| July 24, 2012

Every mature person understands the need to compromise from time to time. The ability to consider the needs of others as valid is necessary in healthy relationships. Most of us know that for one person to have her needs met, she may have to give up something in return. But, in romantic relationships, when does the act of compromising start to have negative outcomes? When should compromising stop? Here are four occasions when you should never settle for anything less than exactly what you want.

1. When you try to save a relationship that shouldn't be saved. Too often it can happen that we give in and agree to compromises because we think it will save a troubled relationship. When you are faced with losing someone that you are desperate to keep in an unhealthy way, yet you compromise to keep the relationship together, the compromising should stop.

2. When you try to manipulate and be dishonest. When you find yourself in a romantic relationship that requires you to act as though you are giving in but you're still getting your needs met, you are in an unhealthy dynamic. Compromise can be used as dishonesty and as a tool to make the other person think you are working on a problem, when in fact you are manipulating the situation to your own advantage. If you try to use compromise as a tool to win a battle or come out on top in a competitive-type relationship, then it should end.

3. When you continue to be unassertive and purposefully weak. One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is how to be assertive and get your needs met, while at the same time being loving, compassionate and willing to engage in give and take. If you use compromise to avoid this hard work in a romantic relationship, you are perpetuating an unhealthy dynamic that will destroy you in the long run. When you appear weak and unable to express your needs in a healthy manner, you allow yourself to be submerged and steamrolled in a relationship.

4. When compromise is a failure to meet one's own needs. When one is willing to be unhappy so that the other is happy, then it has been taken too far. In a growing, mature and healthy romantic relationship, compromise is undertaken gladly and in an honest and open way with compassion and understanding. However, with attention to one's own needs for the sake of one's own mental health, it does no good to compromise if it there is inequality, abuse and repression.