Compromising Positions

In a relationship, you need to know when to say “Yes” or “Hell, no!”.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
In a relationship, you need to know when to say “Yes” or “Hell, no!”.
Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos

Good compromise

1 You try your best to get all the names straight on House of Cards because he was good enough to buy you chocolate and let you cry on his shoulder when McDreamy died. That’s true love.

2 No matter how unsubtly or repeatedly you mention your love of flowers, he never buys them for you. (Because he believes they’re a waste of money.) But as long as he shows his affection in his own romantic ways – playlists, leaving cute notes for you, and so forth – this should be enough. Let him express himself!

3 He cooks, you do clean up (or vice versa). Everyone wins.

4 He still thinks you’re God’s gift even though you’ve just come from an intense hot yoga session. It’s only fair that when you go into the toilet to brush your teeth after he’s done a number two, you hold your breath… and don’t make an even bigger stink about it after.

5 He’s “experimenting” with his look… which means there’s scraggly patches of hair on his jaw that he won’t stop admiring in the mirror. Don’t burst his bubble; after all, he might not get your current obsession with mannish sandals, but he’s still proud to hold your hand when you walk down the street and treats you like his queen.

Bad compromise

1 You decide to retire your favourite mini dress just because he hates how other guys gawk at you when you wear it. Your wardrobe = your choice.

2 You expect him to pay for every single meal, then pout when he won’t take you to your favourite (expensive) sushi place at the end of the month and suggests a more reasonably priced dinner spot instead. Don’t be so unreasonable!

3 You blindly abandon any of your beliefs on big issues – politics, religion or your own personal moral code – just because he can’t accept you otherwise. These are the opinions that make up the foundation of who you are. You don’t have to agree with each other, but you shouldn’t have to change your values just to please him.

4 He can’t handle you talking to other guys so you give up your social life. If he can’t trust you, why should you be ruled by his insecurities?

5 He doesn’t like certain members of your family, so you’re just not allowed to talk about them in his presence. As a couple, you should be part of each other’s lives – he doesn’t get to pick and choose.

It’s all about give and take

Sadly, entering into a relationship means giving up some of the freedom to do exactly what you want, when you want (though you do get way more cuddles and awesome adventures in return!).

Anne Hollonds, psychologist, explains why compromise is the key to any successful couple. “A relationship is about two people – not one – so one of the biggest challenges is: how do you get two people – individuals who separately have a strong sense of entitlement to do their own thing – to have a relationship? You need to be able to compromise and negotiate to get both sets of needs met. One of the key things you’ve got to learn is how to resolve your disagreement without damaging the relationship – it’s central to any partnership.”

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