Contrary to what Disney movies would have us believe, relationships do take hard work.
Part of this work is compromise. You’re two different people who came together, and naturally you will have different opinions, goals, and feelings about some things.
Wanting to compromise is a good thing — it shows you think about the other person and are willing to put their needs equal to or even above yours.
But how much is too much? If you begin to compromise too much in your relationships, the relationship becomes pretty unhealthy and you become miserable.
I’ve unfortunately been through more than one relationship like this. It was not a good experience, so I’d love to help you avoid it. Here are 8 warning signs to look out for.
1) You have to change your values
The first big warning sign that you’re compromising too much in your relationship is if you have to change your values.
Maybe your partner explicitly asks you or tells you to do things that go against your values.
For example, you value healthy food and saving money, and they often want to go out to eat junk food.
But sometimes it can happen in a more discreet way, through manipulation, sarcastic remarks, or giving you no other choice.
2) You don’t feel you receive compassion
When it comes to values which I mentioned above, it’s important to draw a distinction here between what’s healthy and what’s not.
Partners can help each other learn and grow by sharing their different opinions, or helping you see a new perspective.
For example, if you see your partner doesn’t care about being sustainable, you could help them see how their actions are impacting the environment and how to improve.
The key here is that the conversation happens with good intentions. Both people hear each other out, listen with the goal of understanding each other, and have a respectful conversation.
If you feel like your opinions and feelings are swept right off the table without any consideration, that’s a huge warning sign and not healthy compromise.
3) It’s always you, never them
Relationships have to work both ways — and that includes compromise.
So if you get the feeling that it’s always you making compromises, and never your partner, things are getting really unbalanced.
This is one sign I struggled with a lot. And in retrospect, I learned a lot of valuable life lessons from this.
First of all, my partner needs to be willing to put my needs at the same level as his, and participate in compromising as much as I did.
But also, I need to be willing to find a way to clearly and respectfully share my needs, and my feelings about always being the one backing down.
As I was never particularly assertive, I struggled a lot with saying “no” in general — so I’m sure I had a part to play in the cause of my feelings.
If you feel like you’re always the one compromising, before you flip out at your partner, have a calm conversation with them about your feelings and ask them if they can meet you halfway.
Best case scenario, they’ll be more than happy to help you feel more comfortable in the relationship, and things can get back on track.
4) You’re not comfortable with the decisions you’ve made
As I mentioned above, I’m not a particularly assertive person, but I do tend to date assertive men.
The result of this is that they often say what they want loud and clear while I tend to agree with whatever other people want in order to not be a hassle.
But I noticed over time that I would continue to think about the decision even after it was made, and feel uncomfortable with the ways things were.
A lot of the times it was something small like sleeping arrangements during a group trip, or what to have for dinner.
But it may be something bigger, like relocating to another city or changing jobs.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be flexible to accommodate other people, or make decisions together.
However, make sure you can fully stand behind the decision as well, and that it’s okay for you too.
5) You have unmet needs
Do you feel like you have unmet needs in your relationship?
That’s another sign you’re compromising excessively in your relationship.
As I mentioned above, we can’t forget that both people have a responsibility here. Your partner must respect your needs, but you must also share your needs with your partner.
If you’re doing that and they dismiss or ignore them, or regularly cross your boundaries, the relationship is definitely not healthy anymore.
6) You gave up doing things you love
Think back to the days before your relationship, or at its beginning.
Did you used to dedicate time to hobbies and things you love, but you just don’t anymore?
This could be another warning sign that you’re compromising too much in your relationship.
Again, maybe your partner asked you to stop explicitly — but maybe it was more subtle.
For example, I love dancing, and I was learning salsa dancing well before I met one of my exes.
He didn’t seem to feel very comfortable with me going dancing without him, but he also wasn’t willing to learn and join me. He never said anything, but he did have little snide remarks.
So I ended up stopping dancing while I was with him, in order to not make him feel uncomfortable. Instead, I started feeling unhappy.
With what I know today, I would instead sit down to have an open conversation with him to understand his feelings and help him accept my passions and who I am.
7) You resent your partner
When you think about your partner, ideally you should have for the vast majority positive feelings associated.
If instead you feel anger and resentment, it’s probably because you’re compromising too much in your relationship.
Someone I know once told me that resentment is a feeling that’s disguised as anger towards someone else. But really, it’s anger towards yourself for not upholding your boundaries.
I mentioned that before, and it bears repeating: your partner absolutely has responsibility to respect your boundaries, but you also have responsibility to tell your partner what they are.
I’ve battled with resentment quite a bit myself, and I ultimately realized that I have the power to allow this feeling to grow in me or not.
One thing is for sure, that resentment must be dealt with. Otherwise, it will slowly kill the relationship.
8) You don’t feel like yourself anymore
This is ultimately the sign that made me decide to end my relationship with my ex.
I started second guessing myself all the time. I was constantly worried about what he would think, and tried to make my decisions and act accordingly.
This was driven by a feeling of deep insecurity which I strongly feel he was taking advantage of.
But this is just one of the many reasons why you might not feel like yourself anymore.
It could even come from good intentions for you – wanting your partner to be happy.
There’s a healthy limit, though, and that’s being able to wake up with a full sense of identity and personal value.
If you begin to feel like you don’t know who you are without your partner, and have no sense of direction on your own, you’ve been giving away too much of yourself.
These 8 warning signs are important to look out for — they will help you realize if you’re compromising too much in your relationships.
If you recognize yourself in a few of them, know that you’re not alone. I’ve been there myself, and I can vividly remember how frustrated and stuck I felt.
The first thing you’ll want to do is take an honest look at what you’re willing to compromise on, and what you’re not. You can be the most giving person in the world, but everyone deserves to have their needs met.
And then, it’s time to go about setting some boundaries.
Whether you and your partner get things back on track or decide to go separate ways, you’re sure to end up much in a much happier place.