Is Compromise in Relationships Necessary?

13the December 1955: American singer Eartha Kitt eating an apple as she is joined by her companion on a fairground ride during a visit to the UK. (Photo by Harry Kerr/BIPs/Getty Images)

Many of us are familiar with Eartha Kitt’s famous interview on compromise.

In the discussion, Kitt shares that she is unwilling to compromise in a romantic relationship. She believed that she was to fall in love with herself and then invite someone to share the wonder with her. I understand her logic completely and I know it worked out for her. But, I’m pregnant with my first child and I have realized that I have to compromise with the father for the sake of my baby.

Before I dive into the meat of the matter though, it’s imperative that people understand what compromise is. Compromise is not folding under the weight of someone’s desires, whether it be a romantic interaction or otherwise. It is not constantly giving in without receiving anything in return. That is unhealthy. At it’s best, compromise is meant to maintain balance in an interaction and assure that both parties are being equally pleased over time.

There are pros to not compromising. You don’t feel like you’re losing anything and you know that what’s in your best interest will be fulfilled. When you compromise all of the time, you may start to feel (and others may view you as) weak and unfulfilled. It can send a signal that you are always willing to give something up for someone else and has the ability to make you a target for problematic individuals.

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