Complement Over Compromise

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Edward Cisneros

By Terez Harmann

It’s time for a new relationship paradigm.

The Cost of Compromise
I feel the need for speed. He prefers to walk at a more moderate pace. Yet, somehow we still manage to enjoy BEING together.

You may ask: “How can this possibly work?” Someone must surely compromise in order for there to be any semblance of togetherness on the road of life? Surely someone needs to slow down or the other should speed up to make things work—otherwise, with such different rhythms, there would be virtually no interaction except to possibly share the car ride to and from the destination of the moment. Given this scenario, here is what typically happens:

Door #1: One person continually holds back to match the pace of the other when it is her/his nature to allow energy and flow, which compromises joy, expressing her/his core self, physical health and overall well-being.

Door #2: One person pushes her/himself to keep pace and catch up with the other, moving at a speed and rate that she/he is not yet ready for that is actually detrimental, which also compromises joy, expressing her/his core self, physical health and overall well-being.

Door #3: Both parties do this continually and NEITHER ever gets to operate in her/his optimal flow, with BOTH parties perpetually compromising—you guessed it—joy, expressing her/his core self, physical health and overall well-being.

Given THESE options, most freedom-loving beings who want to be happy and live long and prosper would opt out—and it’s no wonder why so many people who have chosen to take one of these three doors (ALL of which lead to compromise), find themselves in a place of power struggle, conditional happiness or ultimately ending a relationship.

The GAIN from Intending to Complement
Isn’t compromise simply the “cost of doing business” when it comes to maintaining and continuing a relationship over the years? Isn’t this necessary in order for there to be any possibility of true peace in families, teams or even the world?

Like many, I once also only believed that if I wanted to be in a steady, loving relationship—or create lasting peace with others—I would have to play the game of choosing Door #1, 2 or 3. But, as a being who deeply values freedom of expression and who also revels in seeing others thrive and get to realize their fullest potential, I (at first) decided that I would rather fly solo than choose a door that led to the ultimate diminishment of myself or my potential beloved. But then I wondered…

…What if there were a choice beyond those three doors?

What if there were a chance that there could be another human being on this planet who also dreamed of a true soul connection, yet who also wanted to have the space to thrive, to live fully and authentically, and who could joyfully allow me to do that same?

Even though life experience had NOT yet shown me that this could be possible, I had decided that if I were ever to choose to be in a long-term relationship, it would be with a soul who also believed in…

Door #4: Both parties honor their natural calling and flow—paired with clear intentions to COMPLEMENT each others lives and enjoy the journey TOGETHER—allowing BOTH to seek joy, express their core selves and feed physical health and well-being.

Instead of both parties experiencing a subtraction of overall quality of life via compromise, they actually add fun, vitality, trust and respect by striving to complement each other!

“Impossible!” you say? Wouldn’t extending THAT much trust, freedom and faith spell the end of true commitment? In my own experience, I can tell you that sharing my life with a soul who continues to embrace this “radical” way of being with me has only inspired me to a level of fierce loyalty and an experience of love that grows deeper with each passing year.

A New Way of Walking a Joint Path

I have known John Victor Hartmann for over 20 years now, and have been proud to get to call him my husband for more than 17 years at the time of writing this article. He celebrates the fact that I like to walk at a fast pace, and I celebrate and encourage him to walk to the beat of HIS drum.

We both love spending time out in nature, movement and being together, so each time we walk, we do indeed always start and end our journey TOGETHER. Here’s what we do:

Even when I walk or run on ahead, I still loop back to visit with him as I refuel or… to simply steal a quick butt grab! Yet, there are also times when it DOES feel natural and good for him to join me at a faster pace (at times, he even challenges me to go faster! And there are also times when I’m inclined to enjoy a more leisurely stroll and relaxed conversation with my sweetheart.

None of this is ever forced. No one need compromise what feels good or right. We each do our best to follow the natural cues of our bodies, minds and spirits and always know that if we choose something different from the other in the moment all is still truly well.

Yes, there are times when that pesky old paradigm sneaks in. And when we slip into “compromise” mode, it truly feels as if there has been a “disturbance in the force,” resulting in a palpable drop in our energy, vibe and flow.

But the moment we remember that we are BOTH allowed and encouraged to follow and express what feels authentic and best, and ask how we can complement each others experience, we feel an immediate lift on every level.

We are NOT perfect human beings. We still get stressed, tired and “hangry.” We have different opinions and preferences about certain subjects at certain times. We have faced major life changes and challenges on every front. But because our core connection is based around our desire to enhance the life experience of the other—while still feeling free to be who we are as individuals and heed the guidance coming from within—the peace, passion, love, friendship, and respect we feel for and with each other is beyond anything we both thought to be possible at one time…

…And it has come WITHOUT compromise.

The Bottom Line: A New Relationship Paradigm
John and I are but one combination of people in a vast sea of humanity, and we know for sure there are others like us—whether romantic partners, friends, family members or teams/organizations—who have witnessed the power of complement over compromise. And I, for one, feel that if more people allowed themselves (and each other) to enjoy this kind of connection—a beautiful merging of love and freedom to BE—an evolution revolution of the highest order could transform humanity in astonishing ways, with far-reaching implications that could heal families, communities, organizations and even nations.

Imagine what relationships—and LIFE—could look like if more people chose to live and express from a place of true authenticity and actively followed their inner compass to realize their purpose, while maintaining and increasing health and well-being?

Imagine what could happen if more people were to step out into the world seeking to add to each other’s lives and build bridges based on common ground, rather than eek out fleeting happiness and temporary moments of peace through condemning and controlling the behavior of others, setting limitations and participating in continual compromise?

What if YOU (and someone you love) could serve as living examples of this new paradigm in action for the benefit of many?

I once thought that this was but a wild fantasy in my own life, yet here I stand 20 years on the road, still deeply in love with my husband and able to completely be ME: And after all these years…

…I still feel the need for speed. He still prefers to walk at a more moderate pace. Yet, somehow, we still manage to enjoy BEING…


Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann,“Your catalyst for all things Fab-YOU-lous,” is the author of Allowing Your Success!, a proud contributing author of Transform Your Life! book one and two, a professional Keynote Speaker/Workshop Facilitator, Singer-Songwriter/Recording Artist, “Allowing Adventures!” & “Savor Vacation” Facilitator, and true Renaissance Woman, and Visionary. She keeps her fire lit by embracing and promoting a lifestyle of “Allowing,” and by using creative expression to elevate and ignite the human spirit, a passion that she shares with her husband, soul-mate and creative partner of over 15 years, John Victor Hartmann. Together they share “Allowing TRUE LOVE” workshops and experiences designed to help others attract, allow, and maintain extraordinary relationships, and create custom jingles and voice-overs in their studio, THE Creativity Express. Visit:

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