Actually, you can do whatever you want and makes you happy. It’s none of my business.
You see, I’ve written a bit about compromise in the past—to mixed results.
Some people just “get it,” or want to, because what I’m saying feels right.
Others, reject the idea in toto. They take offense at my way of relationshipping and my explaining it in writings, as if that means that their way is wrong.
Just like ethical non-monogamy is right for me right now, monogamy can be right for you—or not. Or swinging, slutting, or being totally alone…it’s none of my business what you and your potential partner(s) choose for your own life.
In the just over two years since I wrote, Fuck NO, I Will NOT Compromise!, I’ve discussed the idea with hundreds of people from many different angles, and I’ve refined my thoughts.
I’d like to present those to you, not to convince you—there will always be many ways of living love—but to show you one more of those many ways, and this one MAY be what some of you have been searching for.
Or not. Like I said, none of my business, really.
First, as before, I’d like to start with a definition of compromise:
- an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.
Which I dissected in that first writing. Let’s note in here, though, the words ‘dispute’ and ‘concessions.’
Now, let’s take a look at a word I much prefer:
- the action of working with someone to produce or create something.
To me, these two definitions make all the difference in my mindset.
Instead of disputing my partner(s), trying to get them to concede, and also conceding some of what I want (as in compromise), I prefer to see us working together to find a solution even better than what we have right now.
In other words, paying attention to what they want and WHY they want it, to find the brilliance and awesomeness that has to be there, because they are MY partner(s), and I choose pretty amazeballs folks to share my life.
It’s not about battling each other to see who can give up what to make things happen.
It’s not about trying to make my vision of the world their only option.
It’s not about controlling them.
It’s not about changing them (except in negotiated ways, LOL!).
It’s about both/all of us feeling loved and respected and mutually invested in the outcome, knowing that we can build more together than we can alone.
What does collaboration look like? Another definition, found here suggests collaboration is “two or more people working together towards shared goals.”
The important bits to me are:
- Working together
- Shared goals
Although, I think ‘shared goals’ is the first priority of the two. If you don’t have a shared goal, then working together will get you nowhere (unless it’s to define a shared goal).
In my original writing, a commenter suggested:
Your partner has an event they are going to, and would like you to accompany them. You’d rather stay at home and binge watch some Netflix. In this situation, compromise dictates that you would go with your partner. But it also dictates that sometimes your partner would stay home with you instead of going to the event.
In this case, it looks like our goals are at odds.
My Partner: Both of us go to event.
Me: Me stay home and binge-watch Netflix.
(It may also mean that I want us BOTH to stay home. That could be a thing. However, being an ambivert who falls in love with extroverts, I don’t really think that way. They NEED to be out and about, and I love when they bring their stories of adventure home to me.)
However, are those really our goals? I see those more as momentary whims. After all, after that event has passed, it’s no longer an issue.
What is an issue, then? Whether we share goals, like:
GOAL: Each of us living our most fulfilling lives together, whatever that looks like.
With that as our shared goal, it’s easy to collaborate.
I would never hold someone back from something they truly want, nor would I go do something I don’t really want to do.
Now, perhaps my partner wants this with me, like A LOT. Feels like they need me to go for their peace of mind, or whatever.
Is it compromise if I go, despite a preference to stay home?
Well, that’s where it gets tricky.
Because in my view it’s all a mindset focused on two things:
- Our shared goal.
- How I feel about going, when I make that decision.
Because if I feel that our shared goal is made stronger by my going, then, I’m doing what is most important to me by attending the event with my partner.
Just like when I write, even when I am not in the mood for it. To me, that’s not a compromise (with myself?), but purpose in service to a goal.
And having a purpose striving towards a greater goal is not a concession for me. It’s a choice that I make with No Regrets, and do not bargain for.
None of this crap:
“Well, I’ll give up my night at home if you give up Friday’s dinner out.”
That’s putting the consequences of my decision on them. Making them responsible for my misery and making them pay with their own. Possibly even making them miserable all evening at the event for “making” me go.
Mutual resentment for the win!
Rather, I simply choose. And then I’m happy with my choice. Or, I’m not, but it’s MY CHOICE, not a compromise.
I am choosing to work with my partner(s) to produce a happy result, to create a better life.
Not to fight against them.
Because a partner I have to fight and bargain with to get my needs met and to create my best life with is not the partner for me.
More On Compromise:
- Fuck NO, I Will NOT Compromise!
- Compromise Begets Compromise, And Other Reasons To Reexamine Our Thinking On This Relationship Tool
- The Slippery Slope Of Compromise…
- I HATE Radishes, And No, I Won’t Have Sex With One. — This is about both compromise and letting people live THEIR best lives without taking it personally or making it your issue.
- No Regrets — The ME side of non-compromise and how I make decisions that I can feel good about regardless of the results.
What are your thoughts?
Do you define compromise and collaboration in the same ways? Do you see a difference or not?
How do you use compromise or collaboration or other tools in your own relationships to better your life with your partner(s), if at all?
I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.