I’ve been lucky to be with men that don’t pick fights (let’s take Mr. Idea out of the mix in this statement). I have been careful not to get into relationships with people I don’t enjoy the day-to-day with because if I don’t get along with someone when things are ordinary, there isn’t any point to the extraordinary, unless we’re just talking an expensive first date or foreign one-week affair.
That being said – I’m also not one to keep my mouth shut (hence why I write a blog in the first place). I keep the secrets of my friends and sources, I protect the identities of the men in this blog, and I consider myself pretty low-maintenance. Still, if I don’t like something, I say it. If I want more, I request it. If I want less, I’ll push back. If I need something, I’ll demand it. I’m not afraid to push and pull and I won’t say everything is fine when it is not.
But to be in a relationship or to maintain friendships worth keeping – attention must be paid to the details of compromising. To get, you have to give. And sometimes what you give has to be things you really don’t want to offer. While at the same time, the needs you need to be met may not be easy for someone else to measure up to.
Current living arrangements with Mr. Possibility have gone surprisingly well and while we’ve never had a painful argument (knock on wood), we’ve both had to take the other person into consideration while sharing a cramped space. While the two bedroom, two bath condo is lovely (thanks to his roommate), there are often four people attempting to live comfortably while trying not to step on the toes of each other. I suppose that’s what a household is and though it is temporary, the time in the interim should be enjoyable, not debilitating to the sweetness a home creates.
Sitting on his couch sharing breakfast, he was rambling mindlessly as he usually does, and I asked him about plans for the week. Still wanting to keep our individual social calendars and have time away from one another since quarters are extremely close, I wanted an idea to plan around. While I thrive in spontaneity when it is in fact spontaneous, most of the time I do better with structure and concrete plans with times and dates. Mr. Possibility couldn’t be more different or entertain a contrasting mindset. He flies by the seat of his possibilities and when opportunities in the form of drinks or events arrive, he answers the call without much notice. I may do the same in some instances, but I also know my Monday through Friday, usually by that Sunday.
So you can imagine my inquisitive nature can sometimes get the best of him. He, however, realizes planning is part of my package and to cease a first argument before it began, he said, “Linds, why don’t you meet me in the middle?” That phrase can account for many things in our relationship, but on Saturday morning in sweats and a sports bra, drowning myself in coffee, Mr. Possibility actually made some sense.
Of course, to get along with a guy or anyone, really – you have to meet them in the middle. Planning two nights instead of five and relaxing instead of worrying about things that could fall through or could work out are healthy solutions to different approaches to scheduling.
But what about meeting yourself in the middle? Does compromise always have to do with two people? Or can we learn to compromise with ourselves and find that between our own extremes, there is a peace to be found? Is compromising yourself really living up to the negative connotation it carries?
I think it depends on how you look at it.
I tend to think of myself in very black or white terms. I’m either succeeding or failing, looking beautiful or looking awful, happy or sad, energized or tired, on-point or off, feeling inspired or dismayed. There isn’t a lot of in between and I often don’t give myself much room for other options of gray.
And yet, with friends, with Mr. Possibility or other men, I’m so willing to compromise what I want or my natural habits to find a common solution that satisfies everyone, including me. But maybe meeting in the middle wouldn’t feel like a task if we learned to be open to more things. If we gave ourselves as much leeway and options as we give others, we’d find life limitless instead of restricted. If we all spread our visions a little higher, the middleground may be a little wider.
If we meet ourselves in the middle, then maybe more people will meet us there, too.