Sacrifice vs. compromise in a relationship: 5 differences you should know



No relationship is perfect, and usually, it is a rollercoaster ride. For it to last, both parties should make sacrifices, if needed. Of course, there will also be compromises.

So, what are the differences between sacrifice and compromise?

Sacrifice and compromise are two necessary actions that must be willingly done by both partners in a relationship. Basically, they are two different things. However, sometimes there is a thin hairline difference between them.

1. Sacrifice only benefits one; compromise benefits the two of you

Usually, one person sacrifices his/her comfort, plan, resources, or anything s/he considers valuable just to keep the other person. For instance, one could sacrifice his/her dream to work abroad just to give his/her partner peace of mind.

On the other hand, compromising requires talking about a decision that will benefit the two of them. An example of this would be allowing the other person to work abroad, but only for a certain period of time, or deciding to get married first before s/he goes.

2. Sacrifice is giving up something; compromise just lowers demands

As mentioned in no. 1, sacrificing requires giving up something important to you. It could be your job, dream, hobby, lifestyle, or relationships. Although it is hard, you decide to do this for the benefit of your partner. Or you need it to save your relationship.

Meanwhile, compromising does not usually require giving up something completely. You just make adjustments so you and your partner can meet halfway. For example, instead of completely giving up hanging out with your friends, you would only limit your time with them.

Compromising is usually necessary if one thing takes much of your attention and time that it affects your relationship.

3. Sacrifice can be uncomfortable for one; compromise can make you both comfortable

Admit it, sacrificing something you love is really uncomfortable—even painful. You only do it because you might lose something more important—the person you love.

If what you have to sacrifice is an old habit, it would take time before it could be completely gone from your system. So, imagine the conscious effort you would need to exert for some time.

Nevertheless, the purpose of compromising is to relieve any tension in your relationship. It could be that you were constantly fighting over something. To solve the conflict, you both make some adjustments to come up with a settlement.

4. Sacrifice is a personal choice; compromise is a mutual decision

It is not a sacrifice if you have been forced to do it. Sacrifice is your own choice and you accept the consequences. For this reason, you would not complain or regret it when it gets hard. You believe it could bring you some bittersweet triumph.

On the other hand, a compromise is agreed upon by both parties. It is something that you intentionally talk about to come up with terms and conditions. You are both responsible for upholding them.

5. Sacrifice shows selflessness; compromise shows maturity

Sacrifice is one of the most selfless acts you can do for someone. If you sacrifice something important for a person, then it shows that s/he is truly valuable to you. You are willing to put his/her needs first before yours.

It takes maturity to settle with a compromise. Immature couples tend to quarrel over differences easily since no one wants to give way. On the contrary, mature individuals choose to resolve the conflict by meeting halfway.

Recommended for you