In part 1 of this series, I highlighted how it is essential that you know and are honest about what you want the most and the need for whoever you choose to deliver those and vice versa. In this second part, I push that message further.
I see that quite a number of people do not like words like “compromise” and “tolerance” when it comes to love matters. The truth is that compromise and tolerance are the staying forces of any kind of relationship – romantic, political, business or professional. Without those two items, love relationships will not last. Why? Simple: no single person has everything you want. No single person can meet all your needs and fulfill all your desires. There will always be parts of the other person that irk you or that you find not so pleasant.
So you have someone who ticks the things you want the most, but have some quirks that irritate you. What do you do? Throw out the baby with the bath water? Throw out a good man or woman because they are human and have flaws? And do note this: people’s flaws do not go away. Age and experience may temper some of them down a bit. In many cases, some of those flaws get worse. But they never go away: people’s flaws are a part of who they are. You simply have to decide which you can tolerate and which you can’t. Both parties looking to invest in a long-term relationship have to consciously, deliberately address this.
Here are questions that cover all the issues I have raised:
- What are the things that I want the most i.e. things I can’t do without in a marriage?
- What are the things that I can tolerate?
These are rough guides, but I believe that everyone must be able to highlight these. Of course, there is another problem: our needs change over time. What someone wants the most at 25 will not necessarily be what he wants the most at 40. So, what if you do know what you want the most at 30 but that changes at 50? Sigh.
Let me make one thing clear though: you will be unable to have a long-term relationship unless you are willing to identify the compromises you’re willing to make and the ones you’re not. Compromise and tolerance are key to building lasting relationships.