I am ready to do and be whatever they want, as long they stay and continues to make me feel the way they do. Truth is, that why most men compromise.
I jotted down the title of this post to keep me from forgetting. I was all inspired by the Eartha Kitt interview where she speaks directly on the topic of compromise. Check it out:
Compromise for what?!? Most days, I wholeheartedly agree and, just like Eartha, I want to burst into a guttural laughter at the very thought of it. I have come too damn far in this journey of accepting and loving ME to compromise in order to be with anyone! Other days, I am ready to do and be whatever she wants, as long she stays and continues to make me feel the way she does. Truth is, that why most of us compromise.
Now before I go too far or get too deep into this, I want to clarify: When I use the word compromise I don’t mean simple shit like putting the toilet seat down, even if I think it is silly. What I’m talking about are those formative or definitional things about us that we quickly find ourselves changing in the midst of a relationship. Like…When she asks you to stop talking to a friend and you do, knowing full well how much you value that friend in your life. When he says I don’t want kids, and you know you do. When your partner wants to have a threesome and you don’t, but you do it anyway. When he needs monogamy and you think it doesn’t exist, so for his sake, you pretend to be exclusive. There are countless examples of times when our partners want us to do less of what brings us joy and we acquiesce—just to keep the peace.
So many times in my life, I have been guilty of doing just this. I have quietly accepted something or adapted my behavior to ways that didn’t match my personality or desires. I came to resent it. I resented myself for accepting it and I sometimes resented my partner for not knowing it was not what I wanted (yes I know that is SO not fair). Nevertheless, whether I wanted to admit it or not, it ate at me. And because it was eating away at me, it was eating away at my relationship.
So even though I may agree with Eartha Kitt most days, it has dawned on me that refusing to compromise can definitely be a difficult way to live. I have been on both sides of this issue. I have had women compromise who they were for me and I have compromised myself for them. Time and growth now allows me to comfortably say that it is okay to compromise on some things. The simple things. But it is not okay to compromise on the things that eat away at the core of who you are.
You are the only person who can honestly say what those things are. Only you can decide which things are no big deal and which ones single-handedly make you a little less you! As you consider these things for yourself, I ask that you also think about them for your partner. Are the things that you are asking of them truly fair to ask? Just because it may be something you need doesn’t mean it is something your partner can give without compromising who they are. And hey, just in case you happen to feel lost at any point in this process, just remember the words I close each post with and allow them to remind you, (as I allow them to remind me each day):
Love them as they are, have amazing sex, and communicate with intention.
Originally appeared at Love, Sex and Communication. Reprinted with permission.
Photo credit: David Anthony Geary
Video credit: YouTube/Kelly G