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Romance is the urge to live and the willingness to die for another. Marriage is the urge to possess another.

— Karmayogi

Level 6 Compromise

Partners at this level have learned to discuss and disagree on specific issues without disturbance to the underlying positive feeling between them. Relationships at this level are characterized by good manners and behavior at all times.

Most people regard good manners as something to be saved for formal occasions, for our dealings with people outside the family and for personal interactions during the initial stages of a budding relationship. Many couples are not as willing or able to maintain the minimum standards of courtesy after fully committing to a relationship. Good manners are the first casualty in most relationships. Their absence is one of the principle causes for relationships to become contentious and negative.

Many relationships fail not for a lack of love and affection, but simply because the partners fail to maintain minimum levels of good behavior with one another in the privacy of the home. Manners imply respect and consideration for the other person as a human being, which is the very basis for positive, lasting human relationships. The best way to increase harmony and joy is to focus attention on strengthening the bonds of trust and goodwill in the relationship. Then other matters will naturally become less important. Friction between partners can be reduced to a bare minimum if both partners decide to maintain at least a minimum standard of good manners toward one another at all times. Even if your partner is unwilling, your own commitment to good manners can dramatically reduce occasions for unpleasantness.

Relationships in which major disagreements are avoided and minor ones are quickly dismissed attain level 6 status.  Even when the partners strongly disagree with each other, they do so without expressing intense emotions or personal reaction, then quickly put the issue behind them. This ensures that the issue does not escalate and rupture the harmony. Partners at this level recognize that their opinions, preferences, attitudes and habits are not necessarily better, truer or more valid than those of their partner. They are just different. They may not always like or appreciate those differences, but they learn to be tolerant and give a wide latitude of freedom for those differences to co-exist and express. Giving freedom for your partner to be different than you are and patience with your partner, even when you know or feel they are wrong or unfair, is a hallmark of smooth relationships. 

Charlotte and Collins (Pride & Prejudice)

Charlotte and Collins married because they both found it convenient. She was a sensible 27 year old, well past the age when most women were married in her day. She needed the social and financial security that marriage to Collins could provide. Collins, a foolish and pompous man, sought marriage to round off his social achievements. There wasn't much love or affection between them, indeed they hardly knew one another. But they did succeed in offering each other mutual cooperation and a reasonably happy, harmonious relationship that was satisfactory to them both. Collins was always courteous and polite in his interactions with her. She in turn gave him plenty of freedom and ignored his foolish comments and acts without reacting. They never quarreled and rarely disagreed, both playing their roles with perfection. They recognized the good in each other, and ignored or overlooked the rest.

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