Life is full of compromise. Without some sort of flexibility, the everyday may seem impossible to navigate. So, we compromise with our parents, with our kids, with our employers, and with our friends. We definitely compromise in our romantic relationships, too. But when two people come together, from completely different paths of life and bringing with them their own pasts and their own visions of the future, compromise becomes more difficult. Yes, some compromise may sometimes be necessary, but there are certain things you shouldn't compromise on in your relationship. Sometimes, compromise isn't the answer.
If you and your partner have kids, the compromises become more frequent. You may find yourself constantly yielding to each other due to lack of energy or because of an understandable desire to keep the peace in the house. There are more than a few parents, however, in happy relationships because they honestly don't compromise that much. In fact, a relationship is best when people learn to respect each other's stances rather than forcing each other to concede to one point of view. We should never lower our standards and cave into something we aren't thrilled with or believe in. That benefits no one.
Sure, compromising works on small, somewhat insignificant things. If you want a cheeseburger for dinner and your partner wants a salad, maybe you can choose a place that serves both. Or, if you want to see a comedy and your partner wants to see a horror flick, you can pick two days and see each one. That's called compromise. The bigger things, though, like parenting and core values, should not be compromised. Sometimes, one person conceding the point and losing out on key parenting decisions only leads to resentment and a feeling of inadequacy. No matter what your relationship is like, you should not compromise on:
Unless you met your partner when you were kids, by the time the two of you get together you have already shaped your own worldview. You have certain beliefs as to how the world works and how and where you fit into that world. So when you two get together, neither one of you should compromise those beliefs. If those beliefs completely clash, then maybe you two just aren't right for each other.
Your Parenting Styles
Let's be honest, when we are first dating our significant other, we aren't discussing parenting styles. You may have a vague idea of what kind of parent you'd like to be (I didn't), but when that baby is born you forget everything you've ever known.
However, while you may not have had set parenting styles before becoming parents, you did have your own values and morals you wanted to bring into a family. This is where you may be tempted to compromise for the sake of peace. But know this, compromising on everything when it comes to parenting may leave one partner completely unfulfilled as a parent and as a romantic partner. For example, if one parent is completely against sleep training and the other believes sleep training is the only solution, a compromise really just means that one parent basically gives in to the other. Instead of compromising, you and your partner should discuss whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish and come to a mutual solution in which each person feels heard and supported.
Your Ethics & Core Values
Your partner should never even ask you to compromise on your ethics and values. You should never try to change how you feel about certain things because your partner has a different stance. If you truly believe something is wrong, no one gets to tell you otherwise.
Sure, someone can present his/her point of view and you can choose to accept it, but if you feel strongly about something you should be able to keep that feeling. Also if, for example, you want children and your partner doesn't, there is no compromise that can be had.
Your Friendships & Social Life
No one gets to tell you who you can and cannot be friends with. While your partner may not be as in love with some of your friends, he/she should never ask you to give up those friends. Letting go of a friend for your partner should not be a compromise you end up making. If you choose to not be friends with someone, that should be your choice alone.
Furthermore, I don't know what I'd do if my partner wasn't into going out. As much as I enjoy a night in, I love socializing and being out with my friends. That isn't a compromise I am ever willing to make.
If you and your partner are married and/or decide to get married, in-laws come with the territory and your partner's parents and extended family are here to stay. As is your family. You should never have to choose between your partner and your family, and anyone who wants you to do so isn't the right person for you.
I come from a rich culture and my husband doesn't understand a lot of it. Still, I have never felt pressured to change the way I am or to change my cultural beliefs for him. Instead, I explain to him why some things are important to me and as long as those things don't interfere with his beliefs, we are all good. A mutual respect is what makes relationships work, not compromising all the time.
Don't change yourself for anyone. You are you for a reason. Do not change your appearance, your style, your weight, your thoughts, or your likes and dislikes for someone else. The reason relationships are fun and exciting is because they bring together two different people who enrich each other's lives with their idiosyncrasies. Your partner should absolutely and without question accept you for who you are, not who they think you should (or hope you do) become.
If you love photography, for example, and your partner could care less, do not give that up. Do not stop taking pictures and do not stop going to classes to hone your skills. Stick with what you love, because there's room for both your partner and your passion in your life.
Conversely, do not take up golfing just because your partner lives and breathes golfing. Of course you can give it a chance, but if it isn't your thing, don't force yourself.
Your Life Goals
Whatever those goals may be, they aren't up for compromise. Whether you've always dreamed of becoming a doctor or a musician, do not give that up for anyone.
I know some of us want to be with someone so desperately we are willing to completely change who we are, but no matter how hard you try and how great you may be at putting on a show and keeping up with a facade, you will always be who you are. And, eventually, all of that compromise will just turn you resentful towards the person you are with and towards yourself. Instead, find someone who won't require much compromise and enjoy being you.