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Practical, Positive and Empowered Women Making A Difference

Give It Up: How Compromise Could Be Killing The Chance of a Great Relationship

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We’ve all heard the same advice over and over again – the key to a great relationship is compromise. However, I’m here to bust the myth. To be honest, I don’t think compromise is the key. In fact, I’m pretty sure it can sometimes be the nail in the coffin of your future happiness.

More and more I hear campus girls making important choices framed in the language of compromise. From choosing a school or internship to stay close and available to their boyfriends, declining opportunities to travel and learn, consistently picking him over valuable female friendships and on and on.

I’m worried that the more we perpetuate the idea that you have to ‘compromise’ the more we reinforce the idea that our happiness and our goals are not important. We end up investing in the relationship through constant compromise. By doing that we are simply creating love that forces us to live a life that doesn’t make us happy.

What we need to appreciate that the best relationship is actually not one where there is a lot of compromise but one where very little compromise is needed in the first place.

We should be with someone who lives a life that is as compatible as possible with our own – philosophically/spiritually, emotionally and practically.  No one is ever going to be a perfect fit but we should, at least, look to minimize the compromises we will have to make rather than maximize them.

I meet so many women who are trying to fit a perfectly square relationship into their perfectly round life. Sometimes there is nothing ‘wrong’ with the relationship, nothing ‘wrong’ with the guy and nothing ‘wrong’ with the life we are dreaming of leading, it is just that the things don’t fit together unless someone makes some huge compromises.

In the 21st century, as women, we have the possibility to actualize ourselves. We can live our values. We have the very real chance to achieve our potential. How can we betray those who worked so hard to ensure we would get these opportunities?

Of course, it might change down the line when marriage or equivalent commitment has intertwined lives and perhaps even created children. However, when we are just getting started, when life is laid out before us as an almost dizzying array of options, surely we want to choose the path of most enduring happiness?

In a new relationship with little commitment there is a place for compromise. It is in the choice of movie, restaurant and levels of A/C in the car. When it comes to our values, our future and our achievements there should be no discussion. If you are looking into the future and see the big compromises looming perhaps it is time to find someone else.

After all, if we keep compromising we might end up compromising away our opportunity to find the kind of relationship where no one has to give up their dreams to build a ‘happily ever after’.

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