The surest path to long-term relationship is removing the need to be right. As long as you remain locked to the idea that, “my way is the right way,” and that there is no middle ground to be found, then there is no “we.” If only one person is ruling the show, then essentially there is no relationship.
How do you get to yes and find ways to compromise with your partner? How do you avoid the pitfall of battling your partner in order to get them to see your way? The answer isn’t as difficult as you may think, and one of the most useful tools of Global Glue Project as a resource, is hearing how “regular” people across the globe simplify difficult concepts into shareable nuggets of wisdom.
Char & Chanxue from Kunming, China, give a concrete example of compromise that makes it appear almost comically simple in their chapter Mutual Decision Making. Chanxue shares, “If I like a big house, and he likes a small house, we will then buy a medium-sized one.”
Could compromise really be that easy?
It is, if we are willing to spend the time hearing and understanding our partner’s opinion, and become willing to merge our own opinion with theirs to create the middle path. But the only way this is possible is if EACH partner consents to surrendering the idea that theirs is the only right way.
If Char demanded that a small house was the only answer, and that a small house was necessary in order to uphold his value system, and if he was judgmental about her opinion that large houses are better, and made her feel that her opinion was unwarranted, bitterness would seep into their relationship and they would reach an impasse. The ability to compromise can make or break a partnership. Harmony rests in both of their abilities to give up a little, knowing that it isn’t even necessary that they agree, as long as they find a middle road and accept the fact that they have valid individual tastes and opinions, and there is no one correct answer.
When we make our partner feel wrong or judged about their opinion, we threaten the very fabric of our relationship.
Terry & Patricia discovered that they simply need to sit down and talk it out. They each share what their individual needs are, and then they “Negotiate it and come to an arrangement.”
Torsten & Elisabeth, from Denmark, have worked out their incompatible television tastes by simply having two televisions, but sometimes it isn’t possible to satisfy two differing opinions with one action, and as Elisabeth states, “You cannot always have things your way, you have to negotiate and find out what pleases both.”
There might not be a time when both sides are happy. After all, some things are binary. But the “we” comes from cultivating an atmosphere of trust, respect, and understanding. Even if you have different ideas, a relationship shouldn’t be a tug-of-war, with both sides trying to assert dominance. It’s more like a teeter-totter, working through the highs and lows to find balance. From Denmark to China, Global Glue Project couples shed light on finding “we’ and compromise in long-term partnership.