||[May. 14th, 2008|01:08 pm]
I've been doing lots of thinking about relationships recently. This should be no surprise to anyone.
At somepoint, I believe, we all SHOULD sit down and make a concious decision about how much are we each willing to compromise, or even give up of one's self, for Love. I want to spend the rest of my life in Massachusettes. There are many reasons for that, some of the silly and political, some of them do to with cultural norms versus the cultural norms of other areas. But I was (and probably still am) willing to give that up for love. But did I sit down and think about that rationally? I'm not sure I ever did.
My mother is of the opinion that you shouldn't have to compromise anything. I think that's crazy talk. In any good relationship, even a "perfect" one, there WILL be compromises, give and take. I think that there needs to be, since a relationships without any sorts of trials between the two people is... well... what happens if you then one-day hit one?
There are some things I know I won't compromise on. I won't screw around with my safe-sex practices just to make someone happy. I won't tolerate deception, and I require near-brutal honesty, even when, no, ESPECIALLY when, I fall short of it myself. I won't ever be in a non-negotiable completely closed relationship. Everything should always be open for discussion, even if it's not up for alteration.
There are a lot of things that I don't know where my hard line is. There are a number of small things, that are important to me, that individually don't seem like a big deal to "give" on. But what if it's 20 little things? Am I willing to give on all 20? Does the amount I'm willing to compromise change with the amount the other person is willing to compromise? How much of my self can I give up without giving up myself completely?
Each situation is different. I know that. However, it is really important to figure out what is and isn't negotiable before you sit down at the table. Otherwise, you might find youself giving away the store, one small argument at a time...
2008-05-14 05:54 pm (UTC)
my style on relationships & compromise
I see some people compromise in order to start, form, or build a relationship, and that's something I don't like to do. I strongly prefer starting out seeing if a relationship can work with me being as I am, no compromises. If it goes well and lasts significant time, then I think compromises are worth considering. However, that means that by definition I wouldn't be making decisions about such compromises in a vaccuum, or in a general sense, but only in light of a very specific relationship that I already know very well by the time I'm thinking about those compromises. That means that the nature of that relationship, and how I feel about it, can be big factors in determining what compromises I'd make... and that such decisions don't apply to other relationships, only to that one.
So on the one hand I'm leaving almost anything open to compromise, to varying levels (some things extremely unlikely, some much more likely), and on the other hand, I'm not ready to compromise on almost anything in "for a relationship" in general, and don't know which specific things I would compromise until I know which specific relationship I might want to compromise them for.
Even if it's up for discussion, if it's never going to change, I don't see how that's really negotiable.
It's a bit of language play, I'll give you that. But the idea of setting down iron-clad rules that are just there and not talked about squick me out. This is why I don't give partners "Veto-Power" anymore. If you have a concern, you should be able to talk to me about it. "Veto-Power," as I've seen it implamented much of the time, does not foster communication. I am all about communicating with your partner(s). That's what I was trying to convey in that statement.
You show a lot of wisdom in what you say here. In the end, all relationships boil down to some level of compromise. The question is in figuring out what things you can compromise on, and what things you cannot.
The tricky thing here is that what you're super die-hard firm on NOW might not be that important five, ten, twenty years from now. The things that are the most critical to me now wouldn't have even registered on the radar when I entered my current relationship: we continually (and by we, I mean of course the entire universe, because of course everyone thinks the way I do, *grin*) re-invent ourselves and discover new wants and develop new needs as time goes on.
So to say now, "This is a deal-breaker" when I know full well in two years, it might not be, is very hard for me. The older I get, the less lines I find in the sand.
Some times the things we think we can't move on, life forces us to move anyway.
Once upon a time I took some mini-classes in things like mediation and negotiation. The process is surprisingly complex, even when really intimate emotional matters aren't the topic.
For example, people will say things like "I'd _never_ give up X" but what they really mean is often closer to "I've never had an offer I considered worth my considering giving up X for." Then they get into a negotiation with someone who wants X from them and makes them a very attractive offer they hadn't even considered. This catches them off guard and they can get flustered and hostile.
Then there are really non-negotiable items and deal-breakers. It's just that sometimes it can be very hard to tell the three apart until we're actually immersed in the specific situation and negotiation.
(And let's not forget the problem that all negotiations happen within the context of time streams in which we know people better/worse, trust them more/less, and have more/less invested in maintaining our associations with these people. One of the things the instructor pointed out was that when we looked at case studies of negotiation it was important to remember that the case often had history we didn't see and that the participants expected they'd also have a future in which further negotiations would take place.)