learning to compromise in relationshipWhether you’re a man or a woman reading this, listen up:

Real men don’t make compromises with women.

If you want a woman’s respect, if you want her to see you as a masculine “real man”, then stop being a wimp, backing down, and making compromises.

Okay, okay, okay, maybe the title of this post was a little too strong. Maybe “Never” is too strong a word. Sometimes, sure, in some very rare circumstances when there really is no choice, you may have to compromise.

But the vast majority of the time, when you compromise, it’s because you were too emotionally and intellectually WEAK and LAZY, or just plain too INSECURE to do the right thing…

And if you thought I was going to say that doing the right thing means sticking to your guns and not backing down…

No, no, NO! I’m not telling you to be an inflexible jerk…

I’m talking about something completely different (and much better).

See, when you make a compromise, you BOTH lose. Nobody got what they REALLY wanted, and both of you have some little reason to start feeling resentment. You start to think: “Life really IS easier when you’re single and don’t have to make deals for what you want.”

What’s fun about that?

So if you are in a relationship, let’s look at a better way so that you ALWAYS get exactly what you want, and YOU ALWAYS WIN.

(Oh, and ladies, this really is for you too: Never compromise with a man!)

I’m going to offer you 2 MUCH BETTER alternatives to the lowly compromise.

The first one is called “Going Meta”….

When you and your lover want different things, take the time, effort, and energy to figure out the “bigger picture” of why you want what you want.

What is it you would GET if you got it your way (that you wouldn’t get if you did it her/his way)?

In NLP they call this “chunking up”. I call it looking at the “meta perspective” or the bigger picture.

Here’s an example…

You want to go out and party, and she wants to stay home and cuddle.

The compromise might be that we stay in tonight and go out tomorrow. Or you stay in, but invite friends over.

Looking at the meta perspective, or figuring out the bigger picture of why you want what you want, maybe you discover something like this:

You feel like you’ve been trapped inside all day and just need to get out of the apartment.

She craves romantic connection and togetherness time.

Once you know that, you might realize that it’s easy for both of you to get exactly what you want by going out to a cozy wine-bar and snuggling in a booth, or maybe it would feel even better for both of you to take a long walk outside holding hands.

Let’s look at it another way… maybe when you “chunk up” and take the bigger perspective you discover…

You want to go out to spend time with friends and do some socializing.

She wants to stay in because she doesn’t feel like getting dressed up and putting on heels and crap.

Once you know that, you might realize that it would way more fun for both of you to go to a ball-game or go bowling, and both get exactly what you most want.

Now look, I understand that of course this isn’t going to work for every single situation to find what you both want, but just the willingness to more deeply explore yourself and your own desires, and to more deeply explore your lover and her/his desires, is itself a BIG WIN.

In fact, you’ll feel more intimately connected and actually gain a lot of new insights about what really lights up your partner, about what they most want and need from the relationship, and how to show up in ways that delight them.

The process becomes fun, and you might even look forward to working through disagreements where previously you had felt trapped by the boring compromise.

But again, this won’t work every time, and no matter how much you “chunk up”, and no matter how many times you look at the bigger and bigger and bigger picture of what each of you want, you may find it hard to find common ground.

So I offer this EVEN BETTER solution that crushes compromise:

Offer up your agreement as a GIFT to your lover.

If you’ve ever purchased an exquisite gift for someone you love, something you knew that they would absolutely love, then you already know what an amazing PLEASURE that is.

I talk about this with sex a lot. We all have a powerful urge to make OUR PARTNER experience powerful pleasure, huge orgasms. It’s often more fun to GIVE your partner a great experience than to focus on your own pleasure.

And this is the way we humans are wired. It’s FUN to give a wonderful gift and watch someone we love light up in appreciation and gratitude and enjoyment.

When you frame your agreement as an opportunity to give a wonderful GIFT, rather than as giving something up that you wanted, you actually get to experience huge pleasure at doing it her/his way!

In fact, you may even find that it’s MORE enjoyable to give the gift than it would have been to do things your way.

But BE CAREFUL! Because there are 2 evil obstacles that you MUST AVOID if you want to do this right…

The first obstacle is the “martyr effect” and finding yourselves competing for points on who gets to be the “good person” by giving up what they really wanted.

You literally end up trading in one argument (Let’s do it MY way/No, let’s do it MY way!) for a different argument (Let’s do it YOUR way/No, let’s do it YOUR way!).

This arises from feelings of guilt around receiving and being miserly around giving freely. But if you practice doing this the right way, you’ll strengthen your relationship with your lover and with yourself in ways you can’t even imagine.

The big move here is to recognize that giving your partner what they want in the disagreement is a beautiful, fun, and enjoyable gift.

And that receiving your partners agreement with open gratitude and joy MAKES it fun and enjoyable for both of you.

You’ve got to get the receiving end of it right to honor your partner for their gift and make them feel loved and appreciated.

Now the second evil obstacle is falling into a pattern of “taking turns” with who gets to have their way.

In case you didn’t notice, taking turns getting your way is nothing more than a compromise.

It’s boring, and it makes you acutely feel the times when it’s not your turn and you don’t get to have your way.

DO NOT KEEP SCORE.

If you allow the gift to bubble up from inside of you as a spontaneous act of pleasurable (maybe even exciting!) generosity, then you’ll enjoy doing things Her/His way so much that in your memory of it, you’ll feel like you got to have things exactly the way you wanted them in the first place.

When your partner is generous with their enjoyment of your gift, and you offer up your gift as a true expression of your love, as an opportunity to make your partner feel cherished, you’ll welcome disagreements as an opportunity to demonstrate the truth of your love for each other.

Why would you ever resort to something as meager and empty of meaning as a compromise when you could have the pleasurable feast of expressing the depth of your love in the form of a beautifully presented and adoringly received GIFT?