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Does Love Require Compromise?

The question of the hour

No. My father and I make up the greatest band of all time: acorns crack under our feet, I hum (he hates it), and my dogs’ collars are tambourines. The summer heat is perfectly uncomfortable. We talk about relationships on the route my dad walks every night.

A boy in love for the first time disguises himself as my father. He gushes about when he knew my mother was right for him…about his life becoming better in every way. Somehow, he says, his relationship with my mom improved all of the ones outside of it. He promises that the love I deserve will fulfill each part of my heart without begging for sacrifices.

Yes. My brother and I have a recurring conversation, this time in Utah. Through teary eyes, I watch him sit on his bed. My frustration and I do a terrible job at explaining that different people give and receive love in different ways; when we love someone, we should adapt to their affection (and safely expect the same).

I think of how a lack of understanding can disguise itself as a lack of love. I remember the pain I felt when someone I loved said I didn’t because I never showed it; how many words and actions I should have traded for something that person might have better understood…how that person should have done the same. I share this with my brother, wanting to keep our relationship from becoming one of should have’s.

So, what is it? If both answers feel right, how can they be so opposite?

I think compromises are to love what a leak is to a flood. My roommates and I know how this story goes.

Our October bathroom leak began an inconspicuous puddle (not a metaphor, just a maintenance issue). Through our bedtime conversations, midday room run-ins, and journeys through “the portal”- the bathroom separating our rooms- the puddle grew. No, really…it was a safety hazard.

Yet, I never saw it change. One day the puddle was tiny and Angie had never listened to Spanish music; the next, our room was home to both an ocean and another Bad Bunny fanatic. When Hana uses a word frequently, it becomes part of our collective vocabulary. Each of us, no matter how tired, stays awake to hear about the others’ day.

Compromises in the right love can’t be concessions--they don’t imply loss. Rather, accommodations find their way into our love. Instead of asking whether love requires compromise, then, we should consider what form compromise takes when love disguises it.

My brother and I in Utah not talking about compromise

1 Comment

Hana Diaz
Hana Diaz
Feb 07, 2023

love to love ju jenns! 💓🤗🥰

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