7 Compromises Every Couple Should Make

couple at outdoor cafe
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Sure, you love to get your own way—but it’s hard to have a happy relationship if you never let your partner have a say.
  1. Your time together versus your time apart

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    Here’s the thing:  Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute together—you have friends and interests outside of your relationship, right? So come up with the right balance of time with each other versus time apart (say, each of you gets a night out with friends every week but Saturday night is reserved for the two of you), and stick to it.

  2. Your decorating styles

    Photo by Ellen Silverman

    You love French Country, but your partner prefers mid-century modern. Rather than battle it out, shop together and pick out pieces that you both like. Can’t agree on anything (or just feeling lazy)? Call in an interior decorator (or a neutral friend with great style) to help you come up with a look you’ll both love.

  3. Your tolerance for clutter

    Photo by Marianna Glenn

    You’re so organized your sock drawer is color coded. Your partner, on the other hand, is more like Pigpen from Snoopy. The solution: Cut the clutter to minimize those piles under the bed. Go through each room and decide what to donate, what to store and what to throw out.

  4. Your sleep styles

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    He wants the room pitch-black with classical music. You like dim lighting, a ceiling fan and total silence. Come up with an environment that you can both sleep well in—say, he wears a sleep mask and you wear ear plugs—or sleep in separate rooms (like 30 percent of all married couples do, according to The National Sleep Foundation).

  5. Your sex life

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    Sex every other week works for you. But your partner wants to get it on four times a week. If it’s not a health issue (a simple blood test can rule out a hormonal problem) or an emotional problem (like stress from a job loss) then you need to step it up, says Bree Maresca-Kramer, a certified therapist in South Florida. “The goal is to meet somewhere in the middle, so you’re both satisfied,” she adds.

  6. Your vacation styles

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    Your dream vacation involves a white sandy beach and cocktails with little umbrellas. But your partner prefers extreme adventures…like shark diving and caving. Split your time up so that your vacation is a mix of down time and adventures, or take mini-vacations apart, suggests Maresca-Kramer. And, no, you don’t actually have to dive with sharks if you don’t want to; maybe just go along in the boat.

  7. Your parenting styles

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    You’re super laid back, while your partner thinks tiger moms are onto something.  This is the kind of thing that you should work out before you get married (and certainly before you have kids). Start by discussing why you believe in a certain parenting philosophy (is it because you were brought up that way?) and figure out a parenting style that works for you both. If you can’t come to a compromise—this one is tough—reach out to a therapist.