Why Compromising Is The Worst
Let’s just go there: I really don’t like the concept of compromise when it comes to love and dating relationships. A good friend of mine recently said it like this: “Compromise means nobody’s truly happy. I want to live in New York. She wants to live in California. So we move to Denver.”
Here’s how I look at relationships: instead of compromising on almost everything just so both people aren’t unhappy, each person in the relationship gets “agency” over certain the things that are most important to them. With most things in a relationship, one of the people will often care more. That person should get to choose exactly what they want and the other person should be so happy to see their partner delighted.
For instance, I care a LOT about two things: dog and home design. I’m allergic to most dog breeds, so it’s important to me to be able to choose the dogs that we have. And I care a lot about my home surroundings and would love to have agency over home design. I would hope the man I’m with would want me to be so happy with these two things that are important to me.
But I also want HIM to be happy. So if the man I’m with really wants a boat, we’re getting a boat! Not only are we getting a boat, but (within our agreed upon budget) we’re getting whatever boat he wants. I don’t just want to “give in” on a boat, I want him to have the boat of his dreams. I want to support that dream and be excited about the boat. Being with someone isn’t just about meeting in the middle, but being excited to see the person you love SO HAPPY.
What happens when you both care SO much about the same thing or disagree immensely? That’s when compromise comes in. But that’s going to be more rare. So instead of compromising on 80% of things, you’re compromising on 10% of things and that softens the edges. And more importantly, most of the time, you’re each delighted to see your partner SO happy with the things that are most important to them.
This feels right to me. Do what feels right to you.