Being in a relationship has its ups and downs. When it’s good, it’s really good; but when it’s bad, it’s really bad. When a relationship takes a turn for the worse, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw in the towel. As many who have been in long-term, or even lifelong, relationships would say, relationships take a lot of hard work.
The happiest relationships and the most successful couples would also tell you another vital key to relationships is knowing how to pick your battles. And this is where compromise comes in. You have to know when to hold your ground, when to budge, and which battles are worth fighting over.
However, compromise is a two-edged sword: it can strengthen relationships, but it can also destroy them—or you. You need to know which things you can compromise with your partner and how these healthy compromises can help your relationship in the long run. [Read: How your self respect affects you and the relationships around you]
How to create healthy compromise in your relationship
Setting healthy boundaries and learning how to compromise as partners allows space for you to get along well while still leaving room for each other to grow.
It would feel like a loss or a subtraction when you create wrong and unhealthy compromises. You might feel shortchanged or taken for granted, especially if you are always the one giving up things or making way in your relationship. So here’s how you can better create healthy compromises:
#1 Establish mutual respect. You have to respect each other’s individuality, needs, aspirations, values, and desires. There should also be healthy boundaries that either of you should not overstep. Practicing mutual respect for each other is essential so you both feel equally important and appreciated.
#2 Set your priorities. You should have your own personal priorities, and while you should stick by them, you should also be flexible enough to consider your partner’s priorities as well. Have priorities as a couple and make this flexible too, as people and relationships change and grow over time.
#3 Negotiate. Before you ask your partner to give up something, be prepared to bring something to the table as well. This creates a sense of fairness and balance as you are asking for compromise but are prepared to give it also.
#4 Create a win-win situation. Compromise doesn’t have to exclusively be giving up things for each other. A positive compromise allows you both to gain things or receive benefits in return. This entails you and your partner should have open and honest communication. As a result, the word “compromise” won’t feel so negative for either of you. [Read: How to have a long term relationship that lasts a lifetime]
#5 Don’t mix anger with compromising. If you are angry, nothing productive will be achieved. You should approach each other when you are both calm and level-headed. Give each other time to cool off and think things through.
Healthy compromises in relationship
A good dose of compromise is important to smooth over the rough edges of relationships. This kind of compromise should affirm who each partner is in the relationship and allow their individual needs and intrinsic desires to be met.
#1 How you socialize. If before you got together, you spent all your weekends out clubbing with your friends, you may have to rethink that and put into the equation how your partner would like to spend time with you. There may be instances when you have to see your friends less often than before, especially if you belong to different social circles.
Another example of this kind of compromise is turning off your phones or gadgets and try not to be engrossed with emails, calls, texts, and social media when together with your partner. This ensures you can spend quality time together even for just a few hours, while keeping a healthy balance of communicating with friends or work colleagues. [Read: A closer look at differentiating “you,” “me” and “we” in relationships]
#2 How you spend your time. Now that you have a partner, you have to think about how much time you should practically spend together without compromising the time you spend on work, common friends, each other’s friends, and each other’s families.
While you can plan dates and do spontaneous things together, you have to also consider what the other person likes. If your partner is into adventure and the outdoors, and that is just not your thing, meet halfway and go on a beach vacation.
#3 Things that make you grow. The things you do apart for personal growth is worth taking a look at. While you want to also focus on career and personal growth, your decisions need to take your partner into account now.
This applies to whether you should jump at a new job offer, go on an overseas training or study, pursue your passion, set up a business, undertake a new hobby, or even adopt a pet. At the end of the day, whatever you decide should be a win-win for you, your partner, and your relationship.
#4 How you communicate. A lot of relationship problems spring from poor communication and listening skills. If you are very expressive and easy to anger, then consider a compromise to always try to keep your cool or at least be mindful of your partner’s feelings. Often, you may not realize you are hurting your partner with the things you say *or don’t say*, so it’s best to talk things out with your partner and come up with better ways to communicate. [Read: A guide on effective communication in the relationship]
#5 Tasks and duties. When you and your partner live together, you have to realize there are certain expectations, duties, and responsibilities you have to fulfill. Sharing responsibility with bills and payments, as well as delegating household chores, are part of the things you and your partner should agree on before you even move in together.
#6 How you spend your money. Early on in your relationship, you may have a pretty good idea of how your partner is when it comes to money matters. As you progress through your relationship, you should both be able to complement each other’s financial philosophies and priorities.
This means talking about how you spend your money and making sure both party’s needs and wants are considered each step of the way, so that you can come to a middle ground where everyone is satisfied.
#7 How often you have sex. Your different sexual preferences and frequency on having sex may have a huge impact on your relationship. Therefore, you should strike a compromise. You may consider having sex even if you’re not 100% in the mood, trying something experimental, or maybe even using toys.
Your partner should compromise as well by taking extra time to turn you on or lend a helping hand, be gentle, and respect your boundaries. The important thing is you and your partner don’t feel violated and are comfortable, safe, and satisfied.
It is normal to have disagreements in relationships as you can’t expect your partner to agree with you or have the same preferences all the time. There will also be many situations that will test your relationship.
Compromising is not the enemy, and it shouldn’t be taken negatively. It is actually the key to a healthy, mature, and thriving relationship. Compromising often takes you and your relationship out of your comfort zone, and it helps you learn more things about yourself and how much your partner truly means to you.
[Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]
After all, a relationship takes two people who walk through life together. Once you understand this, compromising will easily become second-nature.
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