What You Should Be Selfish About In A Relationship

Home / Love & Relationships / What You Should Be Selfish About In A Relationship

What You Should Be Selfish About In A Relationship

Image: Pexels

We know we should go the extra mile to make our partner feel special, but being overly selfless isn’t always a good thing.

When we give up too much of ourselves in a relationship, we may no longer have any time for the things we enjoy doing, or worse, are denied the freedom to stand by the values we believe in and, well, be ourselves. This can make us resentful and cause us to start sabotaging the relationship by picking fights.

By putting some of our needs first, we allow ourselves to be happy, which will in turn make us better parters.


As Jessica Lamb, Psychotherapist and Founder of Relationship Matters, says: “At times, being selfish is setting boundaries. It’s saying to your partner, ‘This is important to me and part of who I am, can you accept it and honour them?’”

Relationships are all about compromise and commitment, but sometimes, it’s really OK to focus on yourself. Read on to learn more about the seven things you should be selfish about in a relationship.

1. Career goals

You’re probably at a stage where you’re building your career. While it’s essential that you set aside time for your partner, you shouldn’t feel bad about devoting time and energy to your career.

A partner who has your best interests at heart will be supportive of you chasing your dreams.

Image: Pexels

2. Love language

We all feel loved in different ways. You may feel most loved when the two of you sit and cuddle for hours, but he may feel that way when you cook him dinner or do his laundry.

“It’s important that you share with your partner the ways you feel loved, and to ask him to show you in these ways. You should then let him do the same,” says Jessica.

3. Time alone

“Everyone needs time alone to recharge, reflect and self-appreciate,” says Cindy Leong, relationship coach and Co-founder of Relationship Studio and Divine Connect.

“It can even be when you exercise, as some people feel more recharged after working out.”

Image: Pexels

4. Time with friends

While you may sometimes sacrifice time with friends for him, you shouldn’t feel pressured to do so on a regular basis.

“Your friends were an important part of your life before you met him… so you need to continue nurturing the friendships,” says Jessica. Plus, you’re going to need them to vent about your relationship issues, right?

5. Money

We don’t mean you should be selfish with your money, but that you should always set aside a monthly sum for yourself. Even if you share a joint account with your partner, you shouldn’t be putting all of your earnings into it.

“It’s important to maintain some form of financial independence so you have control over your life decisions,” says Jessica. In addition, if you’re making your own money, you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about shopping as long it’s within your means.

Talking about money early in the relationship helps you figure out your compatibility.

“Knowing your partner’s outlook on money tells you if you’re on the same page, and if he’s a suitable partner for you,” says Violet Lim, Chief Relationship Officer of Esync and co-founder of Lunch Actually Group.

“Even if the both of you have different values, you can think of ways to resolve potential problems before they get too big.”

More stories from CLEO
Are You Having Way More Sex Than You Really Want To?
This Is The Best Type Of Picture To Use For Your Dating Profile
7 Of The Best Sex Toys On The Singapore Market Right Now

6. Religion

Religion is a very personal thing, and some people only date others of the same faith. If you and your partner are of different religions, you shouldn’t feel pressured to give up your beliefs for him and vice versa.

“Inter-faith relationships can work out if there’s mutual understanding and acceptance,” says Violet.

7. Self-development

We’re constantly trying to learn new skills and improve ourselves — it’s one of the ways we show self-love. If you want to try something new but your partner doesn’t, you shouldn’t have to drop it for him.

“Even though you may prefer working as a pair or embarking on a journey together, you shouldn’t be deprived of self-development. Instead, you should meet your own needs, which makes room for self-actualisation (the fulfillment of your talents and potential),” says Cindy.




This article is featured in THREAD by Zalora. Written by Adora Wong, CLEO, on 19 December 2017.

Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong is a sought after bilingual (English and Mandarin) Enneagram Personality Coach and Corporate Trainer in Asia, who can help you make sense of your professional and personal relationships. She is a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Besides a Bachelor Degree in Psychology (majoring in Communications), she also has a Diploma in Business and has done in-depth research and studies in the areas of Organisational Behaviour and Gender Communications, both in Singapore and Taiwan. Through her expertise in corporate executive coaching, personal development, and relationship coaching, she has helped many professionals in their walk through challenging times, particularly in the areas of identity searching, relationship building and career breakthrough. Aside from being a published author of 2 books, she has also been invited by several radio stations and magazines as an expert guest speaker to provide insights into Enneagram, workplace conflicts and relationships.
Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search