a couple of days ago, i was told this by my boyfriend:
“yeah well, I’ll never let anybody get in the way of me, my dignity and my principles
not even you.”
he did something i didn’t approve of. i wasn’t directly involved, and wasn’t in the right position to judge or interfere (and beyond voicing my disapproval, i didn’t). besides, i knew him well enough to understand why he had to do it.
despite that, what he said did sting for a moment. no one wants to know that they’re second to anyone or anything.
it wasn’t very long before i decided this was the answer I’d respect the most, and also reminds me why I’m in a relationship with him. I like him precisely because he has such strong principles, and because these were principles I agree with and admire.
If I love someone who would cave in to what I demand of him (in terms of core values), I’m not loving him but the idea of him in relation to myself: once he compromises his self who is he but an extension of my whims?
I’m a huge believer of sacrifice in relationships, but if there’s one thing you don’t relinquish it’s your fundamental principles. So although I was opposed to J’s specific action, the implicit motivation rather impressed me.
It reminded me that beyond being part of a couple, he is an individual – and one I respect in all respects. I like that he loves me wholeheartedly, and considers my needs and opinions – but has the courage to know when he has to stand his ground.
I asked myself if I’d do the same: whether I’d pass on the advice of a loved one for my dignity and principles. Being mortally afraid of confrontation, I might not be able to – although I very much want to believe I would (!!!)
Taking apart my immediate and cognizant mediated reactions, I’d say we’re all part of the massive struggle between our desire to maintain social relations and to be individuals. While J’s individualism on some level did hurt me, i cannot deny him his right to it on the mere basis of preening our relationship. Also, i feel safe enough with a few knocks of conflicts between us.
Or perhaps i can put it this way: my love for him as an individual increased enough through this event to offset any negativity stemming from his disregard for my opinion.
PS for continuity’s sake: J has since apologised to me – I think more for his brusqueness than his belief.