“Compromise can be very loving when done with self respect and in a way that supports the relationship.”
Compromise can be seen, by some people, as a positive thing—an opportunity to meet in the middle and come to a conclusion that satisfies both parties. However, it can often be viewed in a negative context, equated with giving something up, self abandoning or sacrifice, notes Claudia Six, Ph.D., sexologist, relationship coach and author of Erotic Integrity: How to Be True to Yourself Sexually. “It has come to mean not doing what doesn’t work for your mate or what they don’t approve of, for the sake of keeping the peace,” she says. In her professional opinion, however, compromise is a positive thing; “Compromise can be very loving when done with self respect and in a way that supports the relationship.”
What are 2-4 benefits of compromising in a relationship?
When your mate knows that you are being flexible (synonym for compromising) it can make them feel loved and valued. You convey that what is important to them is important to you.
It fosters trust. Your mate knows that you’re on their side, working as a team rather than in opposition.
In a purely tit for tat frame of mind, it is money in the bank: you compromise and when the time comes that there is something you feel strongly about, your mate will hopefully bend your way.
What happens when couples don’t compromise?
When people don’t compromise it can feel their mate feeling unheard, not important, like their preferences or opinions don’t matter. This can build and have a lasting deleterious impact on a relationship. There’s an inherent growing imbalance and disrespect.
It can leave one person hurt, thus causing them to withdraw. This pushes the other person’s buttons, thus leading to conflict or more withdrawal. Distance sets in.
And frankly, the “my way or the highway” approach doesn’t foster romance, intimacy nor eroticism.
How much should you compromise in a relationship?
Frankly, I’d say that one should compromise as much as one can. There’s a saying: “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” What is most important: having your way or having collaboration? Be generous, and be wise.
Examples of compromises that couples should strive for in a relationship:
Some things you can compromise on more easily than others, like buying the patio set or where to go on vacation. Whether or not to have kids is not one of them.
Behind the notion of compromise is often the notion of prioritizing doing something together (what to do on a weekend, whose friends to socialize with…). Sometimes a successful compromise is to agree to each do what pleases you most, thus making yourself happy and filling up your own tank, and reuniting later happy and with full tanks, feeling appreciative of each other and the space taken separately.
A simple tool couples can use when trying to determine who feels the strongest about something is to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high. Whoever scores the highest ‘wins’ the compromise. If I score my need for Chinese food as a 7 and you score your desire for Korean barbecue as a 5, we eat Chinese food that night.
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