I’m sure we’ve all heard someone say, “Relationships are about love and forgiveness and understanding and compromise…” and that in order to maintain one you’d have to adhere to all of those values. We are also aware that no relationship is perfect, so when we engage into this monotony we subconsciously anticipate arguments and disputes sometime in the future. We are prepared to not only reveal ALL aspects of our lives to our partners, but accept theirs in return. Well…what happens when some of those aspects are not adored by your partner? What happens when they reveal traits that you do not necessarily like as well?
Have you noticed how often the word compromise is mentioned when we are receiving advice on our relationship(s)? We use it as if it is always the best solution to extinguishing any complication you two may have. It’s almost as if its perfectly normal to mutually discontinue a habit to keep both ends satisfied, doesn’t it? Or is how I described compromise suddenly bothering you? Well it should because a compromise is ultimately a sacrifice we abide in order please our current partner. Yes, a sacrifice. Not to say all compromises are huge sacrifices, but at what point does a compromise cease? How many compromises does it take to realize ‘maybe we just aren’t a good fit.’
Example 1: You are a habitual swearer and your partner forbids you to use those harsh words around them. You two then make a compromise to no longer use that language in the house. Otherwise, you can curse like a sailor. This (much like a white lie) I’d call a ‘white compromise,’ because it seems like a very small habit you can subdue and may not change your being in anyway. Of course there will be a slip-up or two, but its fine because you’ve toned it down.
Example 2: You are a gamer. You ADORE video games so much that you can sometimes loose track of time. Your partner wants you to play less of them so you can get back to spending QT with each other. You make a compromise to consume less amounts of game-play a week. This is what I call a black-compromise (I do not mean to offend Africans, or any other culturally sensitive group to the word black). This is the kind of compromise that has the potential to turn into a larger complication if not appropriately addressed amongst the two. All of a sudden the one activity/hobby you truly enjoy becomes an aggravation because now you’re on a clock.
When you compromise so much that you no longer enjoy things that you did before (due to them), you’ve compromised too much. When feel that you’re an entirely different person when you’re around them because you’ve compromised your habits–then you’ve compromised too much.
You see a compromise shouldn’t be character defining or character altering. It shouldn’t put any level of discomfort to where you feel you are not being true to yourself, or sacrificing a level of YOUR happiness to appease theirs. Compromising eventually yields to compatibility whereas sacrificing too much of yourself could mean you two are simply not compatible. If your partner is unwilling to except certain traits and camouflages it with compromising, that’s when the value of a compromise has been muffled. It is now time to re-evaluate your compatibility and relationship altogether–all in the name of compromise.