In our culture, we are taught to have high standards. To wait for our “Prince Charming”, the one soulmate that will never fail to amaze us with their unexpected kindness and audacious generosity. It’s true that we shouldn’t settle for less, but anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that compromise is inevitable.
Yes, this “C” word might scare some people.
However, compromise is essential in any relationship, because everyone’s preferences and needs undeniably differ from one to the other no matter how similar their personalities may seem to be. Many people think that having to compromise is a sign that they weren’t meant for each other, when, in reality, compromising is a process that is very human. It shows that we are all uniquely made with different backgrounds, habits and needs.
When we choose to truly love someone and put them first, we are choosing to compromise our desires and needs with theirs. The problem is, some people are oblivious that they are mistaking compromise with tolerance.
Tolerance is one’s willingness to be patient with a person’s existing behaviours or opinions that they don’t necessarily agree with. In our hearts, to tolerate someone would feel like we’re making peace with ourselves and telling ourselves to bear the unrestful feeling that arises within us, while at the same time accepting that he or she is still going to continue that particular behaviour. Tolerance only requires one person’s sacrifice, which might lead to disappointment and bitterness in the unforeseeable future.
Compromising is much deeper than tolerance. It goes beyond the act of being patient and letting the other carry on with habits that don’t align with one’s own core values. When compromising, both need to step into the boat. In order to fairly compromise, both need to give up something. It is about working together to come up with a solution to existing differences.
So, the next time you find yourself on a different page with your loved one, try compromising instead of tolerating. Compromising is a brilliant opportunity to give to each other, instead of continually taking from each other. It’s not about lowering your standards, but it’s more about laying yourselves down and showing your respect for the other’s desires and needs.