Love in Limestone: There’s no promise in compromise

Photo by Debbie O’Grady.


Dirty Deeds Entry

Don’t be fooled by shoe size. Hand size. Thumb to pinky length.

They’re all myths.

Sometimes you can’t judge the package from the parcel.

I once dated a person whose value system and priorities were far different than mine.

At the core, we were two people with undeniable chemistry; irresistible desire for one another. It was love. Real love. The kind you read about in trashy romance novels. The kind you watch in sappy Lifetime films.

We felt like a pair of teenagers with an insatiable thirst for one another.

But. Again. Our value system and priorities were far different. ‘Opposite ends of the spectrum different.’ From politics, to religion, to what-to-watch-on-TV different.

But don’t opposites attract? At least, that’s the guise I held on to.

Besides. He knew me. He listened to me. He understood me in ways I couldn’t explain to anyone else.

What concessions, sacrifices and comprises are you willing to make to make it work with someone you love?

Is real love built on a foundation of ‘meeting in the middles’ and ‘coming half-ways’ and ‘giving ups’ and ‘changings?’

Do you keep giving up a piece of yourself, and when does the scale finally tip even? How far would you go, before you’ve given all you can? And where is the line?

There’s something to be said about understanding their necessity for a cup of coffee before dawn, or leaving the lights on to sleep, or an incessant desire to watch football on Sundays even though no one else in the house can have use of the television.

Are these examples compromises and sacrifices? Or are they just the building blocks of forging a life with someone who might have different habits than your own?

Or. Is actual compromise much deeper?

Is refusing to give into excessive partying, or, say, not wanting children, or how about scrambling to achieve a higher credit score, hell, maybe a need to buy a home – are these things the things that can make or break a relationship?

For him and I¸ our relationship succeeded in the space between dreaming and awake.
The place where you’re not sure if you’re living, or just drifting in a space where everything simply feels good – even if it wasn’t real.

What are you willing to sacrifice?

If you’re someone who values trips home to see your parents, and they don’t – can you accept they’ve staunchly refused to join you for Sunday dinner with your folks?

If you adore Christmas, are you willing to understand that they don’t and, as a result, won’t be helping trim the tree, or joining you for candlelight service?

Does true love mean they should give into you and your core values, or meet you half-way to keep you both satisfied? How much is required of give-and-take before you do find the sway in the middle of self-sacrifice?

This ultimately broke us. And I think – I think – it affects more of us than we let on.

According to the Huffington Post, “it’s important to set up boundaries and discuss expectations early on in the piece, rather than letting resentment build over time.”

If he and I had been honest from the get-go, we wouldn’t have been stuck in a position where the inevitable heartbreak hurt far worse than it might have if we’d just been clearer earlier.

Our relationship wasn’t ‘meant to be,’ and if we hadn’t let our hormones – our ‘feel good’ receptors – blind us into sacrificial submission, perhaps the break up wouldn’t have resulted in me crying myself into a migraine when I finally had to accept and let go.

Would it have hurt so bad if I hadn’t spent countless months, days, and weeks loving him?  Giving away tiny pieces of myself until I didn’t recognize I’d bent my own value system to match his?

Relationships are work. Compromise is key. But shedding your own morals, your own values, your own priorities for the sake of keeping something alive just seems to be a veil over what will ultimately happen – eventually, the routine will tire. You’ll want more. You’ll be less satisfied with compromising and the apologies will lessen in authenticity.

In short – be true to who you are. Give, take, call, answer. Lay it on the line early. Here’s who you are, here’s who he is. Here’s what you need, here’s your goals, here’s your dreams. And here’s what you can tolerate, won’t accept, and are willing to budge on.

Get that shit outta the way early.

It may save you the heartache later.

~ lilly ~


If you have something you want to share, a question to ask, or a general comment, drop me a note at [email protected].

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