Just last week I was having an intimate conversation about how the culture of entitlement in relationships is the reason why many are miserable.  The issue of love vs ownership popped up a few times and I went on to share what I had learnt from the father of my children, in his words “control is a spirit of witchcraft” he never understood why we humans had such a grave need to control the other. I’ll be honest that I didn’t fully comprehend this until we practically lived it out.

The main reason why many seek ownership is due to a sense of entitlement.  A sense of entitlement is defined as “an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favourable living conditions and favourable treatment at the hands of others.” If someone has a sense of entitlement, that means the person believes he deserves certain privileges — and he’s arrogant about it. The term “culture of entitlement” suggests that many people now have highly unreasonable expectations about what they are entitled to. For instance, an entitlement mentality is a state of mind in which an individual comes to believe that privileges are instead rights, and that they are to be expected as a matter of course.

It was only a few years ago that I learnt to let go of the sense of entitlement especially in relationships. I do not ever want to feel entitled to your time, your affection nor your attention and yes not even your money. This has liberated me in so many ways and has spared me from the attempt to micro manage my partner and it has certainly made me a more peaceful person to relate with as it has minimised the cause of fights. For me if you help me manage my expectations, I’m good no need for us to pretend your entire being revolves around me and vice versa.

I have however noticed that there’s a vast majority in relationships who still practice the witchcraft of control “he’s mine” “You belong to me” and it translates into real ownership in that you’ve now possessed this person as your subject and wish to exclusively benefit from their existence. How selfish is that? Do you honestly believe that “your” person was solely created for your pleasure? Surely, there must have been a greater purpose beyond your relationship for their existence, relax and let the person live. You can have a healthy and amazing relationship without breathing down each other’s necks. You can love each other and still hold one another accountable. You can most certainly still have a life individually outside the setting of your relationship. Love is not ownership.

Here are the behaviours of someone who acts entitled: They are controlling, manipulative or bullying in order to get their way. They will make demands or ask for sacrifices of others, which are essentially designed to benefit them. Everything about an entitled person is self absorbed and serves their interests., it is an attitude of “Me, I, myself” over everyone else. A typical example is if you didn’t hear from you partner or when you did they were down, your first reaction is to think it’s about you whereas it could just be something’s wrong at work or family related or any setting outside of your relationship really. I think you need to bring yourself to the realisation that life does not revolve around you or your relationship. There’s work, there are friends and family, health, finances etc. So many factors that could be worrying your person. When you come into a relationship it will do you good to come with a less sense of entitlement, be a loving environment, a liberating spirit. Besides, people are busy we have things to do.  Please, get over your sense of entitlement.

By Lerato Charlotte Letsoso| Email: leratokayise@gmail.com