I’d always believed that relationships impose a constraint on an individual’s independence and freedom, as decisions would include the preferences of two people instead of one. The optimum for aggregated preferences would be further from an optimum based only on your own constraints.
But then there’s the paradox of choice – in a nutshell, that counter to mainstream econ beliefs, more choice isn’t always better. In fact, more choice could be costly. Which means that limiting choice by way of internalising (or, at least, accounting for) another individual’s preferences could actually be a good thing, because it’s less of a headache to make decisions, as certain options are immediately ruled out.
In sum, compromise in a world of imperfect information and finite cognitive capacity with which to optimise situaitons is… utility maximising/increasing?!