We’ve all heard it before: Relationships require compromise.
However, the term "compromise" is rarely understood as something that alters our negative tendencies and fixations.
It is only viewed as something that requires the sacrifice of the good and positive things in our lives.
We always hear how we shouldn’t compromise our integrity, our values or any other aspect of our supposedly fixed personalities.
And while this sounds reasonable, we shouldn’t be quick to designate compromise as an entirely bad thing.
Having been in failed relationships, I realized the failure (most of the time) was the result of one or both parties compromising on the wrong things and/or not compromising on the right things.
After marrying the love of my life, I can say most of our success has come from the changes we’ve undergone since being together.
Here are the changes you should expect to undergo while being in a healthy relationship with someone you love:
1. Your Argumentative Strategy
By this, I mean you should not have a strategy to begin with.
Arguing with your partner isn’t about winning or being right.
Arguments are a natural symptom of slamming the hearts of two completely unique individuals together, and sending them off into the wilderness with a pocket knife and no cell phone.
Love is rough, and it requires the soft reception of another’s personality and history.
When arguments occur, you should be seeking reconciliation.
You should be trying to find out what went wrong, and you should explore how to prevent these mistakes from happening in the future.
2. Your Ability To Sympathize
No, you will not act without thinking about how the other person might feel.
No, you will not say things without having considered how your words might be perceived.
And no, changing your ability to sympathize does not make you a politically correct pushover.
It makes you a good partner, who is both consciously and subconsciously aware of the feelings of your loved one.
3. Your Attitude
I’ll admit I was a little bit scared of how happy I was after I met my husband.
I was no longer “grouchy,” which was something I had considered to be a staple of my personality.
I mean, I’m even smiling right now!
The bottom line is, you shouldn’t be miserable.
4. Your Body Consciousness
People aren't always aware of their eating, smoking and drinking habits. This lack of awareness doesn’t necessarily change once we’re in relationships.
That being said, your partner shouldn't expect you to immediately put the cigarette down once you commit to him or her.
However, if your SO does come to you with a reasonable concern about your health, you should take this concern seriously.
The key to recognizing this is taking a look in the mirror and/or getting another opinion.
Here are the things you should not compromise on:
1. Your Personality
If your partner is constantly complaining you’re boring, not funny, too jovial or whatever, it’s time to move on.
It’s not worth feeling like you’re not enough or too much. It’s also important to know the extent of these complaints.
If your partner says you’ve been too serious about a particular matter, then his or her complaint has context and isn't a judgment about your general personality.
If this is the case, you may want to consider what he or she is saying.
2. Your Beliefs
Now, this is a tricky one.
We're all sensitive to religion, politics and value systems. It's important to be open-minded and to take the opinions and beliefs of your SO seriously.
That being said, there are lines that should not be crossed by either party. Attacking the beliefs of your SO or not taking them seriously is offensive behavior.
However, if you love your partner, you should try to understand their beliefs.
You should be able to speak openly about why he or she believes what he or she believes, and you should be able to understand why and how he or she came to the conclusions he or she came to.
My husband is 13 years older than me and from another country. Our beliefs have been formed by very different personal histories.
Yet, while there are quite a few things we’ve talked about pointedly, we've always come to an understanding of one another.
Sometimes, we're able to convince the other of a particular point, and sometimes. we’re not.
But at the end of the day, we understand where we’re both coming from.
Common understanding and acceptance are two of the most important aspects of any kind of relationship.