Everyone is always saying how couples have to learn how to compromise if they want their relationship to work. Two people are never going to agree on everything 100% of the time, so they have to find a way to be as fair as possible as often as they can. No one likes always being the one that gets the short end of the stick, and bitterness is like a silent disease. You never know the extent of the damage until it’s too late to fix it. While compromising on things like where to eat for dinner, who’s parents to visit on Christmas Day, and even who will stay home with the new baby are important, there are some things that no one should ever have to give up on. Being in a relationship is about compromise, but that doesn’t mean you should change who you are.
Your desire, or lack there of, to have kids. Despite what some people think, not every woman is required to want and have kids. You’re the only one who knows how flexible you’re willing to be on the subject, so letting someone bully you into having kids when you don’t want to, probably isn’t going to go well.
Your career goals. Your relationship and your career should be two separate things. While you might have to change the path you take to achieve your goals (if you move to a different city for example), giving up on your career altogether should never be an option. If you’re creative, you can overcome any obstacles that might get in your way.
Your individuality. One of the scariest things about getting into a serious relationship is thinking that you’ll always be seen as one half of a whole. Just because you have a significant other you love doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able to survive without them. You don’t need anyone to complete you, and that’s just as true when you’re single as it is when you’re in a relationship.
Your independence. Relying on someone else too much, especially financially, will make you feel like you can’t do anything without running it by them first. While you should be willing to support each other during tough times, you still need to feel like you can take care of yourself. Or else you’ll end up staying in a unhealthy relationship out of necessity.
Time with your friends. Having a life outside of your relationship is absolutely essential for your sanity. Not to mention if you’re constantly putting your boyfriend before your friends, they aren’t going to stick around just to be shot down every time they try to hang out with you.
Your opinions. Sometimes keeping the peace is about knowing when to shut up. You probably don’t need to voice your opinion every time someone does something you don’t agree with. It’s all about picking your battles. But that doesn’t mean you should just forget about having an opinion altogether. As if you could anyway.
Your self-respect. If you feel strongly about something, then it’s worth fighting for. If backing down means admitting defeat, and you just won’t be able to look at yourself in the mirror if you do that, find a different way. There’s never just one compromise to any given dilemma, so don’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel right.
Your privacy. He won’t trust you unless he’s allowed to read your text messages and emails whenever he wants to? He’s always suspicious when you tell him about your day unless he has some kind of proof? There’s no way a relationship without genuine trust is sustainable, and you shouldn’t have to put up with a guy who has to know your every move. If he doesn’t trust you, he’s free to find someone he does.
Your dreams. We all have dreams that don’t always seem attainable, but that doesn’t have to mean you should give up on them forever. If you want to start your own business, or write a novel, or backpack across Europe, it’s up to you to make it happen. Your relationship should be able to comfortably co-exist alongside everything else you want in life, or else why bother being in one at all?