“Love means always compromising yourself.”

I have always carried this story deep inside my heart. And not always in a good way.

Growing up, I remembered thinking when I met my one true love, everything would be perfect. There’d be no arguments. My problems would be solved, like love was a magical solution.

What I didn’t anticipate was learning to compromise on certain things. (What do you mean you’re not going to do EXACTLY what I want?)

Side note: As a child, there didn’t seem to be a ‘compromise’ lesson in my household. It was “this is the way, and that’s that”. So, learning to compromise felt like I was losing out on something.

Rom-Coms & Compromise

The idea of a perfect romance blew up in my face when I fell in love. What I don’t understand is how movies and books can’t seem to depict true romance without turning it into some novelty trope? Where’s the compromise in the rom-coms? Well, I guess if there was compromise, it wouldn’t be as fun to watch.

For example:

  • In Grease, I always saw it as Sandy having to change herself to ‘win’ the guy. (I can’t quite remember what Danny does because he still seemed like the same douchey guy at the end of the movie.)
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ariel does all the work. I mean, ALL THE WORK. She fucking GREW LEGS.
  • In Clueless, what does Josh even do for Cher? It’s not like he became cooler.

You get what I mean. There are so many romantic ideas IMPLANTED into our minds while growing up that there are times when I don’t even know if I’m compromising because I really want to, or it’s an idea that snuck in there. And those ideas and stories are sneaky. They lie in wait until you grow up and you’re hit with a situation where you’re thinking, What the hell just happened? At least, that’s how it was with me.

Lessons Learned

From my first real relationship, compromise meant being okay with him leaving me alone on a Friday night while he played poker with the guys. Or him playing video games during the weekends when we’re meant to hang out. (Mind you, I was in my 20s, I had no idea what was acceptable in a relationship; I just went along because I didn’t want to cause any problems.)

Then, I went through a bit of a revolution after X1 and I broke up. I travelled more and learned to be resourceful. You know, not compromising on anything because I was ALONE.

But then, I got struck by cupid’s arrow with X2. At first, everything went smoothly. Well, technically not because we started out as friends who quickly turned to CFM buddies and somehow that evolved into a relationship. (Don’t ask me how we got there, I tore up that map.) As we progressed, I found myself going along with what he suggested. I didn’t argue, or put up a fight. It was like I had forgotten all those lessons I learned when I was alone. I compromised the SHIT out of myself. Cut to one day chatting with X2 about having an open relationship.

*record scratch*

Say what now?

Now, if I were with someone for 10 or 15 years, sure, I would be open to discussing it. But at the moment, when we’re trying to build trust with one another? It definitely wasn’t the right path to take.

Line in the Sand

Today, I realized how much my story of compromise has been holding me back — in love and in life. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m not in a relationship at the moment. I don’t want to feel like I’m giving in to something.

Yes, from the outset, compromising might look like I’m losing something, but I need to flip that perspective to what I’m getting as a result of it.

  • Am I gaining more time for myself?
  • Would it mean staying true to my values?
  • How much of myself would I need to change? If at all.

I get it. Love can be difficult, but it can also be one of the most exhilarating things to experience in life. And not just love for another person, but love for oneself too.

What about you guys? Do you compromise yourself, or in your relationship, on the daily? Do you agree with my assessments of rom-coms? Leave a comment below.

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