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Compromise in a Relationship: 17 Ways to Give & Not Feel Like You Lost

Learning how to compromise in a relationship is vital if you want to have a long-lasting and enjoyable union. Without compromise, you’re doomed to fail. 

how to compromise in a relationship

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. Part of that is learning how to compromise in a relationship.

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]

Compromise often becomes a habit

Learning how to compromise in a relationship comes later than it probably should. It can be easy to compromise in the early stages of dating. We go out of our way to impress a new love interest. We drive to meet them near their job or go to that questionable ethnic restaurant that smells like a mixture of diapers and stale beer because it’s their favorite.

Once you’ve settled into your relationship and you’ve been through some ups and downs, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re familiar with the term compromise.

It’s an essential part of any relationship. It keeps the balance and the happiness. It shows you are willing to put your partner’s happiness above yours and vice versa. Meeting halfway and blending your tastes and decisions keeps a relationship healthy.

Therefore, without compromise, a relationship becomes one-sided and selfish, which is neither fair nor respectful to both you and your partner. [Read: Selfishness in relationships and how to do the right thing]

Why you should compromise in a relationship

A relationship without compromise will always leave one person feeling belittled. If you’re continually unhappy with the outcome of romantic disagreements, but tell your partner that you’re fine, underlying grudges can build up and turn into resentment, which is like poison to relationships.

This sort of unhappiness is not always seen or even realized until it’s too late. The bitterness brought on by resentment is commonly taken out through petty or passive-aggressive comments, or seen through unexpected anger for no apparent reason.[Read: How to spot the signs of resentment quickly in a relationship]

For example, you may have major fights about taking out the trash or closing the toilet lid, but you’re really mad about the fact that your partner doesn’t make time for you or listen when you need to talk.

Irrational anger can be the result of avoiding bigger problems that could have been prevented with compromise.

Some people also avoid expressing their negative feelings altogether. You don’t want to start a fight or say anything negative. Instead, you hold onto those negative feelings until they overwhelm you. By continuing to stew in those unhealthy emotions, the original resentment is only further aggravated. [Read: Contempt in relationships and how to stop subtly disliking each other]

In every relationship, communication is vitally important

The best way to avoid suffering from these issues, or to remedy them before it’s too late, is to make sure that you’re truly sharing how you feel. Show each other that you appreciate when the other is making a sacrifice. [Read: 20 things happy couples don’t do in a perfect relationship]

With that being said, it is understandable that learning how to compromise in a relationship isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone.

What may be a step toward a stronger relationship to one person could be seen as a severe loss to another. So, for compromise to work you must listen, share, and fully comprehend each other. Basically, compromise goes hand in hand with communication.

How to compromise in a relationship without feeling like you’re giving in or losing something

Learning how to compromise in a relationship is not just about talking. It isn’t about reading from this list and checking off what you’ve done. Compromise takes true understanding, desire, and practice. You have to be able to let go of things in order to give to your partner.

Qualities such as stubbornness and ego can get in the way of an otherwise prosperous relationship and ultimately turn it sour.

With this, you can see that having a lack of desire to sacrifice or compromise for one’s partner doesn’t just lead to an unhappy or dysfunctional relationship, but is likely to end it altogether. [Read: 23 reasons why good relationships end all the time even when there are no red flags]

In order to avoid this, and reach a point of balance in a romantic relationship, it has to be treated with care, compassion, and empathy. Honesty and communication must be at the forefront of each disagreement to prevent such animosity from being an influence.

Instead of considering compromise as a burden of being in a relationship, try to realize that its benefits outweigh anything you or your partner may be giving up.

Giving something up, especially something that is important to you, for someone you care about only solidifies those feelings and your bond. [Read: 19 signs of a taker in a relationship – Are you a giver or a taker?]

1. Forget about being right

Humans are naturally stubborn. We have a hard time giving up what we think we want. We also have a hard time admitting when we are wrong. Compromising isn’t about admitting defeat though.

Compromise is about equal respect. You and your partner don’t need to win or lose a fight. You just have to hear each other out and accept it. [Read: How to communicate in the relationship – 16 steps to a much better lovelife]

2. Appreciate your partner’s opinion

Instead of thinking about your partner’s differing opinions as a nuisance, appreciate how you disagree. You are two different people. Appreciate how they teach you and you teach them.

Realize that your differences are what keep things interesting and help to open your mind.

3. Be open to new things

Speaking of an open mind, you cannot be closed off to change or new things. Look forward to experiencing new things with your partner. Don’t just say no to something because you don’t think you’ll like it. Give it a chance.

At least entertain the idea. Be open to it. Whether it is moving to a new town, adopting a pet, or starting a business together, really hear your partner out instead of shutting them down. [Read: 25 new couples activities that’ll bring you closer than ever]

4. Don’t bottle things up

Compromise is not just about listening to your partner and respecting them but also respecting yourself. Know how you feel also matters. Compromise should come from both of you.

Learning to feel comfortable being vulnerable and opening up to your partner, especially about the hard stuff, is what makes compromise work.

5. Change your expectations

The reason many people find compromising so difficult is because of their expectations. We naively expect our partners to provide us with everything we need from romance to friendship and more. But, the most successful relationships are two individuals with their own lives.

Instead of expecting your partner to fulfill every need, you have friends you go to. Have separate hobbies and enjoy your time alone. Your partner should add to your life not occupy it. Be realistic with your expectations. [Read: The 20 healthy relationship expectations that define a good love life]

6. 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.

7. 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. [Read: The right priority in your relationship – How to find and focus on it]

8. 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.

9. 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]

10. 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 before talking and working out how to meet in the middle.

Healthy compromises in a relationship that is expected from both partners

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: How much time should couples spend together? 24 steps to calculating your exact number]

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. [Read: 80 very unique, fun, and exciting things to do with your boyfriend]

3. Things that make you grow

The things you do apart for personal growth are 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: How to release anger and 20 ways to focus on the positives in your life]

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. This isn’t just about learning how to compromise in a relationship, this is about accepting these obligations as a part of being a grownup.

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 person’s needs and wants are considered each step of the way, so that you can come to a middle ground where everyone is satisfied. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]

7. How often you have sex

Your different sexual preferences and frequency of 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. [Read: How often should you have sex? 15 signs you’re not having enough]

Learning how to compromise will improve your relationship

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: 30 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]

After all, a relationship takes two people who walk through life together. Once you understand how to compromise in a relationship, it will easily become second nature.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...