The Art of Compromise: 5 Ways to Meet Your Partner Halfway

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The word “compromise,” through no fault of its own, has several negative connotations in meaning. Derived in part from the French “compromis,” meaning to descent to an agreement, modern interpretations see a compromise as a loss. The Latin derivative of “com” means to “come together,” a step closer to the true meaning of compromise: to sacrifice something in order to gain something.

Perhaps this holds most true in relationships, where compromise is a necessary component of a successful couple. To aid in this coming together, here are five of the most common disagreements couples face and how to best handle them through compromise.

The Art of Compromise: 5 Ways to Meet Your Partner Halfway

#1. Decor/Style

You may love post-modern decor while your partner prefers a traditional look. Rather than staging a public argument in Ikea, consider hiring a professional. Call in an interior designer to assess your personal styles and offer solutions for commingling the two. A trusted mutual friend could work just as well.

#2. Money

The inability to reach a compromise when dealing with finances can sometimes make or break a couple. Experts recommend that both people have access to individual spending, but that the couple decides on any large purchases together, as this kind of spending tends to affect both people in the relationship.

If money arguments come up, discussing the issue is paramount, but avoid focusing on dollar amounts and specific items purchased. Instead, focus on communicating your feelings about your financial status. Speaking openly and emotionally about money will allow you to identify triggers for negative feelings and to negotiate strategies that work for you both.


#3. Entertainment

It is unlikely that you and your partner will love all of the same activities all of the time, but remaining open to their preferences shows you care about them. Plus, if you’re open, your significant other will most likely reciprocate. For example, he may love the theater, while she is a total movie buff. Compromise and go to the theater one date and a movie the next. Or go see a movie-turned-Broadway show.

#4. Cleanliness

You’re the type that color codes the sock drawer and ritually rotates out canned foods in your pantry while your significant other will leave a towel on the floor for days and washes all of their clothes on the same setting. While it is unfair to hold your loved one up to the same standards of neatness that you have, you can compromise to an extent. Put a hamper in the bathroom. Set up a schedule for chores. Declutter your shared space by donating, storing and throwing out items throughout the house.

#5. Sleep habits

You may need dim lighting and ambient noise to fall asleep while your partner needs complete darkness and absolute silence. The trick to compromising here is to manipulate the environment to suit both your needs. Ear plugs and sleep masks have been known to save marriages.


Where have you compromised in relationships? Have you ever felt that you’ve given up too much to try and make a relationship work?


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