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  1. #1
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Default Relationship Question

    I have a question that I'd really like to get feedback from NF's on.

    A friend and I have recently been having a disagreement about relationship dynamics. It involves how much one should or is willing to compromise to make their partner happy. This friend of mine is an INTP (though it doesn't really matter). Anyhow, he thinks that in relationships there really shouldn't be much of a compromise, stemming back to each party fully accepting eachother for who they are. While I think that people should accept others for who they are, I also think that relationships tend to be built on compromise, especially when you get into long haul. He thinks that if your partner doesn't want to say, go to a family's dinner party, or help you do garden work, or engage in shared activities that you might feel important to the relationship, that you should accept this, and that if you don't and feel dissapointed, its your own issue. He asked me WHY I would wan't somebody to do something they didn't want to.. and my answer was not that I wanted this.. but that I wanted the other person to WANT to do these things. Which brought up the questions of... how much are you willing to do to make your partner happy? How much compromise will you give? Any? Lots? See, my answer was that while I might not really want to do certain things.. I really like doing things to help others out, or make them happy. Usually I find that whatever it was that I compromised was worth it to make the other happy. AND I find that there are alot of things I am willing to give up, to make the person I love happy. Now there are some things that you probably shouldn't give up, unfair demands, like giving up your friends, or a job you really love, or certain hobbies.. but beyond these key things.. I would like to know how other NF's feel about making their partner happy? How important is this to you? Have you been involved with people that don't compromise that much? How did you handle this?

    EDIT: OH yes! I almost forgot my most important question! Do you think certain mbti types are more prone to compromise than others? IF so, why?
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  2. #2
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    Making partner happy:

    This is very important to me... In as much as I can control them being happy. I want to be someone who gets their primary self-esteem from within myself, and to have a partner who is similar. From there we can enhance each others' lives and make them happier.

    I love doing small things for the guy I am with. I love making special food for him, or writing something sweet for him, or just letting him have his me time without harassment. . Whatever "it" is that he likes/wants most.

    In regards to compromise:

    I believe it is essential to accept your partner fully as they come. I don't want to compromise myself, and I don't want someone who is compromised to be with me as well.

    In regards to other things in a relationship, it's unrealistic to think that you can both merrily go through life together without compromising anything. Especially if you get married. It's about working together to find creative solutions to the ups and downs of a shared life. Maybe he doesn't want to go to a family dinner on my side, but he does anyways because he loves me. In return I make him hot wings for his big football game with buddies, etc.

    If I am with someone that I love and I need to compromise on something that doesn't hit my core values.... Then I will be very flexible and willing to help out with what he needs. I can hardly ask him to help me if I am not willing to do the same, you know?

    In the end so long as we each accept each other for who we are, I would be willing to move planets and stars for him.

    Relationships without compromise:

    I was in one with an ENFP. He was addicted to porn and expected me to accept that as part of our relationship. See: core value. I was very young and very stupid and stuck around for a year. I won't make that mistake again.

    Types:
    I think any type can be very accommodating. Looking at my friends relationships, they are always working with each other to help out. My parents had a great marriage for almost 40 years and they worked out many things together... But most importantly they accepted each other, warts and all. (and he is an INTP! )

  3. #3
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    I have a question that I'd really like to get feedback from NF's on.
    I'll try my best! :cracks knuckles!:

    It involves how much one should or is willing to compromise to make their partner happy. This friend of mine is an INTP (though it doesn't really matter). Anyhow, he thinks that in relationships there really shouldn't be much of a compromise, stemming back to each party fully accepting eachother for who they are
    .

    I think immediately my impression of him is that, on 'compromise', he thinks that is a dirty word in a relationship.. I'm fairly sure he does this more than his mind lets him believe he does.

    While I think that people should accept others for who they are, I also think that relationships tend to be built on compromise, especially when you get into long haul.
    This is about how I sum it up. Keep the important parts and accept them--the parts that make them who they are.. but compromising is essential.

    He thinks that if your partner doesn't want to say, go to a family's dinner party, or help you do garden work, or engage in shared activities that you might feel important to the relationship, that you should accept this, and that if you don't and feel dissapointed, its your own issue. He asked me WHY I would wan't somebody to do something they didn't want to.. and my answer was not that I wanted this.. but that I wanted the other person to WANT to do these things.
    "Going to a family dinner" is not going to change WHO you are.. just what you are doing in that moment. He's mistaking obligations for personality changes.. Of COURSE if it were up to me, I'd never dress up for any man ever again. Truly, I wouldn't. I don't get THAT much joy out of it. But, boyfriends do, and I like those, and since I'm the same person whether in a dress or basketball shorts, I'll slap on a dress every so often. In a relationship, it stops being all about you. Your obligations become someone else's as well. What he's describing is a friendship, mayhap with benefits, but not a relationship meant for long term potential. I don't have to go to meet my friends' families if I don't want to.. I do, however, need to meet the families of someone I'm with.

    It's not about WANTING to want to do these things.. the "wanting to want" part is just this convenient catch phrase. The concept is, this person and I are becoming one. We're not totally separate anymore, we chose to be that way, bad or good.. so that means I have to take on more responsibility. and so does s/he. I want my boyfriend to want to meet my family because it shows me that he realizes those obligations need to be met-and more importantly, that he's not only recognized it.. but is meeting it head on, for our sake.

    Which brought up the questions of... how much are you willing to do to make your partner happy?
    Loads, honestly. I'm a much different person when I am single.. I'm not happier in a relationship, but I am just as happy in one. It is a different kind of happiness. When it comes to the simple, shallow stuff, I have no problem compromising. But I expect equal exchange everytime.. Compromising is never EVER one sided, thats how resentment forms. I call my SOs out when they aren't pulling their weight.. thats the only thing I have found that works at all.. or at least indicates the relationship needs to end to me.

    I never EVER give up the important things.. My family comes first, always, and I dare an SO to make me choose them over my family. My friends are my own, and while I can respect having to change the way I hang out with some of my friends, I don't expect to stop hanging out with them. I'd never change my job over an SO either. I'll do things when I am ready for them. I don't think I could compromise on things like children.. Barring adoption, I would never decide to have a child if or until I was completely ready and it was completely my decision.

    EDIT: OH yes! I almost forgot my most important question! Do you think certain mbti types are more prone to compromise than others? IF so, why?
    I really think INTPs, at least the vibe I've gotten from them on here, just seem so stubborn about this sort of thing.. They're scared we're trying to shape them into something different--and we sort of are.. because you cannot act the exact same and go about life the same way.. life has changed. Relationship creates change, and thus you need to move with the tide. I think people can be stubborn about that. I could see NFPs being WAY TOO flexible at first (I have this habit, horribly) and then realizing that doesnt work at all and suddenly growing a backbone that causes some arguing out of no where
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  4. #4
    Senior Member copperfish17's Avatar
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    Something I catch myself saying quite often (at least in my head) is this: "I don't care what the h*ll you do as long as you leave ME out of it." I'll admit that I say this to pretty much everyone, including family and friends - I don't have a SO/husband at the moment.

    Yes, I do mean what I say. I really don't want other people to tell me what to do. I only want to do things out of my own will and nothing else. 'Tis a little embarrassing to admit, but even when asked gently, I still feel pretty shitty when someone asks me to do something that I don't want to do. Basically, my thought process is: I'm not going to stop anyone from doing what they want to do, and I want the same thing from others.

    I'm aware it's not the most reasonable expectation to have... it's just that that's how things would be in my ideal world.

    HOWEVER... I do find myself compromising quite a bit in a few my relationships. Why? Because I want to preserve the relationship, and understand that compromise is necessary in ANY relationship. Besides, I really AM eager to please when I really like someone (as a friend, romantic interest etc.). I'm not known to scrimp with time, outings, or gifts with anyone I truly love and appreciate. As long as I can get sufficient down-time between social interactions, I believe I'm capable of keeping my relationships going nice and smooth. And like I said, I do love spoiling people I really care about.

    In any case, the bottom line is - this INTP is willing to compromise, but not to the point that I must sacrifice anything of importance to myself (which includes solitary chill-out time ). Not sure if any type is more prone to not compromising in a relationship, but I can certainly see some INTPs falling into that category.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    i think accepting other person who she is, is really important, but that doesent eliminate the need to compromise. for example if neither likes cleaning the house at all, its not ok for both just to accept that "yea we dont like cleaning, so lets not do it". accepting that the other person doesent like cleaning, doesent mean that she doesent have to clean. so its not on who the other person is where you need to compromise, its what you do is where you need to compromise.
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  6. #6
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    i say "sorry, not sorry" a lot.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  7. #7
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    Errr...both.

    I seriously don't want to drag my partner to see a movie he hates or to visit my mom if he's just going to be miserable, and therefore make me miserable, I'd rather just go alone and do what I want to do and leave him be. In fact, I think it is TOTALLY lame to have a bunch of obligations for your partner if it violates his personal ethics...if he hates Christmas, do not force him to go to your office Christmas party. Don't presume that everything in life "should go this way," I think real relationship understanding is relating to an individual without these broad expectations of "everyone goes to family dinner party" and "everyone lives in beige house in suburbs with 2.5 childrens and all modern appliances."

    On the other hand, a partner who doesn't compromise at all is selfish, in my opinion. I don't think any long-term relationship works without some form of compromise. If something is REALLY MEANINGFUL or necessary, that is where compromise happens. Like INTP talking about cleaning the house - I mean what the fuck, don't be a total pig and expect me to clean up after you just because you happen to hate carrying your plate to the sink in the kitchen. There's a difference between pressing unnecessary obligations onto a partner and just being straight up inconsiderate and uncaring.

    Wait - I should make this longer. I agree with Saturned that it's important to do things to make your partner happy, to give them little things you know that they like, or do things for them you know they would appreciate. I don't agree with this whole idea of ...er, rational detachment.

    I am not rationally detatched and don't want anyone to demand that I should be in a relationship. I can be reasonable but I'm going to want a lot of attention and acceptance.

    I think I'm better off with another F, I've just started to accept this recently. I hate to say they're more likely to compromise, because that's not necessarily true, but IME they're the only ones who can provide me with what I need on some fundamental emotional or psychological level.

    People speak different love languages, too. While one person needs a partner who does all of the social obligations (and that's okay, for you) another (like me) thinks that can be a little unnecessary if my more important needs are met.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    I have a question that I'd really like to get feedback from NF's on.

    A friend and I have recently been having a disagreement about relationship dynamics. It involves how much one should or is willing to compromise to make their partner happy. This friend of mine is an INTP (though it doesn't really matter). Anyhow, he thinks that in relationships there really shouldn't be much of a compromise, stemming back to each party fully accepting eachother for who they are. While I think that people should accept others for who they are, I also think that relationships tend to be built on compromise, especially when you get into long haul. He thinks that if your partner doesn't want to say, go to a family's dinner party, or help you do garden work, or engage in shared activities that you might feel important to the relationship, that you should accept this, and that if you don't and feel dissapointed, its your own issue. He asked me WHY I would wan't somebody to do something they didn't want to.. and my answer was not that I wanted this.. but that I wanted the other person to WANT to do these things. Which brought up the questions of... how much are you willing to do to make your partner happy? How much compromise will you give? Any? Lots? See, my answer was that while I might not really want to do certain things.. I really like doing things to help others out, or make them happy. Usually I find that whatever it was that I compromised was worth it to make the other happy. AND I find that there are alot of things I am willing to give up, to make the person I love happy. Now there are some things that you probably shouldn't give up, unfair demands, like giving up your friends, or a job you really love, or certain hobbies.. but beyond these key things.. I would like to know how other NF's feel about making their partner happy? How important is this to you? Have you been involved with people that don't compromise that much? How did you handle this?

    EDIT: OH yes! I almost forgot my most important question! Do you think certain mbti types are more prone to compromise than others? IF so, why?
    No one can determine the feelings of another. That is an illusion that you have more power than you actually do; I would go as far to say that perhaps that gives them more power over you. You are not responsible for their crap.

    Compromising doesn't necessarily make anyone happy, nor does it signify that you accept someone for who they are. If you compromise, you have both mutually blurred the outline of where each individual truly is for the sake of maintaining the wholeness of the relationship. In a sense, you are making the relationship happy. It is your fixation on the relationship that distracts you from the other person.

    Agreeing to disagree, and part ways on some issues may be seen as an act of respect and acknowledgement. If one partner habitually yields to the other, and the other knows their feelings, I see it as desecration.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmhmm View Post
    i say "sorry, not sorry" a lot.
    Lol. That's kinda cute.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    I have a question that I'd really like to get feedback from NF's on. [...]
    Short answer: These sorts of things get worked out by the two individuals in the relationship. There’s really no one answer for everyone.

    Long answer:

    First off, I would make a distinction. Technically, you’re not asking for compromise; you’re askng for sacrifice. I know what you mean when you say “compromise”: You’re saying “You do for me and I’ll do for you.” But technically, what you’re really saying is, “You make sacrifices for me, and I’ll make sacrifices for you.” And really, that’s not the same as a true compromise. A true compromise is where you say, “I would like X,” and your partner says, “No,” and then the two of you dicker and work out a deal where you both get something you want: You get maybe half of X and in return he gets something he has been wanting (for example).

    The reason I point out this distinction: You’re asking for a spirit of mutual sacrifice in your relationship. But that rarely works out to be an equal arrangement. One party tends to sacrifice more than the other. Furthermore, since the terms of the sacrifices aren’t usually worked out in advance, the sacrifices that one party makes may not be things that the other party wants. IOW, you may say, “I did A, B, and C for you, and so now you have to do Z for me.” And he responds, “But I never asked you to do A, B, and C and don’t even care about those things. So why should I have to make a big personal sacrifice and do Z for you?”

    OTOH, a relationship that’s based on true compromise (i.e., negotiation and horse-trading) may not work out either. If you always have to haggle and barter for every little thing in a relationship, then it may lead to a spirit of greed and hair-splitting in a relationship.

    Still, personally I would prefer a spirit of giving and mutual sacrifice when it comes to the routine small things, like running small errands for each other or whatever; and then when it comes to the bigger, stickier issues, like when your partner really doesn’t want to attend a family function, then try working out a true compromise: Do a little bartering and try giving him something in exchange that he really enjoys and that he ordinarily couldn’t expect from you (a favorite meal, permission to go on a weekend getaway with his friends, a backrub, special bedroom favors, whatever....)

    I’ve seen this latter arrangement work out pretty well for some couples who have been married many years and have good communication (i.e., aren't deliberately out to take unfair advantage of each other). As they say, you collect more flies with honey than with vinegar. Your partner will respond better to positive inducements (giving him a favor in return) than he will to negative inducements (trying to browbeat him into a sacrifice he really doesn't want to make).

  10. #10
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    I've been with two men in serious relationships (marriage) and both didn't want to compromise. I've talked with one about his inability to compromise and my need for more give and take. I grew resentful of that person almost never considering what I wanted or needed. I would suggest having friends over or doing something spur of the moment (going to a movie, camping somewhere for a weekend) but he would always say that he had other plans, he was way behind on his projects, had no time, and just couldn't do it. He is very introverted and every weekend he would spend time on his projects. I couldn't budge him to do what I wanted. I wouldn't talk much more about it with him if I could see he was set not to do it. If he said he couldn't do it, I let it go. But I began to not feel very important or loved by him. Though he said he loved me, I didn't feel it because when it was something I really needed, he didn't bend from his own priorities to give it to me.


    In a relationship, you don't need the other people to have to like everything you do or to do something that really doesn't interest them. But, relationships are built on compromise, on that give and take. There are some things you should do for the other person even if it's not something you would do, to make them happy. Especially if it's very important to the other person. In my relationships, we lived separate lives, it seemed (one man), and with the other, he was controlling and wanted things his way (we were both young). If each of you are just doing your own thing all the time and compromise isn't possible, after a while you feel as if you're just friends living together.

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