• Thoughts

Relationship Key Words

Though I have been in a relationship for 8 years I very rarely blog about it as I feel that, although it is a huge part of my life, I would never want to infringe on my boyfriend’s privacy by sharing our experiences. However, after talking it through with him and being inspired by the Crazy Bloggers twitter chat on the run up to Valentines day I got thinking about being part of a couple and what it actually entails, compared to what we openly tell others. 

When growing up I was told that the key to a maintaining a relationship was compromise but from my personal experience this has not been the most important C word. Maybe it is for some, but if this was the case for us then my relationship would have been doomed from day one. There are just too many things – from the seemingly petty to the more profound – that I refuse to compromise on to be with another person. 

I am a huge believer in equality in a relationship; just because I am female I refuse to take on the traditional role of cook and housekeeper. The standoff in our house got so extreme that my boyfriend hired a cleaner to do his share of the housework. This may not be the normal way to resolve a domestic dispute however it worked for us. I no longer had to stress about doing more than my fair share, it freed up his time and there was no more nagging, which was a benefit for both of us.

My unwillingness to back down in these sort of matters leads to jibes about me wearing the trousers in our relationship but what I don’t understand is why it is even an issue? So what if we both wear the trousers, being Scottish sometimes we also both wear the skirts (manly kilts). I don’t think being together should mean giving up things for the other person, it is more of a case of coming together to solve an issue.

My inability to compromise on something as minor as cleaning makes negotiating on the large issues unfathomable to me. Relationships are not always like those in fairytales, lasting happily ever after, they are complicated and often end. My worst nightmare would be for mine to die because I did not stand my ground and let the bitterness from giving up a part of myself slowly erode the life that we shared together, leaving nothing but regret rather than memories shared.

That I why I believe that the word consideration is much more important than compromise.

When I am making a decision, large or small, I ask my other half’s opinion, and he does me the same courtesy. Though we value each others thoughts talking about it does not mean that we will take the advice given. This may seem selfish on both of our parts and has caused some blazing arguments, however, ultimately it is important for both of us to try and achieve our goals in the way we think is best.

For me one of the main purposes of being in couple is not to stifle but support each other. If I started to feel restricted then it would be my time to leave. As with the whole of this post this is my own experience and may be completely different for other people. There is a quote from Sex in The City (high brow, I know) which really sums up how I feel about me being part of a couple, Carrie said

“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.”

I have always been fiercely independent (which is often to my own detriment), but that is another part of who I am that I would never want to compromise on.I have been lucky enough to have someone to run with me, that may not be the case forever because we are two separate people who currently enjoy strolling on the same path. If there happens to be a fork in our metaphorical road we may split because we are not one. Both of us have different thoughts, dreams and aspirations that may not always intertwine.

It may ultimately come down to the old cliche ‘if you love someone, set them free’. People all over the world suffer and fight for their freedom and I would feel giving up my personal freedom or restricting another’s would be too much to sacrifice for one love, no matter how great. 

So that got a little deep, but relationships whether romantic, friendship or family are intense.

What is important to you guys in a relationship?


  1. Laura says:

    totally agree. We got married three weeks ago, and people always ask me the traditional questions “does this mean you do all the cooking and cleaning?” err,no!! I do the majority of the cooking because I love it and am good at it, but it stops there. I wont compromise what I believe as surely that just means changing. If you have to change to be with someone surely you arent a match in the first place?

    1. Emma says:

      I also love cooking and turn a bit Gordon Ramsey when my boyfriend tries to take over as chef but that is my choice and not expected which is what I think it should be like.

  2. Love this and couldn’t agree more. Luckily my husband and i have very similar beliefs and wants from our relationship and future. We discuss plans and ideas and consider each other when making decisions but that necessarily mean we wouldn’t do something. I Think my husband is more likely to change his mind on things than i am as i am stubborn as muck!

    Rach // illustrated-teacup.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Emma says:

      We are both quite stubborn which can make things a little more challenging but I think keeping communication open even if you are not in agreement is so important. x

  3. Lols says:

    You are so so right, but both people have to want to try and make it work. compromise must come from both sides, if not one person ends up carrying the full relationship burden and its just not sustainable. Soon as that person stops trying the whole thing implodes.
    Good job Emma

    1. Emma says:

      Exactly I think that you have to be equal in a relationship or ultimately it will end in disaster x

  4. Laura says:

    I couldn’t agree more! My husband often tells me about other men he knows sharing how they’ve spoken to their other halves or laid down the law and I just shake my head and say “you know I’d never put up with that shit – right?!” Lucky for me his response is “I wouldn’t want you to!”. I also love that your fella got a cleaner – I did the same! x

    1. Emma says:

      I am not one to judge other people but it does shock me when my friends say stuff like ‘I will just have to check with … if that is ok?’ I think that it is nice to let your other half know what you are up to to be considerate but asking permission is not the sort of partnership I want to be in.

  5. Ralph Marion says:

    I agree with you on this. For me, my wife and I have similar but still different ideas. We don’t always agree on everything, but we atleast try to respect what the other person think. If we don’t take the other’s advice, then we just move on and keep on with our day.

    1. Emma says:

      I think that respect is the key to a long lasting relationship.

  6. Suzy Marie says:

    I completely agree that consideration is a way better word than compromise. I think compromise can lead to one person doing more compromising than the other and it’s just not a viable way to lead a relationship. Or, if neither of you can compromise effectively, you won’t get anywhere. Whereas, if you’re being considerate, you’re more likely to compromise in a positive way because you care about how that small compromise will affect the other person. I’ve said compromise a billion times so I’ll go now haha.

    1. Emma says:

      Ha ha I had to edit so many compromises out of the post, I am glad that you agree that consideration seem like a much more positive way to make a decision. x

  7. rebecca says:

    Have to agree with the consideration point! Such cute pictures to! 🙂 Rebecca | http://www.rebeccamariee.blogspot.com xx

    1. Emma says:

      Thanks Rebecca, I love a photo-booth.

  8. themayfairy says:

    Compromise is a bit of a dirty word… it almost infers that no one is quite getting what they actually want. That’s no way to live. I love my husband and if he’s happy I’m happy. If he’s upset it upsets me. Ergo, I try to do things to make him happy and he does the same for me. I’d rather actively make someones life brighter out of love, rather than feel resentful and need “compromise” to try and prolong an attachment.

    1. Emma says:

      Exactly I would rather get through the highs and lows together than plod along somewhere in the middle with neither of us being satisfied

  9. adales8 says:

    I can fully admit that I’m not the best at compromising – but I feel that it can breed resentment. However, consideration I fully get on board with! x

    1. Emma says:

      Completely agreed xXx

  10. That was a lovely post and I totally agree with you. It’s all about getting into a rhythm. I’m just about to move in with my boyfriend so this advice will come in handy. Thank you! xx

  11. love this post.

    learning more and more as time goes on that relationships aren’t too simple.

    love the “consideration” rather than “compromise”… nice one.

    TLL x

    1. Emma says:

      They are indeed complicated but often worth the effort as long as you are both ultimately happy

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