The dictionary has two definitions of the word ‘compromise’:
1. To settle a dispute by mutual concession.
2. To expediently accept standards that are lower than is desirable.
Now, looking at those definitions and relating them to a relationship scenario, I’d say 1 is acceptable, 2 is not. You are never going to win every argument with your partner, and nor should you because let’s be honest, nobody is right 100% of the time. However, compromise should be encountered by both members of the party ie by mutual concession. You both give up certain aspects of your argument to put an end to it and move on. That’s ok, that’s how any relationship works, not just with your significant other but with friends, family, co-workers…
But 2, 2 is where I have an issue, and actually it ties in more closely with the discussions I’ve had with friends recently. To accept standards that are lower than is desirable. Basically to make do with your lot and not expect anything more. The problem that I’ve encountered with this is that more often than not it is women that find themselves in this situation. Women are far more likely to compromise than men are. Men go about their business as they would if they were single and we as women will fit in around them. We aren’t always happy with their decisions, in fact sometimes they make us downright miserable, but we compromise our own expectations for how our partner should be or how our relationship should be because we don’t want to jeopardise said relationship.
I genuinely think if women started to act more like men and refuse to compromise on their own wants and desires, that job on the other side of the country, that trip around the world with friends, that promotion that means longer working hours, another night out with the lads etc, we would see a huge decline in the number of stable relationships. Men wouldn’t know what had hit them and they wouldn’t want to stick around to find out. I don’t think they are even aware of how much we do compromise to be with them. And I’m not just talking about the bad guys here, I’m talking about the good ones too. They might be the nice guys but they are still inherently more selfish than women.