If you are ready to make adjustments and compromise in a relationship, then you can expect it to grow and last happily for a long time. Without change, you remain where you were and what you used to be. So, it’s not a demeaning thing to compromise in a relationship. When you learn to adjust to make your partnership work, your bond prospers and your perspectives get widened.
However, this should not mean that you give up your own well-being and happiness just to make your partner feel satisfied and happy. Yes, the art of compromise in a relationship is important, but there are certain things that you should never give up. I am here today to give you a reality check on how to compromise without losing yourself.
How Much To Compromise In A Relationship?
In order to make your better half feel cherished and loved, you will always find yourself adjusting and accommodating as you start doing things together, making mutual decisions, and spending quality time with each other. These are just some of the areas where compromise in a relationship is required. Voluntary and willing compromises on certain things are important because the concept of ‘my way or the highway’ in relationships does not work. Where once it was about you, now, it’s about ‘us’. Both of you making these adjustments is what being together is all about.
However, you are a human being and not a saint. If you find the changes are more often one-sided, or one person refuses to compromise in the relationship, or the changes made by one partner remain unappreciated, there will be resentment or an internal resistance to the changes that were made for the sake of the other partner.
Why Is Compromise Important In A Relationship?
Coexisting with each other in a harmonious state should be the goal of your dynamic. You both should complement and complete each other, instead of clashing over a firm (and misplaced) belief that people shouldn’t compromise in a relationship. You both have to learn to make adjustments and compromises in a marriage, especially. Small compromises allow your relationship to function smoothly and are required as both of you grow together.
Remember, compromising and changing how you would have done things is not the same as settling for something you think is beneath you. It is a natural progression in any relationship, romantic or otherwise. The trouble is when you start to/are expected to give up your core beliefs, desires, wants, ideas, and needs that define you as a person, in order to be with your partner. The strong foundation of any relationship then starts to crumble. There are some things you can’t compromise in a relationship, after all.
Like you resolve conflict at work, in a relationship too, you have to know when it is right to meet your partner halfway and when it’s time to take a stand for yourself. You do not have to lose yourself completely in the process of accommodating their whims and fancies, just as you cannot expect to be the same person you used to be before the relationship. Being true to yourself will allow you to guide yourself properly, even while making the necessary adjustments.
12 Things To Never Compromise In A Relationship
The defining quality of a prosperous relationship is the ability to compromise. But drawing the lines is extremely necessary because compromise does not mean giving up your essence. It basically means developing a relationship based on appreciation, mutually and willingly accepted adjustments, along with kindness, respect, and trust. The compromise, thus struck, would be balanced and fair.
No doubt that the success of your relationship depends on compromise and keeping your partner’s needs in mind. Getting along with your partner requires believing in your partner and yourself. You love each other and have faith that the other person will not take advantage of your will to compromise in a relationship. The process of compromise shouldn’t destroy your peace of mind, rather, it should allow both of you to become better people together. To help you strike this balance, I’m here with a guideline on the 12 things you should never compromise in a relationship.
1. Your individuality in a relationship should never be compromised
How to compromise without losing yourself in a relationship? Well, never compromise your values and your uniqueness. Individuality is about your personal nature, the characteristics that make you who you are, your needs, and your quirks. Learn to self-love as you learn to love another person simultaneously. This does not mean your personality will not change at all. After all, being in a relationship will often change your beliefs and your way of seeing life, as long as it’s for the better.
But if your partner expects you to give up on your individuality and you notice yourself turning into a completely different person who you do not like, then it is time you re-evaluate your relationship. Your core personality is one of the things to never compromise in a relationship. If your partner expects you to change that, did they ever even love who you are, to begin with? Only a selfish partner would do that.
2. The bond with your family
It is highly possible that the wavelength of your partner and your family members does not match. Most of the time, you might be in a dilemma about how to make sure that your family and your partner see eye to eye. You can’t change the way both parties feel about one another. But if your partner fails to respect the bond you share with your family, then it should be a matter of concern.
Is it okay to compromise in a relationship? Yes, but not when your partner tries to sever your bond with your family members or tries to keep you away from them. Managing differences in a marriage or any relationship is important, but it doesn’t mean that they should not adjust to the things that are important to you and make some compromises for your happiness as well. Getting along with in-laws is hard but it’s not something your partner can ignore. After all, they are your family, and your partner’s too, by extension.
Related Reading: 7 Ways Working Women Living In A Joint Family Balance Their Roles
3. Your professional life
All your life, you have been working toward your professional goals, before even your partner came along. An understanding partner will celebrate your professional success and help you achieve more in life. You may redefine your goals and priorities for the sake of the relationship, to a reasonable degree, but an encouraging partner will continue to strengthen you by simply being there.
Your professional life extends way beyond your romantic bond and is definitely one of the things to never compromise in a relationship, and your partner should respect that. However, if you find your significant other creating obstacles for you instead of encouraging you to do better, then it’s a clear sign they disrespect you and there is no point in continuing such a relationship.
You may ask, “Should I compromise in marriage?” Well, definitely not at the cost of giving up your career. When a woman goes back to work instead of choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, she often faces a lot of criticism. The same goes for a man if he’s unable to meet the responsibilities toward his family due to long work hours. Remember, marriage is not about compromise that is one-sided or unfair. You and your spouse should have clear communication about how to maintain a work-life balance.
4. The friends you have and the time you spend with them
If your significant other wants you to give up hanging out with your friends or demands your time when you have something planned with them, ensure you do not yield to their pressure. Because that’s not a healthy way to compromise in a relationship. It is normal if your partner dislikes some of your friends for no valid reason whatsoever, but then it is their problem, not yours.
You do not have to stop seeing your friends or treat them as any less important, especially if they’ve always been there for you. Your friendships do not suddenly come to an end just because you are now in a relationship. What you have to do is to balance your friendship and love life, giving each of them due importance in your life.
5. Your self-perception
A relationship should give you the opportunity to explore yourself completely and grow into a better person. It should make you feel positive about yourself. But if you find yourself feeling pessimistic all the time or not liking the way you are anymore, and you think it’s due to your partner, then it’s a valid reason to end a relationship. One of the things to never compromise in a relationship is your self-confidence and the positive light in which you see yourself. If your partner is making you question that, they may not be the one for you.
My best friend once dated a girl who gaslighted her into believing that she is not enough – not smart enough, not good-looking enough, not mature enough. Eventually, she became so nitpicky about mastering poised gestures, getting the winged eyeliner on point, and so on. She was a playful, messy girl, happy in her own ways. Then this new person came and turned her into a completely different person. It was a few months before she realized that there are certain things you can’t compromise in a relationship, and she refused to change herself any further.
6. Your dignity
Never compromise your values and self-worth in a relationship. Your partner should respect you and enhance you, they should not mistreat you or compromise your dignity in any way. However, if your partner is constantly disrespectful toward you, make the hard but necessary choice to leave them. You should never have to compromise your dignity in a relationship.
If you want to talk about marriage compromises and sacrifices, this issue is even more prominent there. The disrespect majorly stems from one spouse earning less or not having a career or an independent ground of their own. When a person perceives that their spouse has nowhere else to go, they start belittling them at every step of life. You may ask, “Is marriage worth it then?” Well, of course, marriage is not about compromise (only). There are many perks of this beautiful union. But if mutual respect between the spouses is missing, there is no point in making an unhealthy compromise in a relationship.
7. Your hobbies and interests
You may ask, “Should I compromise in a relationship when it comes to my passions and interests?” While being in a relationship, you should get a chance to indulge in the activities and hobbies that interest you. If you continuously feel that your partner does not like a particular thing that you do, which makes you distance yourself from that interest, then it means you are not truly free to be happy. You are compromising your personal time and a facet of your own development.
Is it okay to compromise in a relationship? Yes, but your hobbies and interests are the things that regulate and define you. If you both read and you develop a taste for your partner’s genre of books, that is an added dimension to your life. But giving up your reading or your choice of books is an unnecessary compromise in a relationship. You may outgrow your choices if you aren’t in a relationship, but making those changes for a partner is a dangerous sign.
8. Your suggestions and opinions
You do not always have to have the same opinions and suggestions about everything. You’re bound to have differences. However, you have to know when your opinions are appreciated. Trusting your partner’s opinion is fine. But then depending on their decision-making ability without your own preferences or inputs is not much of a ‘harmless’ mistake in a relationship. If you are wondering when not to compromise in a relationship, put a pin on this one.
You both need to share your opinions with one another and incorporate these into the ultimate decisions you make as a couple. Also, look out if your partner is trying to influence all of your choices. Do they always pick the movies you both watch or where you go for dinner? Have you ever seen them reading the book that you gifted or listening to the song you shared? If not, they are not even considering your suggestions while you’ve made theirs your whole life. And that’s one of the things you can’t compromise in a relationship.
9. Your independence
Too much dependence on anyone can make you feel worthless and hopeless at some point or the other. Or it can stifle your partner if they feel they always need to be there for you. Ensure that you enjoy your own independence, especially in financial matters. Being financially independent as a married woman has a huge plus point. If you don’t have to use your partner’s credit card because you have your own money, you can take a rain check on a lot of marriage compromises and sacrifices.
Independence can also mean personal space here. A little ‘me time’ can go a long way. The time apart from your partner and family for a little while refreshes your mind, gives you enough energy and positivity, and makes you ready to support each other in times of need. There should be definitely no compromise in a relationship in the matter of independence.
10. Your privacy
Setting up acceptable boundaries in your relationship is essential so that your privacy is not hampered. Your partner should trust you and not keep tabs on you when you’re away. They must know when you need your personal space and not disturb you at that time. Personal space is a sign of a healthy relationship and it is one of the things to never compromise in a relationship.
Sometimes, people face a hard time understanding the meaning of boundaries and they end up exhibiting a toxic, clingy attitude that can poison their bond. “I have tried to figure out how to compromise without losing yourself,” says Nancy, a 23-year-old university student, “My ex-boyfriend would always come with me to all the parties I was invited to. He simply could not trust me in a room full of drunk people and thought I could slip into infidelity at any time, although he never said that in actual words. Not only did I have no space, but I was also losing my self-respect and that was a lot to compromise in a relationship. I had to make a firm decision and walk out.”
11. Your goals in life
Since you are a completely different person than your partner, differences in career and life goals are obvious. When it comes to the question of ambition and dreams, there should be no compromise in a relationship. You must help each other achieve your goals and not hold back your partner from being a successful, happy individual. Both partners should understand the fundamentals of support in a relationship.
If your partnership fails to become your support system in life, then what is the point of being together? You cannot give up on your life-long dream of studying abroad because your partner is not ready to handle the distance. Don’t let the fine line between compromise and control get you. Nothing justifies the choice of living under the dictatorship of a controlling partner. There is no yardstick of how much you should compromise in a relationship because no two partnerships are the same. This is where the art of compromise in a relationship comes in handy.
12. Any kind of abuse in the relationship is a huge NO
Whether your relationship shows the signs of emotional abuse or physical abuse, you can’t give in to such unhealthy compromise in a relationship even if you love the person with all your heart. I have seen people accepting abuse just for the sake of saving the relationship. A friend once told me about a traumatic incident in their teenage years.
They said, “My boyfriend emotionally blackmailed me into establishing a sexual relationship when I was just 15. It was a tender age and I was so not ready for it, but he threatened to break up with me unless I fed his desires. It was a physically painful phase and let’s not get into the mental breakdowns that I endured.” To this day, that friend is angry and sad when they remember how they were forced to compromise in a relationship to the point of suffering sexual abuse.
Dealing with abuse in a relationship is not a healthy compromise or any form of compromise at all. It’s something no person should ever have to deal with in any relationship. If you need any professional help in the matter, skilled and experienced counselors on Bonobology’s panel of experts are here for you.
The relationship and the love you share with each other are supposed to bring peace, joy, and happiness in your life, not undue pain and hardship. If you are stuck in a relationship that makes you compromise on any of these things, then take a step back and ask yourself honestly: Is the relationship truly worth it? Are you satisfied with your growth in the relationship? Do you really wish to continue with such compromises?
Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Compromise In A Marriage The Right Way
When should you give up on a relationship?
“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said in his book Wind, Sand and Stars.
A relationship is supposed to make you a better person. While you may not spend all your time gazing into each other’s eyes, how do you know when it is over? How will you know when you are compromising or if you are settling in a relationship to only avoid friction? Where do you draw the line between sacrificing in a relationship and a healthy compromise in a relationship? How do you define the ‘give and take’ policy?
When you start giving more than you get in a romantic dynamic, that is when you should start thinking about letting go. A relationship should give both of you more happiness than misery, it should make you a more wholesome person without making you forget who you are. When you start losing sight of your individuality in a relationship, it’s one of the red flags you should watch out for. Especially, if your relationship starts to get abusive in nature, you should walk out the door and never look back.
Long ago, Tina, a 42-year-old carpenter, asked herself, “Should I compromise in marriage to make it work?” While it proved hard for her to be mindful of healthy vs. unhealthy compromises in her marriage, she could identify the difference in the everyday situations that involved compromise vs. control. She says, “Staying in a relationship in which I was always compromising on every major thing, while there was no compromise from his end, made me unhappy. I decided to do what was best for me, I left him.”
If you choose to go on in such a situation, you will feel unfulfilled, sad, and empty inside. Trust me when I tell you it’s better to let go. Sometimes, it’s better to give up than to hang on to a toxic and unhealthy relationship. I hope the honest answers to these questions can help sort out your dilemma and get you out of such a hollow relationship.