In What Kind of a Relationship Are You In? Give and Take or Give and Give?
We often hear that to be in a good relationship there has to be a “give and take” within the partners. But I think sometimes the “give and take” mentality can get old quick because it has a tendency to be selfish. I give so I can take. Their giving becomes an indirect egotism.
St Thomas Aquinas defines love as to will the good of the other as other. There is no hidden agenda in real love. You love the person for the sake of the person and not because you can get something out of the person.
A real loving relationship practices “give and give.” There is no need for taking because the longings are being satisfied by the partner even before the other asks for it. A person who is deeply in love is focused on her beloved and not on himself. He wants to make his beloved happy. He puts her before himself every time in every thing. And she does the same.
Both are satisfied and fulfilled.
Both feel loved.
Most of us when we are considering entering into a relationship with someone ask this question, “What can I get from this person?” Another way of putting it is “What can this person give me?”
I think we should have a radical change of attitude if we want to experience real and lasting love. We must change the question “What can I get” to “What can I give to this person?”
The best example of this love is Jesus on the Cross. When Jesus let Himself get crucified, it was solely for you and me. There was no hidden agenda on Jesus’ suffering except our salvation. It was a totally selfless act. Jesus died because He loved you and me.
So if we want to have a beautiful relationship, we must learn to love like Jesus. Our love has to be totally unselfish and self-giving.
There is no greater love than to give one’s life for a friend.