Recently I was reading back stuff of the posts I never made public and came across one about loyalty. In the post, I talk about loyalty being my base line for any relationship, but one that people fall short from so often (booooyyy, I was angry…I wonder who had pissed me off). I was clearly emotional when I wrote it and only a few weeks later and I feel completely differently.
Loyalty means, essentially, nothing. People grow apart, move away, have families. There’s always something new which claims the prize of someone’s loyalty. It’s an outdated concept which carries a lot of obligation and baggage, two of my least favourite things. There are other things that are much more important to strive for in relationships; trust, respect and mutual interest. Mutual interest, for me at least, makes the most sense. The people in your life should add to your happiness, and you should be fine in your life if that’s not the case. It might sound jaded, and even boring, but you know you can trust someone if when they let you down, they also suffer. If one benefits when they screw the other over, then someone is always going to be suffering. Loyalty comes with sacrifice, but what are you sacrificing if you really want to share your life with someone?
In reality, if someone is staying out of a false sense of loyalty, obligation or pride then you should just let them leave. Equally, if someone asks for your blind loyalty then they aren’t expressing their love. They want you to belong to them and serve them. It carries a burden of unfair expectations. Unless you’re a spy who has pledged an allegiance to take a bullet for your country, then loyalty is misapplied on a daily basis.
Building trust with honesty and respect is what makes relationships last and I don’t think you can compromise on those things. It seems obvious, but I can’t count the number of times people have lied to me to save my feelings. Forget that. Respect me and give me the credit I deserve, I am stronger than people think and I trust my friends to be honest when I need to be told the hard truths. It’s part of life and I will always do the same for them. Everyone makes mistakes, we’re only human, and when you have two humans involved in one way or another then things are bound to go wrong every now and again. If people love you and they really know that you love them, saying the hard stuff isn’t so bad. If you’re sure that they won’t leave, even if you say something they won’t like, then you can be honest and the world doesn’t end. Even if they do choose to leave, isn’t it better that they are making an informed choice than trying to build on a cracked foundation?
Anyone can just not leave, who the hell cares. You get out of relationships whatever you put in, so if you want to stay in someone’s life, you’ll have to do more than just stay.