Even love has its limits.
Meatloaf could talk the talk, but I've walked the walk. Having moved 2,000 miles across the country for love, leaving everything and everyone behind, I truly would do anything. Well, almost anything.
There are certain pieces of me that are off limits, even to the love of my life. Why? Because selling those parts of my soul would be to give up an integral part of myself.
You have to be protective of the core of you. If you're not careful, you allow yourself to be dismantled piece by piece until you're gone. And then what's left? Nothing worth loving, that's for sure.
Here are the five things you should never trade for love:
1. Change who I am.
What's the point of getting someone to love you, if the person they love isn't truly you? Yes, we all want to be the best possible version of ourselves for the one we love, but you should always be true to yourself in the process.
We're all guilty at times of trying to be someone we're not in order to impress another. Guilty as charged.
But it's not worth it. Even if you're able to "fake it until you make it," you've merely created a persona that not only requires precious energy to maintain, but is also distinctly not you.
Don't change for the other person, but also don't change so you can enjoy the love you've earned.
2. Give up on my dreams.
Our dreams are who we are, and it can be tempting to transfer that drive and energy onto our loved ones.
Even if you've found the man of your dreams, don't give up on your own. In fact, a true love will support you in your goals and desires, not demand that you sacrifice them.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French writer who said, "Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." Find someone who will gaze outwardly with you, not require your entire focus.
3. Abandon my friends or family.
I suppose I'm technically guilty of this, but I haven't — and won't — lose touch with the people that matter most. If the object of your love truthfully returns that sentiment, they'll understand that they're not and cannot be the only loved one in your life.
Often in a romantic relationship, you wind up spending so much time and energy on each other that you forget to properly nurture the other important relationships. Not to mention controlling partners who try to restrict your time spent with friends and family.
Abandon ship if that's the case. If a person really loves you, they'll support your other loved ones as well.
4. Be a doormat.
It can happen innocently enough: You love someone dearly and you want to please them every chance you get. Just don't forget yourself in the process.
Always remember that you're supposed to be a team. Or better yet, partners. An equal partner doesn't demand acquiescence in return for love; an equal partner wants to give just as much as they receive.
5. Deceive or hurt others.
I refuse to be "the other man." I would never enter into a situation, even if I thought I was truly in love, that would require me to steal that love from another person.
And someone who actually loved you would never put you in that position in the first place. The only price for love should be love.