In order to live a balanced life, you have to learn to compromise. There are times where you have to take the high road and be satisfied with not having things your way. It’s not like you were defeated or that you’re any less of a human being or that your value is any less because you compromised. It’s actually commendable that you can learn to compromise for the betterment of everything around you. But…where do you cross the line from compromise to complete lack of awareness and unnecessary sacrifice?
After my divorce I dated a few guys, nothing too serious because I obviously wasn’t ready for that. However, I did want to stay in the game, I mean a girl’s gotta have some fun and be pampered and taken care of from time to time. But, after about 2 years of going on a few dates my friends set up I decided it was time to dive into a relationship and see where it would take me. I met my boyfriend who was also divorced but that was pretty much the only thing we had in common. During this relationship I learned many things, the most challenging being “compromise”. I reaffirmed what I knew, that a relationship is a TWO-WAY street. I also learned to give without expecting anything in return and actually finding fulfillment and joy from doing that. I validated my beliefs and learned to stand firm in my beliefs even if others don’t agree with me. I learned that compromising in a relationship doesn’t make one person weaker than the other, it is necessary to maintain balance. It helps build respect for one another and the relationship. I learned some great things about compromise. However, with the good lessons also came some harsh and critical life lessons.
During my 3 years I compromised a lot of myself to fit into this relationship. I resorted to the same habits I had in my marriage and conformed to an identity separate from my own. I became this “girlfriend” that had things in common with her boyfriend and shared in his interests and likes. I pursued his passions and encouraged his dreams and ambitions. I compromised my own interests and likes to appease my boyfriend and make him feel confident, happy and fulfilled and justified it as, “oh well, I like those things too”. In the 3 years of our relationship, my boyfriend has never taken me to or participated in anything that genuinely interests me. If I suggested something, he would either make a scene, say it was inconveniencing him on his “day off” or that he didn’t want to be pressured into something that he didn’t like. He has also told me to my face that he doesn’t respect me and that I do not make him happy. He proceeded to tell me that the individual that I am (the real me, someone who is opinionated and enjoys controversial topics) is not someone he wants to be with.
After 3 years of compromising my identity to fit this relationship, I am being told by the man I am with, that the person I became for him is not enough. In fact, my real personality seems to keep shining through and he doesn’t like who I am because it doesn’t fit his idea of what he is looking for in his partner. So, do I hold on to my ego and set aside my pride and continue moulding into a relationship that is clearly not for me, just to prove something to him and the world? Do I lose my self-respect and try to hold on to someone because I can’t handle rejection? Do I make the ultimate compromise, my true identity, and become something, yet again that I am not, just to satisfy someone? HELL NO!
What I learned is, there is a fine line between compromise and unnecessary sacrifice. I am more than willing to compromise habits or quirks that should be improved on. But, I am not willing to completely change who I am because it doesn’t bode well with someones personality. I am not willing to compromise my happiness to be with someone who doesn’t understand me or accept me for who I am. I cannot compromise my identity for anyone, especially not for someone who doesn’t offer me anything in return to make me happy. How can someone judge me on my personality after 3 years of being with me? It doesn’t make any sense. There is a clear disconnect in my relationship and I have learned that I cannot make the ultimate compromise, my life, just to be with someone and to prove him wrong. It’s not worth it and it will not make either of us happy. All I can do is take his honesty for what it is, and move on with my life and continue on my path of self improvement. I learned everything that I needed to learn from this relationship and I can happily walk away knowing I made all the right compromises.
Time to reflect:
Are you in a relationship where you are making compromises? Is this relationship something that makes you a better individual or something that makes you into a person you’re not. No one should sacrifice their identity for anyone. If someone in your life is making you question who you are and how you fit in, maybe it’s time to see if this person fits in YOUR life. Are you making compromises or are you making unnecessary sacrifices? Ask yourself and be honest, letting go isn’t a bad thing, it may be the exact thing you need to grow and be the best you can be.
“I will never compromise Truth for the sake of getting along with people who can only get along when we agree.”
~ D.R. Silva