When you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to make some compromises to make the relationship work. There are the little things like which peanut butter to buy or where to go on your vacation. And then there are the bigger compromises which shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, there are certain compromises you may face that’ll have you questioning the relationship and whether it’s really worth it.
Besides your health and safety, which should never be compromised, here are eight other subtle yet significant compromises you should never make in a relationship.
1. Your dreams and goals for theirs.
While dating, especially when you’re young, you need to go after your goals with vigor and fire. “If your goal is to become an engineer and you got a great job opportunity in a city away from your partner, you should absolutely take it. If that partner is mature and respectful, he/she will honor your goals and support you in pursuing them,” explains Alli Owen, a life coach specializing in relationships. If you give up your dreams for someone else, you may come to resent them later on.
2. Your values.
Your values are part of who you are at your very soul. If you’re not a big drinker but your partner is a destructive drinker and it’s affecting your relationship in negative ways, it’s okay to give them an ultimatum. Owen says your partner should respect your desires and want to be a better person not only for you but with you. “If you always envisioned marrying a person of a particular faith or religion, wait to settle down until you find that person.”
3. Your vision for your life.
You’ve always wanted at least two kids and a life in the suburbs, but your partner doesn’t want kids and prefers to live in the city… And the more you talk about it, the more it seems like the life you want is suffocating to your partner. You can’t compromise things like this without someone being miserable in the end. The best thing to do is stop prolonging the inevitable and end the relationship. There is no use wasting anyone’s time if your life vision doesn’t align with theirs.
4. Your family and friends.
Be wary of any partner who tries to keep you from seeing your family and friends. It’s normal to see less of them because now you’re spending more time with your partner, and while some possessiveness may make you feel wanted and special in the beginning, it can also be a red flag of things to come later in the relationship. As Kristen Fuller, M.D. writes, healthy friendships can help you cultivate healthier relationships and be healthier overall. “Studies have shown that older people with friends are more likely to live a healthier happier life than those who do not have many close friends.”
5. Your self-worth.
We should all expect to be treated with love and respect by our significant others. Our partners should stand by our side through good times and bad and shouldn’t make us feel bad about ourselves. It’s natural to have disagreements and to challenge one another, but don’t allow verbally abusive communication into your relationship. Non-healthy communication can be damaging to your self-esteem.
6. Your principles when it comes to flirting.
You may not even realize you’re doing this but, quite often, men and women concede to their partners’ desire about texting or flirting with others. If your partner’s flirting makes you uncomfortable, it’s worth wondering why it’s so important to them. The conversation is generally followed by thoughts like, They’re still coming home to me or He/she is just being friendly. Flirting is a sign your partner needs someone else to fulfill part their needs, which could even just be their ego. If it’s not something you’re comfortable with, then don’t put up with it.
7. The type of relationship you want.
It should never be okay for your partner to pressure you into doing things you don’t want to do, says Rori Sassoon, a professional matchmaker and CEO of Platinum Poire. “For example: Having an open relationship, a threesome, or anything else that makes you uncomfortable in your relationship. Or inviting another person into your relationship is a big decision that can create jealousy when you want to be strengthening your intimate bond.”
8. Your finances.
These days, having your finances in check is important if you plan on buying a house, taking out loans, or dream of retiring early. Your partner’s bad credit or spending habits can eventually impact you. “If they are taking from you financially and not contributing to expenses, there is nothing to compromise here. They must stop,” says Sassoon. If it feels like you’re constantly footing the bill and they’re mooching off of you, it’s best to keep your accounts and finances separate and plan very inexpensive dates until they get their finances together.
When you care deeply about someone or when you’ve invested a lot of time and effort into a relationship, it can feel natural to compromise on even these big things. But if you find that all your compromises are creating a life and a relationship that doesn’t make you happy or move your life in the direction you want, it’s time to consider whether the relationship is really what you want.