Relationships are precarious, man-on-a-wire exercise in push/pull dynamics. You have to compromise to be in a relationship. You cannot be in a relationship strictly on your own terms, it takes two to tango, relationships are a two way street, insert other clichés about team work here, because they're true. At the same time, you can't compromise everything about yourself to make your relationship work. Enter the delicate ballet of compromise versus sticking to your guns.
It's important to know when to bend and when to stand your ground. Not every situation you find yourself in a relationship is as simple as: I believe this, so this is what's going to happen. Sometimes it's more like: we believe different things about this, so we either have to agree to disagree, or meet somewhere in the middle. Relationships are a lot about the grey area, so you have to tread extra carefully to make sure you don't completely lose yourself in all the compromising. There are certain things you should never let go, no matter how much someone else might want you to (keeping in mind that someone who really loves you and values your happiness would never ask you to give up these things). Here are seven things you should never compromise on in a relationship:
1. Your Friendships
There might be an occasion where your S.O. can see a toxic friendship in a light that you can't, and will call it out. If a friend is treating you poorly and your partner becomes concerned, that's coming from a place of love, and you should hear their worries. But if your boyfriend or girlfriend arbitrarily asks you to cut ties with friends, don't yield. Even if your S.O. takes personal issue with one of your friends, if you like that friend and enjoy their company, your S.O.'s problem isn't yours. They don't have to see one another, and you don't have to give up one for the other.
2. Your Dreams
You're entitled to your dreams for the future. Dreams don't always come true, but it's your right to chase them. If your partner doesn't want you to follow your dreams, then you might be with the wrong person. Unless your dream is to murder kittens or do something else gross and illegal, then your partner should be the person offering your unconditional support to find your happiness.
3. Your Relationship With Your Family
If you love your family and your partner doesn't, then tough. If your family has done everything to include your S.O. and been nothing but nice, and for whatever reason your boyfriend or girlfriend is still adverse to them, then that's your problem. It's nothing you need to concern yourself with, past telling the person you're dating they're being a petulant brat and to grow the hell up.
4. Your Career Goals
We all have things we want for our careers. When you're in a relationship, you have to support one another in these goals. Sometimes you might have to compromise your life to work with your partner's career, and sometimes they will have to do the same for you. But neither of you should have to give up your career goals to make your relationship work. Instead, your relationship should work around what you both want professionally.
5. The Way You Feel About Yourself
If someone goes to pains to make you feel bad about yourself, they're not the right person for you. Meanwhile, if you feel the way you feel about yourself changing implicitly when you're with someone, you need to address that too, even if it is your own doing. The person you're with should make you feel MORE like you, not less, and if you're down on yourself because of your relationship then that's a compromise you should not be making.
6. The Treatment You're Willing To Tolerate
Likewise, you should compromise on the way you expect to be treated by your partner. You should always be treated with respect, and if you're consistently treated with anything less than, then that's not something you have to tolerate. Being in love doesn't mean you need to compromise on your self-esteem to continue that love. Love should never require you to sacrifice being treated with care.
7. Your Core Beliefs And Values
You probably don't want to be in a relationship with someone who has directly opposing values to you, but that doesn't mean you need to change yours to fall in line with theirs. Just don't be in a relationship with that person. Of course, you don't need to agree about everything with your S.O. Being able to have healthy, informed debate can be really enriching. But you also probably don't want to be with ignorant views either, and if you happen to be involved with one, you don't have to lean towards their bigoted ideals in order to make your relationship work.
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