When it comes to dating, no one ever wants to settle. It’s almost like a dirty word — settling or giving in can be seen as a weakness, especially for women who want to make sure their partners are respecting them. But there’s a huge difference between settling and compromising. Although we’d never in our right mind suggest settling in a relationship, there are a lot of compromises in a relationship that you should be willing to make.
Settling in a relationship is like being a vegetarian in a restaurant and accepting the lame-ass macaroni and cheese from the kids menu instead of insisting on going somewhere that has a dish worth eating: You don’t want it, but you’ll take it, just in the name of not upsetting the whole group at the table. Compromising is so different. In fact, it can actually feel good. When you compromise, you’re acknowledging that something isn’t an ideal situation, but that you’re willing to give a little something in order to get a little something in return.
Compromise is sort of essential for romantic relationships.
If only because no two people are so in sync that everything is perfectly effortless all the time. It’s up to you to decide what you can give and whether or not it’s worth it, but here are some compromises that you should at least consider.
You sort of know when you get involved with someone what they do and what their day-to-day looks like. For example, you can’t be mad at your S.O. for being a bartender and not being home every Friday night when you met them during their Friday night shift at a bar. Like, you knew what you were getting into. Same goes for swapping holidays with families and friends. If it’s meant to be, you’ll be able to work out how to get some alone time with each other in a way that works for everyone.
2How to fight with each other.
People have different fighting styles. Some of us like to stay up all night and hash things out until everyone is happy, while others really need to retreat and take some time before coming back to the table to bargain. Figuring out your partner’s fighting style is S.O. important. As long as they’re also giving a bit, this is a totally workable situation.
3The temperature in the bedroom.
We’re kinda kidding, but kinda not. Sleeping temp is a big thing! You really need to figure out whether you can handle an extra layer if your partner is an air conditioning junkie before hitting the hay and whether you can deal with that in a long-term way. Actually, any quirk — like eating pizza with a fork or having to be home on Sunday nights to watch “their show” — is something you have to just give into a little bit. What’s merely annoying and actually hurting your soul are two different things, even if sometimes they seem very much the same.
4Pretty much everything in the bedroom.
Sexual compatibility is crazy important for a lot of people so being able to express your needs and understand your partner’s needs is the key to relationship bliss. If you literally cannot deal with their sexual needs — like how often you have it or a certain kink — you need to have a good long talk with yourself about moving forward.
5Actually, any “price of admission” thing.
Relationship and sex expert Dan Savage calls essential compromises “the price of admission” into a relationship. Like, to go to a movie, you know it’s going to cost $15 and can make a decision on the spot about whether you want to pay that or not to see some Kevin Hart flick. So when someone tells you something about themselves, whether it’s needing oral sex exactly three times a week or that they take solo vacations every summer with their BFF (and not you), it’s on you to decide whether you want to get into all that. Compromise is all about making a choice.