“Love is sacrifice” is a phrase that often pops whenever romantic relationships are discusses. What do you do, however, when you find yourself at crossroads— where you are torn between following your dreams and passion or the person you are madly in love with?
Yvonne had just received a promotion at work that she worked very hard for and felt like she was at the peak of her career, but there was one problem. Her fiancée wanted her to relocate with him to Cameroon where he had also just landed a job. It was either that or they call it quits because he wasn’t willing to be in a long distance relationship.
After giving it thorough thought and consultations from friends and family, she decided she wasn’t quitting her job. Although it was a heart breaking decision, Yvonne is happy she followed her dreams and has since moved on.
Such is the dilemma that most lovebirds face. Some blinded by love, they realise that they sacrificed a lot just to be with their partners, and while some might easily bury their dreams, others drown in sorrow and are full of regrets.
Radio presenter and artiste, MC Tino, believes there are times when you must sacrifice in the name of love, particularly when it involves things that do not define you, you have to be prepared to make the sacrifice.
“It doesn’t matter how long you have been in a relationship, or if you even have kids together, many things require sacrifice in a relationship. Money, for example, determines peace in a relationship so I would sacrifice and pay the bills, although this should be both ways. I don’t have to be the one paying bills and sacrificing time. I am also a very private person, but if I love, I will tell you anything you want to know,” he says.
Being in love, however, doesn’t mean that you have to give up all the things that make you who you are, the artiste says.
“Some things are just sacred, like my goals in life and my independence, even though my partner earns more than I do. You both have to be a whole, independent person in a relationship and have to be willing to make things work together.
I also cannot sacrifice friendships and family as well because they have been part of my life for a long time, as well as my hobbies and interests too. That would be living someone else’s life and sacrificing my happiness,” he says.
Kiki Touré, a live band artiste, also reveals that the only thing he would sacrifice would be his time and attention, as everything else is not necessary and worth the sacrifice.
“What do you think should be sacrificed more than creating space in your comfort zone to be with someone you love?” he wonders, “Getting your time to be with someone and opening your heart to communicate with the person is enough.”
When do you compromise?
Jackline Iringaniza, a counsellor, is of the view that when sacrifice is involved in a relationship, it typically means that someone loses, but with compromise, however, both parties feel at peace with the result.
“Sometimes, you might be in a relationship with someone who needs very different things than you do. You cannot forego your own needs, however, because you want to accommodate someone else.
“If there cannot be compromise, however, there cannot be love. It is ideal because it gives the feeling that even though you didn’t get exactly what you wanted, you got some of it or that you have to wait a bit to get exactly what you want. That’s better than sacrifice,” she says.
Doreen Mutesi, a wife and mother of one, believes that one cannot be completely selfless. Everybody needs to be a little selfish to live and be happy, too.
The word “selfish” often sparks negative connotations at first, as the words self-centered, self-serving, and self-involved come immediately to mind. However, there are times when being selfish is the right thing to do for your one’s well-being.
“When you’re in a relationship with someone, you commit to that person, and all of the adversities that come with commitment. However, there has to be a balance.
“You have to constantly remind yourself to evenly distribute your selfishness and selflessness. For instance, you need to give attention to your family and friends the same way you give your partner. At the same time, they all need space in order for them to continue loving you back,” she says.
One her part, Jolly Muhoza, an entrepreneur, believes that the biggest sacrifice couples tend to ignore, and should not make, is to be with someone who is possessive as this is selfishness on their side.
“It might sound romantic at first but it’s a sign that they are selfish and are not willing to give you space to live life. This can result into mental abuse or even violence. It should be a sign to let go,” she says.
Tidjara Kabendera, an entertainment journalist, strongly believes that sacrifice should not feel like a way of life when you are with the one you love. She also believes that the willingness to sacrifice when it truly matters is what makes a relationship strong and last although it is subjective, depending on how important certain choices are to someone.
“Compatibility is key for lasting relationships and it should not be confused for chemistry. If, for instance, you have worked so hard to be where you are in your career, you cannot allow your partner dictate your direction. If your partner loves you and knows how important that it is to you, he will compromise for the sake of your happiness. This is why it’s important to be with someone that you share the same vision with.
“If you are dating someone who doesn’t want you to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals, you’re in the wrong relationship. That’s a red flag and you should run for your life because your dreams are valid and there is always someone out there that will support you,” she says.
WHAT KIND OF SACRIFICES SHOULD COUPLES MAKE?
Making sacrifices for someone you love shows them that you care and it may even make you feel good about yourself.
But if you find yourself always the one making sacrifices, this can ruin everything. So you have to be careful.
Asinah Errah, Artiste
Don’t ever neglect your own needs. After all, you can only give your partner more happiness only when you’re full of happiness yourself.
Being selfless in a relationship is a sign of unconditional love, but again being too selfless can make people take you for granted.
Talent Keza, Marketer
A relationship should involve commitment, mutual respect, and love. The only thing one should sacrifice in a relationship should be their ego—admit where they are wrong and apologise.
However, they shouldn’t lose themselves and what defines them in the name of love because in the end, giving up what they love can have a toll them.
Ziggy 55, Public relations officer
The bottom line should be mutual respect and love.
Everything else will work itself out because both parties will learn to respect the decisions and goals of the other and support them instead.
Edwin Kagabo, Graphics designer