We always hear that in a healthy relationship you need to compromise. I, myself, am a big believer in it. But, with the importance of compromise comes non-negotiables in relationships.
These are the factors that are most important to you. The things you do not want to budge on. These are your deal breaker so to speak. We all have them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them.
Why do we need non-negotiables in relationships?
When you overlook your non-negotiables for the sake of comfort or to avoid fights or a breakup, you are leading yourself into a mess. You are creating tension and resentment. Holding true to what really matters to you is not only better for relationships, but also for your own well-being.
Even one non-negotiable ignored can lead to a major problem down the line. We often think we can get over this or move on from that for the sake of the relationship. When it comes to a non-negotiable, that is not the case. Non-negotiables will always come back to haunt a relationship.
If you keep them at the forefront of your mind from the beginning, you will be happier and won’t waste any time with someone that doesn’t want what you do. [Read: Should we break up? 17 signs you should let go]
The importance of non-negotiables in relationships
As I said, the lack of non-negotiables or at least the lack of prioritizing them can make your relationship tense. We all have non-negotiables. Whether you never want to move away from your family or don’t want to have children, there are always going to be things we cannot budge on.
Continuing a relationship, hoping that the other person will compromise on these non-negotiables is unfair to your partner and yourself. It also puts an unnecessary pressure on your relationship.
If you want your relationship to work, vocalize what your non-negotiables are. [Read: How to show respect and better love in your relationship]
What are non-negotiables in relationships?
Now that you know why knowing and communicating your non-negotiables is so important, consider what they are exactly.
Non-negotiables are not things like I want a house with a porch and won’t settle for anything less. Or I want a boyfriend that wears suits every day. Those can be things you look for but not dealbreakers.
A non-negotiable might be not sharing the same religious beliefs or political ideals. It could be having a partner that can’t show you love how you need. Or perhaps you spend a lot of time with your family, but your partner can’t get on board with that.
These are things you need in your life or that are your core values. Traveling destinations and home decor options are negotiables. The things that make you, you, should not be negotiated.
Sure, some couples are perfectly happy with combining their beliefs or stances, but if that is not something you can bend on, you shouldn’t have to. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]
What are your non-negotiables in relationships?
Until a difficult decision arises, it can be hard to figure out what your non-negotiables are. You may think you would do anything for your partner, but some things you cannot negotiate because they are too important to you. And that is okay.
So many people say you have to put your partner first. What you really must do is put yourself first. If you are not happy with yourself, your choices, and your life, you cannot be happy in a relationship. It is important to remind yourself that your dreams, needs, and happiness are not dependent on your relationship, but vice versa.
So, what are your non-negotiables? Here are some common issues that arise between couples. Their non-negotiable quality can lead you to a tough decision.
#1 Respect. Respect is the aspect of every single relationship *romantic or not* that makes things work. Without respect, a relationship cannot last. Although this should be a non-negotiable for everyone, it can be a hard thing to admit to yourself.
You may be in a comfortable relationship, but often times respect is lost and both people just don’t see it. If your partner puts you down, overlooks your feelings or opinions, or is even rude, it is time to decide if your relationship can be fixed or if you should move on. [Read: The 10 most important needs to help a relationship flourish]
#2 Commitment. Sure, some relationships are open and they work. But, if you are someone who thrives on monogamy and something you cannot and do not want to waiver on, it is non-negotiable.
If your partner cannot commit to you the way you need to be committed to in order to feel fulfilled within your relationship, it may be time to say goodbye.
#3 Passion. Some people may find passion overrated. Sure, it is something that comes and goes throughout the years, but if passion is what you or your partner needs in a relationship and the other is not willing to reignite that spark, how do you work through that?
You can communicate your feelings all you want, but when both partners cannot agree on how the relationship works and what you’re are passionate about, you hit a brick wall. You have to decide if that non-negotiable is worth it. [Read: Why intimacy is the key to making love last]
#4 Family. Whether it be your parents, grandparents, or potential children, our families are huge parts of our lives. If your partner doesn’t get along with your family or you don’t get along with theirs, you can hold your tongue a couple holidays a year, but if it is more than some tension on the holidays, can you keep up the politeness?
If you want children and your partner doesn’t, will you wait for them to change their mind when you know you won’t? Is the relationship worth it when you can’t get what you want? Family is not the same as choosing where to order food from or where to go on vacation. Is that something you can change your mind about?
#5 Finances. Sadly, money is a big part of serious relationships. Do you agree on how to spend and how to save? Can your partner deal with you making more than them? Can they deal with you picking a job for fulfillment over money?
It is a shame that money plays such a large role in our lives, but it is an undeniable fact and money problems end a lot of relationships. Sharing your monetary non-negotiables regularly can keep you both happy, but if you can’t agree, you have a choice to make.
#6 Future. Plans do not always work out as we hoped. But having a general idea of your future helps you move forward. You do not need to plan out your whole life, but sharing dreams and goals with your partner can be vital to your future together.
If what you want is to travel the world and your partner wants to settle down, discuss how that will work for you two. If you can’t come to an agreement that is a non-negotiable for you. [Read: What are the right reasons to walk away when you love someone?]
#7 Ignorance. One big relationship killer is ignorance. In a relationship, you always should be willing to learn from each other and be open to one another’s positions and opinions. Being with someone rigid on change and close-minded can lead to endless arguments.
A non-negotiable for many people is a partner with an open mind.
[Read: The lucky 13 signs of a good relationship]
Of course, there are hundreds of things that could be non-negotiables in relationships, but focusing on yours and how to deal with them is your decision to make.
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