Making Room

By Tymmarah Anderson

There’s a thin line between compromising too much and not compromising enough – a line that I hadn’t found too apparent recently. Not compromising enough was never my issue. It was the years of bending upside down and around in my last relationship that was my downfall. Even still, it was really hard to draw that line years after.

How do I make room for both my partner’s needs and my own? The million-dollar question. If I’m too self-involved, I risk my partner feeling like he doesn’t matter. Give in too much, and now I’m isolated. 

What does compromise even mean? How many times should I do it? When should I not? I had heard (and said) the word a million times but it still felt so foreign to me. I did a google search and was sad (but not surprised) to say, brought no clarity. It’s almost as if it made things incredibly worse:


to weaken (a reputation or principle) by accepting standards that are lower than is desirable.

Synonyms: undermine, weaken, be detrimental to, damage, etc. 

These words sounded all too familiar in my head — a flash to the past. And the more I read, the more I grew insecure about the decisions I had been making. Not to mention, it was all still very unclear. How do I make sure both I and my partner’s needs are being met?

Photo by nicollazzi xiong on

I eventually stumbled upon a blog that gave me the reality check I needed:

“Let’s stop using the word compromise.”

It almost has a negative connotation, right? I mean as Black women we’ve been told to compromise our whole lives: our goals, our feelings — our entire existence. Compromising just didn’t feel possible in that light. So, I started searching for other words instead.


an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

Synonyms: stability, poise, fairness, etc.

And it’s not always 50-50. Sometimes it’s 80-20 or 30-70. Sometimes I’m the 80, sometimes I’m the 30. But eventually, there’s always balance.

Now that was a word I could live up to.

IMG_7379Tymmarah Anderson is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.


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