On compromising in relationships


It’s the key to any good relationship.

But what if you’re poles apart in your thinking?

Back in my high school health/sex ed class, we were asked what one should do in a situation where one person wants to do a lot more physically than their partner is ready for.

I don’t remember what the conclusion was, and in fact I’m not sure we actually got around to reaching one.

Still, it’s an interesting question, no? What if two people in a relationship are at very different stages? What if one wants to move overseas/move in together/have a kid/get married and the other … doesn’t? Is meeting somewhere in the middle the best choice then, if it’s even possible – pressing one beyond their comfort limits while the other is just as dissatisfied?

It seems to me, from my limited observations, that time fixes everything. Kinda.

You start with talking it out.

Then there’s panic and disbelief that you could ever be on the same page given how far apart you stand on matters.

Then you wait. Wait and think and wash and rinse and repeat.

Then at some point, it’s crunch time. If said issue is a dealbreaker and neither party’s stance has changed, then one is mostly likely going to walk away.


6 thoughts on “On compromising in relationships

  • Reply Michelle March 20, 2012 at 17:37

    Compromising in relationships can be done, but sometimes one should just walk away. Depends on the subject and how important the issue is to you. My bf and I have talked about if we want kids. I don’t want kids until I’m in my 30’s, whereas he always jokes that he wants none. That’s something we need to talk about. But I’m not worried right now.

  • Reply Sense March 20, 2012 at 18:40

    Yeah, this is the worst part of a relationship–when you are close enough to talk about all the important stuff, and find out that you don’t really agree on any of it. There is no way to compromise on the kid issue. You are either all in, or you are out.

    After that, you know that pain is in store for you, on some level, in some way, even if you manage to stay together. It sucks.

    Other issues are easier to manage, say, for example, Revanche’s recent post about takeout vs cooking after you both have had a hard day at work.

  • Reply addvodka March 21, 2012 at 02:33

    I think the problem is everyone wants compromise, but nobody wants they’re ideas to be compromised. I would love to move overseas for a few months, but boyfriend would NEVER agree to that. So I have to compromise on my life’s dreams to be with him.

  • Reply Kris March 21, 2012 at 16:34

    Compromise is a necessary part of any relationship. There are definitely some deal breakers – kids being one. Career conflict can be a huge issue too.

    My career is very important to me, and will require moving at some point. Fortunately, my husband is on board – he wants to be involved in deciding where we might go, but he is willing to go. Compromise!

  • Reply SheBloggs March 22, 2012 at 15:20

    One thing I’ve learned is that compromise is HARD!! We all know it’s nice and dandy to say “just compromise” but it’s so hard to actually implemented.

    Another thing I’ve learned is that sometimes one partner has to give a little more than the other. It’s never exactly 50/50 an demanding that it be that way all the time is not realty. Of course this doesn’t work for every single situation, but for a lot of things, each person gives a bit more sometimes.

    Last thing – depending on how it’s dealt with and resolved, conflict isn’t the end of the world.

  • Reply Harri @ TotallyMoney March 24, 2012 at 03:41

    Oh wow yes compromising can be tough. I think you’ve got to be upfront with each other and explain your point of view. Bottling things up or hoping areas of disagreement will go away won’t work.

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