Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
Is compromising just to please your partner a good thing? Author Karen Salmansohn shares her firsthand experiences with good and bad compromises.
About a decade ago, I dated a guy who every time his name was mentioned, inspired my girlfriends to sing the theme song to Batman. Not because this man looked great in black Spandex tights. No, no. It was because he was a bad man.
"Dadadadadadada Bad-man! Bad-man!" my girlfriends would sing, right after I'd finish telling a particularly bad Bad-man episode—of which there were many.
What made him a Dadadadadadada Bad-man? I'll call him Bruce Wayne to protect his not-so-innocent secret identity. Bruce Wayne didn't want me to attend my favorite morning yoga classes. He explained he did not want anything—other than himself—to bring me morning pleasure. So I stopped going (to make him happy and relaxed) and began drinking red wine (which made me happy and relaxed instead).
I remember when I first confessed this "compromise" to my girlfriends, I did so as a joke. I said, "Can't make it to your favorite morning yoga classes?" while holding up a glass of Cabernet. "Try yoga in a glass! Same relaxing effects, only faster, more convenient and it won't upset boyfriends."
My girlfriends would all shake their heads in disapproval. "I can't believe you're giving up your beloved Jivamukti!"
Next up was Bruce Wayne's request for a wardrobe change. "I prefer you stop dressing in anything sexy," Bruce Wayne scolded. "It makes me think you're interested in meeting other men."
For the record: I wasn't. I like to dress sexy to feel sexy for me and my man. Kaput. But while dating Bruce Wayne, I entered into what I refer to as "My Amish Girl Period." Basically, turtlenecks became a staple throughout all four seasons.
Next were Bruce Wayne's objections to my hair. At that time, I had a wild, shoulder-length, thick and manic mane of wavy hair which everyone complimented except Bruce Wayne, who seemed to have a Samson-and-Delilah reaction to this mane o' mine. He felt my hair gave me too much power over men. Somehow Bruce Wayne convinced me to cut my hair to a non-threatening earlobe length.
"If you ask me," one girlfriend told me. "You're not involved in a relationship. It's a hazing experience."