the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Is Selfishness Killing Our Relationships?
April 13, 2010, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Relationships


Over the weekend I was privy to an interesting conversation among some people whose opinions were, to say the least, different from mine. Any time I can hear another perspective or point of view, I take it. You never know what you might learn.

In this instance, the conversation, as it often tends to do when you have more than two single people in the same place, moved to relationships and sex. Different people spoke their pieces and some disagreed with others — the usual. What stuck out was one gentleman’s perspective when it came to sex and pleasing his partner.

(Sidebar: If you know me or have been reading my stuff for any length of time, you should know that I don’t condone sex outside of marriage. It’s because of this that I didn’t have, well, anything to contribute to the conversation.)

This man believed that, during sex, his orgasm was his responsibility and hers was hers.

I found that his idea of, “I’m gonna get mine; you should get yours,” while more popular than some would admit, is in fact, the exact opposite of the way we probably should act in our relationships. In essence, his perspective was a selfish one.

Obviously this runs right along with most, if not all, people’s primary gut instinct. And it makes sense. We’re selfish beings. We could have an all day debate on whether or not human beings even do anything that’s truly altruistic in nature.

I wonder if that’s where we go wrong in our relationships. Should our primary concern be for the other person instead of ourselves? Is it because we don’t think about the other person enough that we often come into conflict with one another over the simplest things? Is the key to having a great relationship to go against our nature and put the other person first? I think so.

However, this idea can be taken to the extreme very easily. People fall into the “whatever you like, I like,” syndrome and subsequently get walked all over and left heartbroken. That’s not only not healthy or respectful, it’s also not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about considering the other person’s needs as much, if not slightly more than yours. And if there’s reciprocity, as there should be in any good relationship, then they’ll look out for you as you look out for them.

But, is it really that simple? Even if it is, the application surely isn’t. We have to overcome our selfish ambitions and motives and think about another person in addition to ourselves. Not an easy task. Especially when we’re not used to doing it.

What do you think? Is the “You get yours, I’ll get mine” mentality important to having a healthy relationship? Or does it do more harm than good? Is there a balance? The floor is yours.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That to me is selfish…selfish lovers..Why not please your self if that’s all one cares about, just sad. S
ex should be an out of this world experience for both people.

Comment by bobbie

It could be selfish, but only in context of really experienced lovers (even then I think it’s a maybe). The reality is, people with little experience, particularly women, do not themselves know what they like and what will get them there, and cannot give any kind of directions/guidance to their partners. One of my past partners pointed out that he only knew how to please his first girlfriend, and, though he wanted to please me, he just didn’t know how. After a while, people learn, but as happy as my husband is to bring me pleasure, I am still the current world expert of what it takes to get me to orgasm most intensely.
So it’s not selfish to admit that to get what they want, each person needs to figure out and act on their particular physical needs. In my experience, sex can be extremely boring *particularly* when people aren’t thinking about themselves. Extremely boring is bad for everybody.

Comment by Katie

I believe the subject of selfishness extends far beyond sex in relationships. I am now a firm believer that ambition, respect, trust, as well as openness to accept different things about an individual all comes in to play when looking are factors that make and break a relationship. Let’s not forget about preconceived notions and expectations. Where does unconditional love fit in the realm of things is a partner is unwilling to try harder?

Lets dive into the Christian well of things. Every institution (whether it be academic or religious) has a function and the function is to enlighten, educate, or enslave. Is it the rules which are placed that cause one to be selfish, or the drive from the society and many cultures we intentionally and non-intentionally absorb?

Just some questions I thought I’d throw out there.

Take care and great post.

Sekou M. Black

Comment by Sekou Black

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