I recently had a client, who was afraid to get into a relationship, say, “I just don’t want to lose myself in a relationship.” Well of course I peeled that onion back and discovered that the core of the issue was that my client didn’t realize that compromising isn’t the same thing as settling. Why has the word compromise become a 4-letter word instead of a 10-letter word!?
Why has the word compromise become a 4-letter word instead of a 10-letter word!?
For some reason, it seems like we’ve become more stubborn than selfless in our relationships. We’ve been convinced that giving of ourselves makes us weak…when it’s actually the thing that makes us stronger. The truth of the matter is that in any healthy relationship you are going to have to compromise.
Why Compromise Is Different from Settling
It’s true, in both compromise and settling you are getting less than expected. But settling is something that you more or less decide to do on your own – – except less. Where as compromise means that you have worked out a deal with the person you are relationship with. You are trying to find middle ground. I think that is why compromising can be so good for the relationship. Because when you do it right, you are both working together for the common of good for the relationship. Yes, you give up some things…but in the end you can gain so much more.
Here are 5 additional reasons that compromising is important for the strength of your relationship.
- It shows some vulnerability when you’re willing to let go of some control.
- It shows a strong partnership where it’s not about one person, but about two people working together.
- It shows an ability to communicate because compromise only exists when two people can communicate in a healthy way.
- It shows a willingness to sacrifice and sacrifice is a strong trait in healthy relationships
- It opens up the doors of honesty because it shows that you can disagree in a healthy way.
And here are four areas where couples often have to make compromises.
When you get into a relationship, the only way to make the relationship strong, and keep it strong, is to spend time together. Meaning, you may have to compromise on some of that time you used to spend talking with your girls or hanging with the guys, so that you can spend some of that time with your partner.
This doesn’t mean that you must get rid of all your friends. But, it does mean that healthy boundaries must be set. You may no longer be able to go to the same places you all used to go or hang with all the opposite-sex folks you used hang with. You may not be as accessible as you used to be.
Setting boundaries and sacrificing some of the time you spend with friends doesn’t mean you’re losing yourself. But it’s a compromise you had to make to gain a strong relationship.
Before the relationship, all you liked to do was drink and party or sit around the house doing nothing. Well, when you’re in a relationship with someone else who may have a different idea of fun, sometimes you’re going to have to do some of the things they like to do.
Sometimes you may have to go to that museum or a cooking class or movie, instead. This doesn’t mean you’re being controlled or that they your mate is trying to “change” you, it just means you’re finding alternative ways to spend time together and it’s the time spent that matters most.
Before your relationship, you never washed clothes or dishes…you just did things when you felt like it. WELP, you guessed it, sometimes you’re going to be asked to do things that aren’t on your time or the way in which you used to do them.
So the compromise will be, instead washing the clothes once a month, let’s wash them once a week. It doesn’t mean you’re being told what to do or being given chores like a child. It just means you’re doing what’s necessary to keep the house clean and smelling good now that it’s two people there.
For many people, work can become the dominant thing in their life and their career or business can take priority over everything. Some find it hard to make time for anyone else. But once you’re in a relationship, you must compromise.
Your mate wants to feel like they are a priority in your life, thus some of the time that you spent working may have to be spent putting in quality time. This doesn’t mean that your spouse doesn’t “understand” or that they don’t want you to do well at work, or that they are trying to sabotage your business. It just means that you have to find better balance and come to a compromise about what you need from one another.
When you are faced with compromise in your relationship, remember that you may be losing some of yourself but at the same time gaining more within the relationship. The bottom line is that compromise will always be necessary but it doesn’t have to cause a power struggle. If you change the way you view the idea of compromise, then it will be a lot easier to do it and your relationship will be better for it.