Everyone knows that relationships require give and take from both parties. But sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the things you should really compromise over and when you should take a stand. Many couples compromise to avoid conflict. In the midst of a compromise, it’s a lot easier than we think to find that we are changing ourselves and not just our habits.
Are you giving too much?
At times we aren’t sure how much to give and how much to take. Nor are we clear on what matters we should really compromise on.
There are good compromises and bad compromises. Good compromise consists of changing your habits and making sacrifices in a way that will edify your relationship. When you make a good compromise, you should feel happy about it. You know that both you and your boyfriend are striving to become better versions of yourselves and are contributing to the growth of your relationship.
Bad compromise consists of you changing your habits and making sacrifices that will eventually lead to you feeling utterly miserable. Rather than you feeling happy about finding common ground, those compromises only make you feel worse. When you make a bad compromise, you become a lesser version of yourself because you are giving up things that make up who you are as a person.
Here’s an example of a good compromise. You stop harassing your boyfriend about his smoking as long as he agrees not to do it anywhere near you or while you two are out on a date. A bad compromise might look a little something like this. You stop attending church on Sundays because your boyfriend would rather spend that day alone with you at home.
Are you losing yourself?
So when should we back down and when is it important to stand our ground? We have all grown up with our own morals, values and beliefs. We hold onto these things because they are important to us. So when you are willing to give up something that is essential to your being like skipping out on your favourite hot yoga class to spend that time with your boyfriend, you end up giving up a piece of yourself.
Changing some of your habits like agreeing to complain less is a good compromise because it helps you improve your character. But there is a fine line between compromising and compromising yourself. If you feel unhappy in any way about the compromise you are making, it is a clear sign that you are probably giving up more than just a bad habit. When complaining less leads to making you feel like you can’t even voice an opinion, you begin to lose yourself.
Knowing when to compromise
Getting to know who you really are will help you determine what you can and can’t live with in a relationship. If you are someone who is generally always on time, can you really be with someone who never is?
Letting your boyfriend be late each time the two of you have plans just because his excuse is valid is not a compromise. Maybe he’s a father and he has important responsibilities to tend to. If you are okay with a tardy man, then you don’t have a problem. But if you value punctuality, not only are you compromising yourself, you are settling. Don’t force yourself to accept what he can’t give you just because you think you should be more understanding of his situation. You are a person too and what is he doing for you? Tell him to man up and show you that he wants to see you as much as you want to see him. Unless he buys you a gift every time he is late, this is hardly a bargain.
Next time you are in the middle of negotiating with your boyfriend, ask yourself, Am I compromising or am I compromising myself?