..and in my opinion, this is the stage where the not-so-strong relationships crumble….coming to terms with the fact that the person you love is a human being and the demi-God you thought he/she was can be a tough one………..

3. The last one, the COMFORT zone…………..the relationships that survive the Stage 2 reach this stage and this is where one comes to an understanding of the other person…..the stage where one accepts the other person along with his/her faults!

Now, fortunately or unfortunately, the Stage 2 generally lasts for a long time! These are the testing times in a relationship! The initial rosy rosy charm wears off and you fall back to reality! (wait if you’re losing patience, I shall come back to selflessness point soon after this)……

The initial stage of the relationships is the one in which one’s completely selfless! We repeatedly tell our partners that THEY are all that we desire, they are all we care for, and they are the one we’ll do anything for! And trust me, we live up to this…………ummm………….for some time! A few months………..maybe an year! I think an year of being together is sufficient to see the true personality of the person you love!

After this, reality strikes! Unfortunate are those who get married before this Stage 1 is over! Because THEY find ti extremely difficult to come to terms with the Stage 2! There are squabbles, quarrels, constant irritation, tensions etc. But all’s not that bad! After this, many of them DO manage to reach Stage 3 and live happily together! But with decreasing tolerances, thanks to our jet-set life-styles, it’s difficult and lots of marriages end up breaking!

With these trends setting in, where separation from your spouse is not such a BAD idea anymore, there’s this question that obviously springs up! WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE RELATIONSHIP?????

After having read a lot of text on relationships, I came to know that being SELFISH to come extent helps the relationship from going bad! Sounds funny na? But it is TRUE……

Now how does this selfishness come to picture? Where does it appear? How do you know when to be selfish and about what? Frankly, I have no ready-made answers but I shall relate things from my own experience and from what I have heard from so many of my friends!

Many of us become completely selfless in a relationship. Initially, we are willing to give up everything, and bend to any extent to get the relationship going! We don’t mind “adjusting” here and there, and sometimes, everywhere!!!!!!! The other person’s happiness becomes you happiness and you just GO ON adjusting! If you’re lucky and have a partner who stops you from doing that, you may save your relationship from destroying itself, or else, you’re hitting the doom faster than you think!

AFter a point of time, the “adjuster” starts crumbling under the pressure and to complicate the matters, the other person already used to this “alternative” persona of the adjuster! Changes start gnawing at the very foundation of your relationship……….and if you don’t recover in time, you’re in for either a broken relationship or (if you are already married by then) bitter marriage.

So, what does one do??? In my opinion, The idea is to be a combination of FRANK, PRACTICAL and SELFISH! Now, there are two additions to what I started off with, frank and practical!!!!! (I guess, that’s just my excuse for writing more and more)………

So, if you feel that the relationship is making you adjust with TOO many things, you TALK (here comes frankness of a relationship and a little bit of selfishness too). If you continue to be SELFLESS when you know that you are being a person you’re basically not, YOU have to raise an alarm and talk to your partner! If you think that you are not getting returns in your relationship, in terms of attention, understanding, time, space etc., YOU have to TALK! (again a combination of selfish and frank)…….and to be all this, you have to be practical! Consider your partner a human-being with human qualities…….with traits that have flaws………..and then, SIT down and think! Are these flaws the ones you can live with? Or will you be able to accept these flaws five years down the line? Think PRACTICALLY and assess your relationship (and this exercise needs to be repeated from time to time to take a cold hard look at your relationship so that you don’t suffer)…….

And trust me, if YOU are not happy with what you’re being, there’s no way that you can make the other person happy too! Your level of comfort with YOURSELF will determine the happiness in a relationship! One has to adjust, of course, but not with one’s basic nature…….THOSE compromises shall crumble one day or the other and will only lead you to pain!

So, if you’re in a relationship, guage the strength according not to what the other person is, but with how YOU feel with the other person around…………




  1. unforgiven said,

    April 24, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    Overall, I agree.. just a few points.

    . There aren’t three steps, Its step 1, step 2 and then step 3.. but in most relationships, step 2 (and sometimes even step 1) creep in again and again over time

    . One needs to balance selfish and selfless. Neither works without quite a bit of the other thrown in. Often in keeping yourself happy with a relationship, one tends to forget that the initial idea to was continue onto making the other person happy

    I don’t know how many relationships you’ve been in but the writeup sounds a bit, umm, theoritical. There is so much more a person runs into during a long term relationship.

    As a study though, its good work πŸ™‚

  2. Karthik said,

    April 24, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Hey that was good!

    I haven’t been in a relationship, but I think the trouble is that people go out looking for love instead of being ‘the one’ themselves.
    Or as Covey puts it ‘Love is a verb’. You don’t wait to experience it, instead you ‘start’ it.

    Indeed, being selfless is perhaps a way of life. Being selfless for phase1 alone would obviously never work in the long run.

  3. April 24, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    Good writing Pritesh. As unforgiven said, sounds a bit ‘theoretical.’ But for Computer Scientists, especially from IISc, ‘theoretical’ is cool! πŸ™‚

    I haven’t been in relationships. At most, got into the stage 2 as you said. But, the same applies to all other kinds of relationships. Please don’t laugh at me if I say that the most intense relations I have been in are friendships. Somehow, I have always realised that friendship is world’s best, highest, purest relation — above blood relations, above all romantic relations. It’s in some sense above the questions of selfishness and selflessness. It somehow takes care of itself. It transcends past and future, and yet has a momentary aspect to it. It transcends distances as if there were none! It’s magical! πŸ™‚

    I really wish that I don’t have to handle a romantic relation right from day 1. The stresses of going on with that love-bug in mind even before a friendship has matured is very stressful, and I would rather never go through that experience again. A friendship turning into a romantic relationship is always something I have dreamt of. I have seen it happening more than once from close quarters, so it’s realistic. They just realised one day late in their friendship, ‘Hey! Looks like we are in love!’ I feel it must be so wonderful to have been in love for a long long time without realising it, and it dawning upon you one fine day when you least expect it!

    Well! Why am I being so mushy-mushy! πŸ™‚
    Nice blog! πŸ˜€

  4. April 24, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    Very well said Karthik! You are my spiritual guru! πŸ™‚

  5. Pritesh said,

    April 24, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Well, I am glad that the blog made sense! I have a feeling that I’ve begun to write too much all the time…….anyway, I agree with Karthik wholeheartedly. Love is a verb indeed!!!!!!!!

    And Sujju, I think friendships turning to love is a very good concept! As they say, “If you can’t be a friend to someone, you can’t be anything to anyone”……

    So, I agree with your point! Friendship is a very pure and best form of a relationship……..and I like the part —-They just realised one day late in their friendship, ‘Hey! Looks like we are in love!’ I feel it must be so wonderful to have been in love for a long long time without realising it, and it dawning upon you one fine day when you least expect it!——- Hehe, a good one!

  6. Pritesh said,

    April 24, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    Rahul, I never meant it to be THE word on relationships, I guess! I just talked about how I feel! Of course, one goes through much more than that, but I guess I was talking about one’s INDIVIDUAL experiences……………

  7. unforgiven said,

    April 26, 2006 at 6:38 am

    I said good work, didn’t I? πŸ˜›

  8. Pritesh said,

    April 26, 2006 at 6:39 am


  9. fuse me said,

    April 26, 2006 at 6:51 am

    Good one…. nicely written. Maybe you’ll update it someday…

  10. sathya said,

    April 27, 2006 at 11:04 am

    There’s a corollary to Murphy’s law that goes: Most people deserve each other.

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