In a relationship, learning how to compromise is one of the most important things you can do.. Though humans are meant to be in the company of other humans, we’re all individuals with our own specific needs and desires. That means we’re not always on the same page as our significant other, no matter how much we love them. If you and your partner can find ways to compromise on issues large and small, your relationship will be able to go the distance.
Communication – The 1st Step
The best way to reach successful agreements is to discuss open issues during calm moments. In the heat of an argument, you and your partner are likely more focused on your anger than reaching a solution with love. That means you should try to talk about your shared conundrums during happier times, like over a nice dinner or on a relaxed Saturday afternoon. Once you’ve established exactly what your issue is, try for a collective brainstorm.
For example, let’s say your mate was offered a job in another city which would force you to move and give up your job. Sit down together with the following ground rules in mind: you will each state your case, without interruption from the other party, and then you’ll both suggest possible solutions. Thus, your S.O. will explain why he/she thinks the move is a good idea, and then you will explain why you’d like to stay. This isn’t a situation where both of you will be able to get what you want, so you have to weigh all of the evidence at hand as you work to come up with partial solutions.
Perhaps you’ve been at your company long enough to request that they let you work from home if you have to move away. Maybe you make more money, so it makes financial sense to stay for your job, but you’ll help your partner keep hunting for something nearby. You may even have to decide that your S.O. can have their way, but you’ll get to have your way on the next big decision. As long as you both make an effort to meet each other part way, less relationship problems will come of it.
Learning To Make Tradeoffs
For smaller issues there are often tradeoffs to be made. You’ll clean the bathroom every week if your boyfriend or girlfriend will regularly vacuum the apartment. If he or she does the grocery shopping, you will do the cooking. Small, everyday compromises like these make both you and your partner feel equally important. It may seem silly, but splitting the chores or trading off which person’s friends you hang out with can make your relationship much healthier than most. Knowing that both of your opinions are heard makes each of you feel more valued and loved.
Avoiding the one-sidedness that preys on many relationships can go a long way toward the prevention of arguments and unhappiness. The best thing about a compromise is that everyone feels better in the end, even if they didn’t get exactly what they wanted. When there are clear winners and losers, relationships can suffer. That’s especially true if the same person regularly ends up on the losing end of the equation.
You have to make sure that you’re taking turns coming out ahead, or resentment starts to boil. Romantic relationships are ultimately partnerships, and that means you need to work together to seek the best possible outcomes. Things won’t work out perfectly every time, but making that effort together strengthens your bond. Ask any married couple out there, and you’ll find that compromises played a huge part in their romance success.