The Dance of Compromise


Relationships are complicated dances of give and take, and compromise. We don’t mean compromising values, but more a willingness to budge,Β  just a little, when the issue at hand is not really that important. Otherwise the music stops and the dance is over.

Here are some examples of budging from our point of view.

Us: Do we really have to go to this thing?

You: (Give us THE LOOK)

Us: Yes, we’d love to go to your best friend’s dog grooming party.


You: Honey, look at this. (You point to the newspaper.) There’s a great discussion on Wild Flowers happening on the Nature Walk trail this weekend.

Us: (We give YOU the LOOK)

You: (Ignore us) And?

Us: (Pause to see if you’ll cave in….you don’t…..) Sure, that sounds great. We’ll just take an extra Sudafed for our allergies.


You: I’ve got nothing to wear.

Us: What about all the clothes in your closet?

You: Those are all old and out of style. And they don’t fit. And they don’t look good anymore. And I don’t like them. And I want some new clothes.

Us: But..?

You: Will you come shopping with me? I need help.

Us: (Grinding our teeth quietly) Sure. Fine. Maybe we can go to the mall and eat at the Food Court?

You: The mall? Are you kiddin? I don’t want to go to the mall. Let’s go downtown.

Us: But aren’t those shops way more expensive?

You: So? What are you trying to say?

Us: Um, nothing……sounds great.

Us: (Thinking) Great, we can forget about the 72″ Flat screen.

But we also know the women in our lives compromise for us too. This is what we think you pretend to like. Or at least tolerate for us.

Going to our company BBQ.

Watching us come in last place in the Elks Lodge Bowling Tournament every year, while being stuck talking with “Marty,” the friendly host who smells like Cigars and Sardines.

Playing video games with us. Watching football. Going camping.

Having a little romp with us on a night you’re tired, even though you’d rather curl up on the couch with a blanket and a glass of wine, and watch “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Glee.”

These examples are all mentioned in fun, but actually compromising CAN lead to new experiences and new knowledge. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to know about which Wild Flowers are edible and which aren’t. It might come in handy if we ever accompany Bear Grylls on a segment of “Man vs. Wild.” And knowing how to groom a Poodle might save us some serious money if we ever actually own a dog. But most importantly, compromise can lead to a better understanding of the other person, which leads to good will, and ultimately a stronger bond.

However we do have one slight problem. Although we understand compromise is important, we’re still not sure about the dance part. Although we’d secretly like to get better.

So when you bring up taking a dance class together, we “slow play” it, hoping if we pretend to not be that interested, we can get you to join the couples poker night we’ve been begging you to…….WOW!….Our bluff works! You agree. We’re now feeling a bit overconfident.Β  So we try to get one more raise from you.

Us: (Sweetly) Do think we can we get that flat screen TV now?

You: Don’t push it buddy!

No, you’re no fool. And that’s the real reason why we love you!


What do you compromise for your partner? Why?

What do you think they compromise for you?

50 Comments on The Dance of Compromise

  1. Damn it! You are holding out on me! You have gone to one of those ancestor registries and found that we are actually related! And I don’t even know your name!! Not fair!

    You want to hear about compromise? Well here it is! I am leaving around the 10th of May for Atlanta. Do you know just how far that is from Tucson??? Do you know just how far outside my comfort zone that is??

    My 95 year old mother-in law is not long for this world. She is the sweetest, most loving, and generous woman I have ever known. This is probably the last time I will see her. Unfortunately, it does not stop me from breaking out in a cold sweat at the thought of going all the way across the country. This is serious. What’s more, she probably won’t even remember that I was there!

    Now here is the compromise. My son, Keil, age 31, lost his job of 10 years when the company went bankrupt. He was heartbroken. With Rod’s blessing, I encouraged him to move from Alabama to Tucson to live with us and find another job. Keil is unmarried, and was born without a thyroid gland. He has been on medication since he was 10 days old. When he was born, the doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of having an i.q. of 90. His i.q. is 120, and he is very capable of living on his own, but he has mild neurological disorders that make that difficult. He needs a warm and loving environment, because he is a warm and loving young man. So he is here, and will be here to take care of our baby and get the mail while we are away. It works for us.

    When all the chicks have left the nest, and it has just been the two of you for many years, it is very difficult to have a step-child return home, but Rod has accepted it. Keil is my baby, and Rod knows I will do whatever I need to to help him. I’ll admit it was a little stressful at first, but then I screamed bloody murder and threatened bodily harm, and things got a lot better.

    Rod also knows that I will do whatever is necessary in regards to his mother. So there is the compromise. Even though it will stress me to the max, I will do it because it is important to him to see his mother one more time before she dies.

    Life, and particularly marriage, is comprised of a series of compromises. It is that give and take that lets the partners know that they are loved and cared for.

    And since you mentioned the poodle, I have been cutting Rod’s hair since before we got married, and have saved him THOUSANDS of dollars. That is why he can’t say anything about the $60 it costs to get my hair cut every 5 weeks.

    There is a lot more give and take in this relationship, but it is pretty boring, and I have not one, but two flat screen t.v.s. I have to admit, that in most things we are of like mind. Rod did go to the MONSTERS THAT MADE US reception, even though he stuck out like a sore thumb, and I went to a golf benefit dinner last night that was not exactly my cup of tea. I did come away with a couple of nice prizes though.

    If you have love in your heart, it all works out in the end.

  2. I may compromise on a number of things, but going shopping for women’s clothes is out of the question. I have no idea why they always want us to go… maybe just to set a baseline of what we’ll put up with.

    It’s not like we have a fashion opinion that will be valued… Face it… Our only purpose there is to hold stuff.

    If I ever owned a store that sold women’s clothing, (and that’s a BIG if), I’d have a little area with some easy chairs and Sports Illustrateds. I’m sure that women would shop longer if we weren’t standing there tapping our feet.

  3. FUCK that shit!

    “Honey I need money.” Ash

    “For what?” Hubby.
    This automatically pisses me off.
    ‘DON”T worry about it.'(me thinking)

    “I’m going shopping.” Ash

    “For what?” Hubby.
    Are you fucking kidding me?(me thinking)

    “I have nothing to wear.” Ash.

    I get a shitty look and I get a card.

    He fucking knows better.

    If he wants a TV or that big stupid toolbox thing that sits in the garage… Be my guest. I’m fucking going shopping. I think I want diamonds…

  4. What do you compromise for your partner? – Life.

    Why? – I dunno. I’ll ask the pope when I meet him. lol

    What do you think they compromise for you? – They? I only have one. Ok, let’s pretend I have many. hehe.

    Honestly, this stuff is too heavy for me. I mean, sometimes when I become too serious about studying reality, I forget that I’m married. Pretty ironic, isn’t it?

  5. @Judie………..It’s very possible. Although I’m not the only one here, just the main guy. Wait til we start the podcast, then you’ll be thoroughly confused. I too have a situation/story with a 94 year old, but she’s my grandmother-in-law. I’m going to her 95th Bday party in a few weeks. (We must be related!) Anyway, my kids have to miss a bunch of games/activities, and normally I would put my foot down and say no. To me if the kids have commitments they need to keep them. Their teams rely on them to be there. But in this case, how often does someone actually turn 95? It’s not like I could really say no. So we’re going. Good luck with your trip. Thanks for sharing!

    @Bluzdude………”Our only purpose there is to hold stuff.” That is so true. Funny! I actually don’t mind it.

    @Ashley………..It sounds like you both have an “understanding.” And as long as you get your diamonds, I’m sure you can deal with a little look.

    @Ryhen………Too heavy?? Yes, quite ironic.

  6. first of all, i’d much rather play poker than take dance lessons! unless there was a guy with cigar and sardine breath at the table. that shit is out of the question.

    i compromise by going to his ‘i’m stuck in the 70s music’ concerts where all of the original members of the band aren’t even playing when i’d much rather be seeing a newer/alternative/indie group. so i do that on my own. i just hope weir isn’t touring this year. if so, can you get me some good shrooms?

  7. Our kind of compromise these days is me allowing my husband to sleep on the couch while I wash the dishes, do the laundry, and/or make his lunch. I know some wives do all this stuff automatically, but we’ve always divided tasks like these evenly. Now that he gets so little sleep, it’s more important for him to nap than to clean the kitchen.

    This is a great post. I think compromise is one of those things that makes a relationship rock solid.

  8. Compromising on most things works. But, it has never worked for me. Though, I am not married. And I think, that’s a good thing!
    Hilarious post. Loved it.

    Have a good day guys…:)

  9. My husband loves the Pens. I mean LOVES. I love them. I wouldn’t go so far as to marry them like Matt. (He also loves Bear Grills as do I, but for completely different reasons. I mean, naked calisthenics? Amazing.)

    Anyways, back on track, the Pens. He grew a beard for them, he has twenty different tees, he watches them like a religion. He even donates blood when they have a drive. I put up with this nonsense. I make sure dinner time fits into their schedule. Game change to 6? No problem. I’ll just make sure we’re eating between the first and second period.

    He also thinks my chocolate chip cookies are good luck. What’s that? We’re running low? I’ll make more!

    There’s a Pens game at 2? Weren’t we going to my parents house? Well, no, they don’t have cable, but my Mom will stream the game live on her computer.

    You get the point.

    I do all this and he lets me sleep in in the morning. Plus I only have to work two days a week. I SO win.

  10. @Patty Punker………..I’m with you. Without the original members is it really the same band or just some glorified cover band? No shrooms. Sorry! πŸ™‚

    @Lifeofadoctorswife………….Not all wives do that automatically. At least not around here. Wink. Wink. Yes, compromise is essential!

    @Mr. Stupid………Funny. If and when you get married, “compromise” MAY become part of your vocabulary.

    @Cassie………..Pens? Do you mean the Penguins? ….aren’t chocolate chip cookies essential to everyone? I’ve been indulging too much and need to start running again. Looking at your entire situation, I would have to agree with you. You definitely win. Two days a week is sweet!

  11. Compromise is key to a good, long & healthy relationship. Give a little, get a little. I rub your back, you rub mine. I like your take in this GUY!

  12. Compromise is so important, especially early in a marriage when you’re still working on the separation of tasks, pick your battles and determine what you will compromise on and what you refuse to compromise on. These days I feel like we don’t need to compromise very much, but I think that’s mostly because what used to seem like a compromise is now merely “the way things are” so they just seem like second nature.

    This was such a funny post, my first laugh of the day (which I needed after doing taxes all last week.)

  13. Hmmm, here’s what I compromise: I hate sports. Hate them. I only like them if I’m at a stadium slugging down Old Style and hot dogs. HOWEVER, I watch a lot of football with my boyfriend. A lot.

    We also compromise on movies and music. He goes to my choices, I go to his, and our ears and eyes both bleed a little bit when it’s not our choice.

    He compromises by cleaning and taking care of the house. I’m at work A LOT, so he’ll pick up the slack around the house.

  14. @Gogo………Did you really mean rub? Or did you mean “rub?”

    @Tina……….I think you’re exactly right. After a while compromise does become “the way things are.” That’s a testament to your relationship.

    @The Faux Trixie………..That is hysterical! Does your boyfriend know how much you hate them? Sounds like you two have it figured out pretty well though, especially if he’s cleaning. He’s a keeper!

  15. Compromise? It’s easy here. Everything Matt does is just screaming “I’m doing this for you because I love you!” Sadly, my side is usually whining “I’m doing this because I love you. I hate this crap, but I’m doing it and I better get points!”

    He’s the dancer. He also knows which flowers are safe to eat, which will cure your arthritis and which acupressure point to use to relax muscle number 756. He works 12 hour days at a job he usually can’t stand, works with people who blow him off and piss him off, and lives in PA because that’s where my comfort zone was. (He’s from Georgia.)

    I wake up at night with the baby if she needs someone because he needs rest so he can face every harrowing day. I make dinner (he’s the cook) because he works 12 hours and if I worked that long I’d want dinner ready when I came home. I pick up after him because I want his home to feel like a retreat from the rest of the world.

    I now know how to play Magic: The Gathering, not because I cared about it, but because it was one of his favorite things when he was younger.

    Compromise. It’s what’s for dinner.

  16. Thanks for taking my idea. Now I have to wait a few weeks to talk about compromise in the artworld. Hmm, maybe I can write about compromising positions like the artist and model that could turn a little dicey at a moment’s notice.

    If you want to know about my Best Friend Artist, check my blog.


  17. I should also add that while I get up with the baby Sunday-Wednesday nights and cook Mon-Thursday, Matt takes the weekends. He does work 12 hr days, but fortunately works Monday-Thursday. He loves to cook and loves me and the baby (feels like he doesn’t get to spend much time with either of us. So, he’s up with the baby Thursday- Saturday nights (if she wakes up) and also lets me sleep in the next mornings. He takes over the kitchen from Friday-Sunday.

    I hope that made sense. lol. I didn’t sleep much last night and I’ve been up all day so I’m a little fuzzy. ((0.o))

    And, I ask Matt to pick out clothes with me not because I plan to blow his whole check and put our family’s plans on the backburner and need him to carry things, but because I actually care what he thinks. He may not be up on all the latest trends, but he knows what he likes and he knows me well enough to know what I like and is friend enough to tell me when those pants make my ass look big. πŸ™‚

  18. @Elisa………….Yes, I understand what you’re saying. What I gather from everything you’ve said is that you both love each other and have a mutual respect for one another. It doesn’t get any better than that. My wife likes me to go shopping for the same reason you want Matt to go. She likes my opinion, and although I’m not Mr. Fashion, I have a good eye. I helped her revamp her whole wardrobe when we first started getting serious. Of course it was good for me too. I got to see her in clothes that I liked on her. So it was a win, win. And it was fun!

    @Judie…………No need to wait. How about this? I have a friend who is a potter. ( He’s a very talented guy, although his website is quite simple. Anyway, he has friends that make pottery with blue stars and sell a ton of it. So is it OK for an artist to compromise his or her art to sell work? The blue star person sells a ton. Just tells you what the general population is looking for.

  19. If they want to pay the bills, and blue stars are selling, then they should put blue stars on the pots. The blue stars don’t make it any easier when you sit down at the wheel. Eventually, though, stars will be passe and they will have to find another tag for their work.

    I sold many, many raku and stoneward spirit masks (see photo on blog). No two were the same, but they all had the same elements in them. I rode the spirit mask train for about 5 years, and then it came to the end of the line. Not a problem, because I was running out of suppliers who could sell me the elements at a reasonable price. I could see the handwriting on the wall, so I started making slab construction stoneware boxes with semi-precious stones on them.

    Note to Cary: A well-made piece of pottery is always in style, and will outlive the blue star craze. I love classic pieces!

    If you need to feed yourself and your family, whatever you have to do to make it work is not a compromise–it is a necessity.

  20. i compromise all the time because my husband is a great guy and does a lot for me. I go to bed early when he wants to stay up late and watch his DVR’d shows… i buy him fancy aftershaves and shower gels when i go shopping and he says “buy me something while you’re out!”… i call to see if he wants me to pick up something to eat when i’m coming home late from work.

    just last week, he forgot his work keys at home and asked me to PLEASE drop them off for him on my way through because it was very important. And did i do it? you bet! and only for a nominal fee of “you owe me. big time. i’m keeping track of all the nice things i do for you and i’m going to cash in big one day…”

  21. Cary’s work is what I wish I could do. He should expand his website, though, and add more photos. He has pieces that could be in museums.

  22. Hi Guys!

    Compromise is good. Although I must admit my husband gives in to my wishes way more often than I give in to his. And that’s the way it should be. I sat through the Fantastic Four and that compromise alone is equal to four years worth of comprise in my favor.


  23. I think I’m pretty easy to get along with: I like shopping by myself, and I like doing it quickly. I love sports. I like camping. I watch bizarre shows, Glee not included. Also, I’m an awful dancer, so no dance class for me (I’m beyond hopeless).

    However, I do like my wine πŸ™‚ He can just deal with that!

  24. sadly- I dont have a partner at this time. So I guess on the positive side I dont have to compromise these days!

  25. @Judie………..I think you’re right when you say, “If you need to feed yourself and your family you do whatever it takes.” Sometimes art is a luxury. I am also a jazz musician, and I’ve had to do countless gigs that had nothing to do with the art of jazz. I think for Cary and me, the “Blue Stars” represent what we’re trying not to do, but he doesn’t have to support a family. I do. So you make a good point. I’m pretty much willing to compromise on a lot of things. I’ll pass along your input and suggestions. Thanks!

    @You’re Lucky I Don’t Have a Gun………..He must be a great guy because you do a lot of nice things. You must be saving up for something big. Is this going to be a surprise to him?

  26. @Diana………You’re so funny. Yes, one year for every one of those “Fantastic” superheroes. That was a pretty bad movie, although I really just went to see Jessica Alba. Sorry, that’s shallow, but true. πŸ™‚

    @Brooke……..You’re BEYOND easy to get along with!! More like a dream……… by yourself, sports fan, camper, no “Glee.” WOW!!!! Nothing wrong with a little wine. Might help your dancing.

    @Meleah……….That’s because you’re so busy doing things differently!!! And that’s a good thing.

  27. Although I do not have to compromise with anyone special at this time, I strongly believe that compromising is very important in all relationships and not just with the special someone. We are doing the dance of compromise with our parents from young till the time they become old. We are also doing the dance of compromise with our siblings and relatives. Next, will be the dance with friends and colleagues. Finally … the dance with strangers. With so much practices, we should have become expert in ‘dancing’ already.

  28. Indeed! Thank you! πŸ™‚

  29. Hey! You and I have compromises too. I come read the crap you write, and sometimes you come read the crap I write.


    (Sorry, again I’m sleep-deprived and it’s turning into “full-of-myself”.)


  30. Another great thought-provoking post.

    Back in the Dark Ages, when we got married, I was the one who compromised…on everything. I did what he wanted, period, and he lived like a king. Now that I’m older and wiser, he doesn’t get away with that crap anymore. One week we see a movie of his choice, the next week, mine. Now that I work nights and he works days, and has three days off compared to my two, he does some housework while I sleep. When I’m sick (and I fear, thinks he might lose me) he goes out his way to do things for me…as in letting me spend money, which is HUGE for him, since he normally could give Ebenezer Scrooge a run for his money. (no pun intended.)

    I suffer from severe social anxiety disorder, and he knows it, so when we go visit HIS friends, we usually go then to a restaurant of my choice. And when he can’t say no to an invitation to dine at his sister’s house, he knows he has to lie for me and tell them I’m on an all-liquid diet – I issued this edict after finding cockroaches cooked in the food once while there. And delicacy forbids me telling you what my concession to that compromise is.

  31. @BK……………..I like how you said that. Very eloquent.

    @Meleah……You’re welcome.

    @Elisa………….Crap?? Hmmm… ARE sleep deprived. πŸ™‚

    @Ethelmae…………Cockroaches are disgusting. I wouldn’t eat there again if I found some in my food. But now what could the concession be?? I’m just too curious. And I’m glad you’re older and wiser. Well at least wiser. πŸ™‚

  32. “Man Vs. Wild” is a funny show. Remember when Bear filtered out his pee on a raft or something and swilled it down. That guy is always up to crazy shenanigans. I think you have valid points in how men and women compromise. And you’re right… if there is no compromise and understanding in the end… the music does stop and that can lead to break- ups, divorce and all of those other messy, painful things.

  33. lol another wonderful post! I was reading this laughing out loud cause your right, I can see all this playing out in my own relationship. Except at the dance lessons part, we bet. I won so Marine has to take dance lessons with me when he gets back from deployment. I’m thinking the tango, or salsa πŸ™‚ lol

  34. he definitely knows i plan on cashing in big. i made sure to tell him before i handed over the keys. his response was “well, make sure you do it soon before i ‘forget’ all about this deal.”

  35. A jazz musician from Philly owns one of my masks–the one that is on my blog. One of my closest friends sings jazz and blues. I LOVE JAZZ!
    What instrument do you play?

    If a patron tells me that they would buy one of my paintings if I could change something in it, I always decline. What you see is what you get. But if someone wants a particular color scheme for a mask, I try to oblige as long as they don’t ask me to change one that is already made.

  36. I just read my son Joey’s latest post on his blog, WRITE,RIGHT? and I am laughing, because I am finding out all the things he did in high school all those years ago that he would never tell me about. If you have a chance, check it out.

  37. @Kelly…….I would have to liked to have seen that one. He’s a funny guy. The show is great!

    @You’re Lucky I don’t have a gun……….I wouldn’t want to play poker with you!

    @Judie……..I play jazz piano and funk drums, which at this point is my main gig. Playing gigs and teaching. Although, I’m trying to get more work as a freelance writer, etc. What’s your son’s blog address? I’ll check it out.

  38. Nice! Still learning about compromise in my relationship since it’s relatively new. Thanks for the tips and examples…ha!

  39. I give my wife a hug every night before we go to bed. Aside from that onerous duty, I pretty much do exactly what I want.

  40. His blog is

    Jazz piano is my absolute favorite! Do you have any CD’s?

  41. I feel guilty because I haven’t really had to make any compromises. On the other hand poor Bill seems to be in a perpetual state of compromise and I don’t even ask for anything, damn man makes me feel guilty all the time.

  42. Funny you should bring up dancing lessons. This was a prerequisite for marriage, that my husband be willing to take dance lessons. We’ve been married ten years now. Guess how many dance lessons we’ve taken.
    Hint: It starts with a “Z” and sounds like “Zero”.

  43. @e: LAMBADA!

    @admin: What is “funk drums”???? (even MORE sleep-deprived now, my blog has proof)

    @judie: My brother and I were talking about all the stuff we did in high school and my mom was eavesdropping with her mouth open. LOL.

    @Kelly? Absolutely NONE of my compromises include swilling urine. His or mine! *gag*

  44. @Kelly………The compromises are different for each relationship. Enjoy learning about them….and other things!

    @nothingprofound…….And that’s no small thing. Seriously. Hugs go a long way! πŸ™‚

  45. @Jude……..You two sound like a perfect fit. Funny.

    @Margaret……..The pre-marriage promises. Yes, I know all about them and so does my wife. I was supposed to be cleaning the bathrooms. Well, um…you know, …..but in my defense, I do a lot of other stuff. I’m at a loss right now to think of them though.

    @Elisa………….Like James Brown, George Clinton, Funk. Also jazz/funk/fusion/rock.

  46. Well since we are still in the “honeymoon” phase, it’s all good. The only thing I haven’t compromised on is playing Eve online with him. I truly have better ways to spend my time, tempting as it is to blow up dudes that mine on our moons, and join him and his fleet in a territory battle in space over galaxies. Epic! Not. Ha.

  47. If he knows what’s good for him, we are a perfect fit.

  48. @Angelia……….My in-laws are still in the honeymoon phase. It’s true and it’s amazing. Is that what you’re saying? You’ve been married a long time, but you’re still in the honeymoon phase? Or you just got married and you’re in the honeymoon stage? Either way it’s wonderful I’m sure.

    @Judie…………It sounds like it. Sweet!

  49. Oh the dance of compromise. This is funny because I am actually trying to get Match to take a dance class with me for the wedding. He flat out refused. I keep telling him I’ll step on his toes if he doesn’t but that argument hasn’t panned out yet. We tend to compromise over the remote. I get control when I’m home because I do most of the cleaning, and I complain the loudest when he chooses to watch bass fishing. πŸ˜‰

  50. @Date Girl………….No dance class? Bass fishing on TV. We need to have a chat with Mr. Match!

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