Have we forgotten the point of compromise?

Why compromising your relationship isn't always a good idea

Self-isolation is an opportunity to ask questions about how your relationship works.

A very specific term is often used in conversations about romantic relationships: willingness to compromise. For example, many relationship experts say that the key to a successful partnership is being able to take one step towards the other. But in some cases this advice isn't all that helpful.
An example: You are 100 percent certain that you want to have children at some point, but your partner does not. What would be the middle ground here? Half a child? Joking aside, in this particular situation it is not an option to simply throw one's own needs overboard. Why? Because one of you will end up being far from happy with the situation.
So there are situations in which compromises can actually damage the relationship. But sometimes they are also helpful. The question is: where is the line between these “healthy” and “unhealthy” compromises? How much should you give up on the relationship with love so that harmony is not jeopardized? And when should you not make compromises so as not to betray yourself and your convictions and thereby endanger the relationship in the long term?
The basis of healthy compromises is self-esteem. Ask yourself what you want from this relationship and what your partner needs to do to make it happen. This includes big topics likeDo you want kids Do you want to marry? Where do you want to live?, but also little things likeWho takes on which tasks in the household?. It sounds self-explanatory, but we often forget it: Before you even start talking to your girlfriend or boyfriend, you have to think about your answers to these questions for yourself. With these preliminary considerations, you can later formulate your wishes and no-gos more clearly, communicate more effectively and avoid an argument.
So now you are ready to discuss the issues with your partner. You should be as honest, open and specific as possible, advises the sex scientist Dr. Jess O'Reilly. For example, if you want more sex, she recommends doing the following: Start with a compliment like, “I love feeling so close to you during sex. Then I feel so secure, relaxed and desirable ”. Next, ask a question to start the conversation, like “What do you think of our sex lives? Is there anything I can do to make it more fulfilling for you? ”. And in the last step you can express your idea or your need: “I know we are both super busy during the week, but can we plan more time for sex on the weekends? Would that be ok for you?".
This three-part approach might sound a bit awkward at first, but it's effective! On the other hand, what you absolutely shouldn't be doing is complaining directly about your sex life (or whatever your problem is). It's not about putting the others down or blaming them, but rather working on the relationship together. After all, you want him or her to understand your side so that you can then find a solution together that you are both happy with.
If the situation is the other way around and your partner comes up to you, try to both stay open and let the other one finish speaking, says Dr. O'Reilly. Many people think that compromising means making a sacrifice. As if they weren't getting what they wanted. And that is why they are, in principle, directly against it. But according to Dr. O'Reilly is not. “Doing something for your partner doesn't have to feel like losing money. In fact, it can bring you both more joy, love, and fulfillment. "
At the same time, it's also important to notice when a request from your girlfriend or boyfriend doesn't feel right to you. "Think about whether it is something that you are open to and whether it is compatible with your values," says Dr. O'Reilly. Ask yourself if there is a change that you (or your relationship) could grow on. Perhaps this could teach you or her an important lesson. “Then you should ask about the details: What exactly does your partner want? Talk to each other about what that would mean in concrete terms - for you, your relationship and your everyday life. ”If after all these considerations and the conversation you have a good gut feeling, the compromise is probably a good idea. If, on the other hand, the whole thing gives you stomach ache and maybe even negatively impacts your self-esteem, that's a bad sign. It may then be necessary not only to talk about the compromise itself, but also to look for the cause. Perhaps there are deep relationship issues that lie behind the whole thing that you should urgently discuss.