The longer you’re with someone, the clearer some of your differences might become. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re headed for a break up, though. Trying to understand each other’s perspective has proven key in my relationship, but there are tons of different ways and reasons to compromise. Here are 4 methods to help tackle this challenge!
Be willing to try new things
This is the key to any compromise, and also, if you expect your partner to try new and different things for you, you absolutely need to do the same for them. Being the first one to volunteer to do this definitely earns you a few brownie points as well. Plus, you never know, maybe you’ll discover you actually like something you previously thought you hated.
Swallow your pride (sometimes)
It seems like every couple has that one thing where if it gets brought up it’s bound to turn into an argument (please tell me I’m not alone here?!). Well, just like anything in life, sometimes it’s better to just agree to disagree or swallow your pride. Of course, there are times when you should stand your ground, and you shouldn’t feel like you’re the one always sacrificing, but we can’t win them all. When it feels like some kind of middle ground can’t be reached on a minor issue, wave the white flag.
Do things solo
On my bucket list, there is a separate section of things I’ve set aside to do with my boyfriend. What I’ve learned though, is not everything on this list is something he wants to do or finds value in. This was a tough pill to swallow, especially when I brought up going on a European sabbatical and he looked at me like I was crazy.
Eventually we decided a two-week trip would suffice, but I realized at that point that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing things by myself (or with a friend) – traveling or otherwise. Just because you don’t do everything together, doesn’t mean there’s a problem in your relationship. In fact, you shouldn’t expect to do everything with your partner. They don’t need to fulfill every one of your needs. That’s what you have friends and family for!
Try to understand
Even though this sounds like the easiest thing on the list, I find it the most difficult sometimes. When I feel so passionately about something, I can get blinders on and have trouble understanding how my boyfriend couldn’t feel the same way. I’ve tried to become more aware of when this happens so I can take a step back and try to see his perspective. This usually helps to find a compromise, and more importantly, avoid an argument. Remember, you are two different people with different upbringings, experiences, and perspectives. It’s okay to disagree, but as long as you make the effort to understand one another’s point of view, then you’re on the right path.
There’s no question relationships take a lot effort from both parties, but knowing each other is willing to compromise every once in a while sure makes things a little easier.
Photography by Kendall McLeod.