You’re Losing Yourself: It’s Not Compromise

“What would you like for dinner?” Whatever you’re having.

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“Where should we go on vacation?” I guess we can go to your favorite beach (again).

These might sound like small situations, but over time, these compromises can add up. If you’re constantly giving up your needs in place of your partner’s, you may have lost sight of what really matters to you.

Here are a few questions to help you identify if you’re losing yourself in a relationship:

  • What types of activities do you do together? Are you pursuing hobbies and interests that each of you suggested or just going along with the other person’s agenda?
  • When you watch television, are you watching programs that your partner chooses that you don’t really want to watch?
  • Whose friends do you spend the most time with — your partner’s or yours? Is it fairly balanced? If it’s not balanced, is that of your own choosing or are you trying to be the “easygoing, cool girlfriend”?
  • If you go out to eat, do you select your own order or go along with what your partner wants?

If you’ve compromised too much, you’ll find that you don’t even know what you want to order or where you want to go for vacation — you’re so used to going along with someone else’s plans. If this rings true, it’s time to reclaim your own desires.

Start by asking yourself out loud, “Hmmm, what would I like?”

Choose a simple situation at first, for example,“Hmm, what would I like to wear today?”

Rather than choosing an outfit that you think other people will appreciate, choose something you’re excited to wear. If you’re at a restaurant with your partner, friends or colleagues, check in with your own body, see what food sounds good to you and order that (rather than going along with what others are getting).

As you reclaim your desires in small situations like these, you’ll find it easier and easier to take a stand for what you want and what’s important to you in even bigger ways.

If you’re going along with the program because it’s what you think your partner wants, you may build up resentment over time which isn’t healthy for any relationship. This can come out sideways and do more harm than good. Taking a stand for yourself and your needs will benefit your relationship too. When two whole, complete human beings are in a partnership, the sky’s the limit!

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If you’re still stuck, try this free Values Tool to get clear on what’s most important to you.