How Much Should You Compromise In A Relationship

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Written By:

Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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What is a Compromise? 

Compromises are bound to happen in every kind of relationship. But before knowing how much to compromise, it is important to understand what exactly compromise is. In a relationship, a compromise refers to the middle ground that couples establish to meet during moments of arguments, differentiation in opinions etc. Striking a middle ground helps in resolving conflicts and allows for both the partners to live with each other in harmony. It is not possible for your partner to always agree with you or vice versa. In moments like this, it is always advisable to strike a middle ground and compromise a little so that there are no grudges. 

Imagine that you and your partner are baking a cake. You bring a recipe that your family has been following since decades. And your partner does the same. Now you have two recipes for one cake. What do you do? You look for the steps that are common and try to incorporate the best of both the recipes towards baking the cake. This way you are left with a dish that was created out of both your recipes. This is the magic of compromise. If used in an efficient and healthy manner, it can leave you feeling peaceful. 

Compromise vs. Sacrifice 

The line separating compromise and sacrifice is very thin and can often be blurred very easily. When you and your partner reach a compromise, you are mainly ensuring that you both reach a middle ground. This means that both of you gain something and both of you lose something. It is about making adjustments while making decisions or planning something or even resolving an argument. For example, while deciding household chores, let’s say you dislike cooking. And your partner decides to shoulder that responsibility. Similarly, they don’t like doing the dishes, and so you decide to shoulder this responsibility. This way you and your partner are able to strike a balance. 

However, in a sacrifice, the proportions are not equal. In a sacrifice, one partner often tends to lose something major, while the other partner gains something major. It is almost like a selfless act one does in order to ensure that a relationship is stable. But it is important to remember that while sacrifice can give you stability for a brief period of time, the long-term repercussions are extremely deep. A sacrifice, involves letting go of something completely for your partner. For example, giving up a career entirely for your partner in order to ensure stability. The long-term repercussions include losing oneself and losing an identity. This is why it is extremely important to know the difference between the two. 

How to Compromise Healthily in a Relationship? 

The best way to ensure that you are not compromising too much in a relationship is to learn the art of healthy compromising. This is a skill that can be inculcated at any stage of your relationship, 

  1. Keep Open Communication - 

It is very important to keep communication channels open with your partner at all times. These should include you sharing with your partner your needs, desires, thoughts, feelings, emotions etc. This way your partner will be able to understand you in a better way. If you are reserved to a large extent, then it will become difficult for your partner to understand you. 

  1. Listen to your Partner - 

Listening and sharing go hand in hand. While you keep communication channels open with your partner at all times, it is important that you establish yourself as a good listener as well. When you listen to your partner, you can understand their problems, their nature, their concerns as well. This will improve the understanding levels between you both. 

  1. Identify ways to Adjust - 

Since compromise involves a great deal of adjusting, you don’t have to be alone in deciding that. You and your partner can decide together different ways in which you both can adjust in order to make each other happy. These are not conditional demands that you are placing on each other - for example, “I will only wash the dishes, if you cook for us”. These should be small adjustment requests that you both are ready to do for the happiness of your relationship. 

  1. Win-Win over Win-Lose - 

The whole concept of compromise involves having a win-win approach and not a win-lose approach. You and your partner are not against each other and you must ensure that you are not working against them. When you seek a solution that benefits both you and your partner then you both are left with feeling like your needs are met. This will allow for more happiness and stability to flourish. 

  1. Don’t keep a Fixed Mindset - 

Those who have a fixed mindset tend to also have a competitive mindset. The goal should not be to prove your partner wrong and prove yourself right. The goal should be to be flexible in your thinking so that you both can grow together. A growth mindset is one where we are appreciative of each other’s efforts and encouraging to each other. There is always ways in which we can learn from each other and having a fixed mindset does not allow for you and your partner to grow healthily into a relationship. 

  1. Seek Professional Help - 

If you still are unable to differentiate between how much to compromise, you can seek professional help. There are many relationship experts who can provide you and your partner with the right guidance to flourish better in your relationship. 

Remember that compromises are healthy and help in building a stronger foundation for any kind of relationship. It is an ever-changing process that requires consistent efforts from your partner and yourself. It is never too late to learn the skill of compromise, and we at CoupleBees are here to help you!

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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