It takes two to tango. Maintaining boundaries in relationships is a tricky one. Playing Agony Aunt today, but I am no expert.

Ombak (Hannah Nazri, 2019)

A conundrum a friend had brought up: “If you do not wish to pay for a cleaner and do the cleaning yourself, would your partner be willing to pay you £60 per month instead?” In romantic relationships, I do not recommend doing things tit for tat, but I do not like anyone to be selfless either. The reality is that humans are selfish, and to teach our young to be selfless, is erroneous. We all have limited energy, and for some, even lesser than normal.

Selflessness, I hate that word. Life is about give and take, but never in equal parts. We have to determine what is the equitable exchange for ourselves. Because life is a series of cost-benefit analyses, one decision is an opportunity cost of another. What is most important to you? To be selfless is to put another above self. Only a few can be truly selfless, often, at the expense of their own safety and happiness. Everything has its price.

At the end of the day, a broken person is no use to anyone. Don’t break yourself apart trying to help others. Learn to recognise your own demons. Make peace with yourself, then enter the negotiation room being an advocate for you, before offering yourself to the world.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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