Compromising Vs. Settling

1 Jun

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I’ve been in a relationship with my honey (Anthony) for almost 8 years. I feel old just writing that! I hate to say that word relationship, because what we have is so much deeper than that. We are such deeply, connected kindred spirits, that I feel that the word relationship does it no justice. You don’t make it to eight years easily, or without the willingness to compromise. Now, here is where it gets tricky and people scrunch their faces; but I’m going to be as detailed as I can to unfold the differences between compromising and settling in relationships.

Although the dictionary definitions of compromise and settle are very similar we identify them as completely different things. Compromising is what you should do when you’re in a committed long-term, relationship, marriage, etc. It is only something you do with someone who is undoubtedly in love with you, supportive of you, and vice versa. You know if you’re with someone who is worth compromising some things for. Many hear the word compromise and assume it means giving up a part of you or not enjoying things that you normally would if you were single. First off, compromising in a relationship is and only should be mutual. You may compromise on major decisions like careers, living in the city versus the living in the suburbs, or on minor decisions like where to eat for (dinner)i.e. not eating at your favorite restaurant so that your sweetie can eat at his/her restaurant pick. For me this is a biggie, because I always want to eat at the same two places, and never want what my honey wants. When we are butting heads about where to eat dinner, we usually have to come to some middle ground and choose something we can both settle on. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve ended up restaurant parking lots with the car windows up, arguing because I won’t compromise. Yes, I have my moments too! He’s a big time carnivore and I always want pasta or salad (not a man’s usual favorite). Compromises no matter how big or small shouldn’t feel like burdens; if they feel more like burdens, then it’s time to have a talk, and another compromise needs to be made. Both parties need to feel important, loved, happy, etc. You should always want each other to feel appreciated and happy. Every couple on earth makes compromises on something. Some people are willing to deal with habits or situations that others’ aren’t. Each couple’s compromises are unique to them, and that’s what makes them (as a couple) work. One person cannot always have it their way, because this is where it becomes a dictatorship. Meeting in the middle becomes the norm, because that’s what you do to keep each other fulfilled. Compromising does not feel like you’re giving up something; when you’re doing it with the right person. It’s amazing because I know, that no matter what; I’ve got someone who’ll give his last whatever or go without, so that I can have what I need and vice versa.  

 Now, I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m always happy to make compromises. Sometime I do get irritated, as does he with some of the situations at hand, but as a whole; the compromises are mediocre compared to what we get from being in each others’ lives. It is the most fulfilling thing in the world to share and make decisions with someone and continue to strive for the other persons’ happy every day.

Settling is the term generally used when one is not fulfilled in a relationship, but gives their all, while receiving the bare minimum in return. You can compare settling to the Vilfredo Pareto principal better known as the 80/20 rule of business.  The  Italian mathematician/ economist who noticed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. The richest 20% owned 80% of the land. To relate this to settling, you can say that one person is giving 80% and receiving only 20 % in return. You can also relate it to the belief (not my own belief) that in most healthy relationships, you should be getting 80% of what you need from your partner. More is great, less than 80% not so great. If you’re with someone, and you know without a doubt that you’re not fulfilled and getting back what you put in, then you’re settling.

I think a partnership of any kind should be 50/50, so I’m not sure how I feel about the 80/20 reference. I enjoy spitting things down the middle. If both parties are giving and receiving (equally) within a relationship, then for the most part both should be happy. So, if you have somebody good treat them right compromise on some things, cook, clean, love ‘em up, cut them some slack with their careers/jobs. If a career requires lots of travel, compromise on how to spend time together. Be supportive while they start a business, work more while they finish school, whatever the compromise needs to be. In return the same things should happen for you. If you’re not willing to compromise… a serious relationship may not be for you right now.

Love, live life y’all!

Sources used Britannica online:

Source: “Vilfredo Pareto.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 01 Jun. 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/443519/Vilfredo-Pareto>.

 

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2 Responses to “Compromising Vs. Settling”

  1. Joyce June 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Ms. Caramel, this is one of your most informative and interesting of your blogs thus far,, especially when dealing with matters of the heart, as a Newly Wedded person, challenges are still or more acute within the first 5 years. I like the compromise theory, it has given me some very good insights!

    • Caramel Rell June 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

      Thanks! I like to be real, and write from an honest place. So, if I have to put my imperfections out there, so be it! I want to connect with all of my readers!

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