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Once upon a time, ladies were expected to be June Cleaver types; 50s housewives vacuuming in pearls, caring for the kids, and baking apple pies — all while remaining impeccably dressed with a constant smile plastered on their faces. Thank goodness that’s over with! Now women are free to hire maids to vacuum, buy pre-made apple pies, and live without the support of a man. But while we ladies may be as independent as ever, some of us still enjoy having relationships. We just don’t want to get stuck in a June Cleaver situation, and we shudder equally at the thought of becoming a Miss Havisham. We have good news — your fate doesn’t have to lie in one of these two extremes. The key to finding the balance between these two roles is a little thing we like to call compromise.
As far as we’re concerned, a relationship without compromise is not one worth having. After all, it takes two to tango. But while the ability to compromise in a relationship can often ease tensions between you and your significant other, there’s a fine line between making compromises for your loved one and starting to compromise your own desires and needs. Below, we identify the times when it’s healthy to make compromises in your relationship and those in which you should stand your ground.
5 Times to Compromise:
1. Fighting over dinner plans- You want Japanese and he wants Italian. Don’t let your craving for sushi ruin your night. If you chose the last restaurant, then let him have his pasta this time. Taking turns deciding on dinner plans is a great way to keep your relationship balanced and keep you both (and your stomachs) happy.
2. He wants to hang out with the guys- Don’t assume that this means he is choosing them over you. Let him spend the day with his friends, then go to a movie that night. This way he won’t feel suffocated in the relationship and refer to you as the old “ball and chain” the next time you do let him loose from your grasp. Plus, granting him his designated guy time will get you on his friends’ good sides.
3. Decorating your home– Let’s face it — the last thing we want to see in our homes is NFL memorabilia, neon lights of Budweiser emblems, and foosball tables in place of the dinner table. But this doesn’t mean you should go hog wild with floral prints and potpourri. Your living space needs to reflect both you and your significant other’s tastes, so let him share some of his home decor input too.
4.He wants a pet- If your man is dying to get a dog and you’re not so keen on the idea, try not to automatically rule it out. Saying “no” instantly will make you come across as overly controlling, so it’s best to at least hear him out. Have him do some research and choose a breed that he thinks both of you might like before you nix the idea altogether. Plus, since caring for a pet is such a huge responsibility, investing in one may give you some insight into how he may handle fatherhood down the road — just don’t bring up that part in conversation.
5. Sharing his interests- Watch some of his favorite movies, accompany him to see his favorite band in concert, or let him give you a history lesson on WWII, if that’s where his passions lie. While you may be bored out of your mind, you’d want him to show the same level of respect for your interests and hobbies, so suck this one up and show him that you care.
5 Times You Should Stand Your Ground:
1. He wants all of your passwords- If your beau demands the passwords to your Facebook, Email, and Twitter accounts, this is not the time to compromise. Even if you’re not up to anything untrustworthy, you deserve the right to have some personal privacy. Calmly explain to him that there is nothing you are hiding and that he should trust you enough to have a social life without his interference, even if it is only existent online.
2. Spending time with your friends- Remember the golden rule in high school, “hoes over bros?” While the saying is a tad inappropriate — not to mention, juvenile — it is surprisingly insightful. Make sure you don’t disregard your friendships when you are in a relationship or they might not be there when you are no longer with him.
3. Financial matters- When you and your man get to the point of combining checking accounts and merging assets, this is not the time to compromise your needs. Paying bills, splitting the rent, and day-to-day expenses should be divided equally and fairly — and you should have an equal understanding of where your money is going. If your man is taking 100 percent control of the financial aspect of your relationship, then it’s definitely time to speak up.
4. Things are moving too fast- We’ve all been in a situation where a new relationship suddenly starts taking off at lightning speed. He wants to move in, he talks to your girlfriends about engagement rings, and he’s already brainstorming the names of your unborn children. If this pace is making you feel like you’ve aged ten years in the span of two months, we suggest having a little chat with your significant other. It’s completely appropriate to stand your ground and tell him to slow things down.
5. You have different desires for the future- While you fantasize about marriage and children, he seems set on being a bachelor for eternity. If you clearly desire different paths in life, this should be addressed in time. If he’s constantly hinting that his future doesn’t involve you, speak up about your own needs and desires so that you both get on the same page. It’s not fair for you to be going through the motions of a relationship that is on the fast track to nowhere.