It’s often said that the secret to a strong, stable relationship is compromise. And it’s definitely true that compromise is key in any relationship. But I’d also argue that there are certain things that you should never compromise on for the sake of your significant other. It can be a hard decision to make, but sometimes you have to prioritize your own happiness and wellbeing over your desire to be with someone. So with that in mind, here are the five things you should never compromise on in a relationship and five things you should…
Never Compromise On…
1. Your Desire (Or Lack Thereof) to Have Children
This is one issue that can truly make or break a relationship. If you aren’t on the same page about whether or not you want to have kids, it will likely cause a huge chasm in your relationship at some point. Even if you don’t want kids yet but know you want them someday, it’s important to know your partner feels the same way. And if you know you never want kids, try to be upfront about that as soon as the relationship starts to get serious. Because even if this topic isn’t at the forefront of conversation yet, sooner or later it will be, and you don’t want anyone to feel blindsided.
2. Your Core Values
Blending two different religions or cultures is completely doable, and can even make for a richer cultural experience for both of you. But if your core beliefs are at odds, it’s probably going to catch up to you. Even if you come from different backgrounds, make sure that your morals and values are similar enough that it won’t cause stress on the relationship.
3. Your Goals for Yourself
A true partner will always support you and push you further in the direction of your goals. If being with someone forces you to let go of your own dreams, it’s probably not going to work out in the long run. Even if you think the compromise is worth it now, you don’t want to wake up one day realizing it is too late to achieve everything you wanted to. So whether your goals are professional, personal, or otherwise, make sure not to lose yourself in your relationship.
4. Your Long-Term Financial Goals
True love is priceless. But money issues are also one of the leading causes of divorce, so it’s important that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to how you spend and save. A strong relationship has the power to get you through tough financial times. But if you and your partner just don’t see eye to eye when it comes to money (i.e. one of you is a penny-pinching saver and the other is a chronic big spender), these issues will cause a major strain on your relationship.
5. Commitment Level
Even if you are perfectly compatible in every other way, a relationship only works if both people are equally committed. If one person is way more committed and the other person is never going to be, it’s going to lead to a lot of frustration for one or both of you. So make sure you are both in it together and want the same things out of the relationship.
Do Compromise On…
1. Your Lifestyle
Any neat freak who has had a very messy roommate (or vice verse) knows how frustrating it can be to live with someone whose lifestyle isn’t in sync with yours. But when it comes to your romantic partner, it’s important to compromise when it comes the way you live your everyday life. Whether one of you is clean and the other is messy or one is healthy and the other loves junk food, try to meet each other in the middle. Focus on all the things you love about each other and these issues will start to seem trivial.
2. Where You Spend the Holidays
I’m lucky enough to have a great relationship with my husband’s family, but I know that many people are not blessed with such wonderful in-laws. Being with your partner means being with their family too. That might mean switching off whose house you go to during the holidays, even if you’d rather just spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with your own family.
3. Where You Want to Settle Down
Deciding what city, state, or even country to settle down in is a big deal. And it’s not always something that two people agree on. If it’s one person compromising their ideal locale for the sake of the other, it’s important to go into it knowing the compromise is something you can live with long-term and not come to resent your partner for. Or, when a big move is in question, the two of you can agree to put a time limit on how long you are willing to test out a city before reevaluating it together. Be open with each other, and be sure the decision is one you can both be happy with.
4. Your Hobbies and Interests
You and your partner might not have all the same hobbies and interests. Football Sundays aren’t exactly my cup of tea, and William would say the same thing about my flea market obsession. But when you’re in a relationship, it’s important that you at least value and respect each other’s interests. You can either agree to take part in each other’s hobbies or agree to give each other time apart to explore those interests on your own.
5. Your Friends
Being in a relationship means embracing your significant other’s friends, even if they’re not people you would choose to spend time with on your own. Of course if there’s a friend who truly brings out the worst in your partner, you can have a serious talk about it. But in most cases, it’s better to get to know each other’s friend groups and give them a real chance. You might end up having more in common than you think!
Do you agree with the items on my list?
Let me know your own relationship advice in the comments below.