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?