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The general idea when it comes to making compromises in a relationship involves giving up something to better your relationship with your partner. The need to compromise occurs because there are no two people who are the same. Thus, this leads to different needs and wants emerging within a relationship. Making compromises sets the foundational ground for any relationship. Being aware that these compromises need to be made ensures that the relationship will work out. For example, tonight you feel like eating Sushi but your partner wants Chinese. A compromise needs to be reached where tonight you get Sushi and next time it’s Chinese.

However, it’s important to note that when making compromises, we don’t end up sacrificing our whole being and boundaries, leaving you to suffer. Rather, it is about finding a way to work together. Thus, equally satisfying each other’s wants and needs. This form of compromising is a positive one, where both partners are happy with the outcome. In fact, the relationship expert, Jonathan Bennett, noted how a “compromise is coming together and finding a solution agreeable to both parties. It shows that the relationship itself is more important than being ‘right’ all of the time or always getting your own way.”

By making healthy compromises, individuals are able to be their best authentic self with their partner. You choose to eat Sushi tonight because it is a minor compromise that will ensure a more loving and happier relationship. Healthy compromises will ultimately benefit both partners which will make the relationship stronger. 

Despite the benefits of the above, relationships aren’t only made out of these happy and positive compromises. Compromises aren’t as straight forward as one may think. There is also the down side to compromising; an individual is ultimately giving up something that they want. Thus, the compromise might in fact not make both partners happy in the long run. For us to be aware of whether we are making a healthy compromise, we need to note the difference between making sacrifices vs making compromises. Making sacrifices can lead you to have a lesser authentic self. Due to this, you lose what makes ‘you’ and even your happiness in life. For example, you grew up always dreaming of having the biggest and most glamorous wedding but when you find yourself in a relationship, you find out that your partner doesn’t want to get married, let alone have a big wedding. The thought of giving up this dream will include compromising one of your core beliefs.

When making a compromise, individuals should never give up their own beliefs and core values. If this happens then there is no longer a balance. The scale has tipped too far to the negative side, and thus only benefiting one of the individuals. Always, and I can’t stress this enough, communicate with your partner when you feel that a compromise is too unhealthy to make. Discuss it.

In conclusion, remember that compromises can’t always be one sided. If they are, it may lead to resentment. Both partners being able to make compromises will be a valuable asset which both can learn. It is when these healthy compromises are able to happen that a relationship will thrive. Hence, allowing two individuals to mould a life together which is then satisfactory for both.

Mandy is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with anxiety, victims of domestic violence and eating disorders.

References:

Steber, C. (2019). 7 Examples Of Compromising In A Relationship, According To Experts. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/p/7-examples-of-compromising-in-a-relationship-according-to-experts-18669505