Being in a serious relationship means that you’re now deciding as one with your partner. But what types of decisions should you have a larger say in?
There are a lot of things that couples decide together. Most of it revolves around living arrangements and relationship issues.
Some things, however, should be decided on individually. These are the decisions that affect you—or your body—more than your partner.
Sometimes, we have to think more about ourselves than the ones we love. I know it’s hard to swallow, but sometimes prioritizing your needs can work out best for everyone involved.
When should partners decide together?
Partners should run every decision by each other. You can agree on something together, but you might disagree on some things, as well.
Luckily for you, there’s a thing called compromise, and all couples would do well to add that to their relationship vocabulary.
As a couple, you need to make huge decisions about where you will live, how much time you’re going to spend on work and each other, and how much time you should spend on yourselves.
Apart from that, there are also decisions that have to be made about money, career choices, and your other relationships with family, colleagues, and friends.
But that’s not to say that these decisions can be made together, without any problems. Sometimes, you won’t see eye to eye, and that’s where you have to draw the line in determining who gets to decide.
Who holds the reins in the decision?
Some might say that the dominant entity in a relationship makes all the decisions. But that’s hardly the case in this modern day and age. You and your partner should decide on most things together—especially on the issues that affect both of you significantly.
When you and your partner disagree, one of you will win. However, when someone doesn’t get their way, some friction might develop between you two, which could stem from resentment or anger.
That’s why you need to agree, or risk ruining your trust in each other. But what happens when the decision can’t be made together?
Decisions your partner can’t make for you
#1 Using birth control. This is one of the biggest issues that couples face today. There is a lot of pressure placed on using birth control. Studies show that oral contraception is risky, while statistics show that men *in relationships* are not happy about using condoms. Using birth control is an individual’s right. This is something that should not be dictated by your partner. Whether you want to use it or not isn’t the issue; the problem is when your partner takes away those choices from you.
#2 Having kids. This is an even bigger issue, because having a child is no easy or simple feat. It affects both of you, which means that there can be no compromise on the matter. Some people don’t want kids because they’re not ready yet, or they can never resolve themselves to the idea. Some want kids so badly, they’d do anything to conceive. Unfortunately, no matter how much you want a child, your partner has to agree with you.
#3 Which career you should choose. Some couples think that it’s okay to influence their partner’s choice of career, but that shouldn’t be the case. A person chooses a career for different reasons, but whether it’s about money, passion, or convenience, the person who’s going to work should always be the one to decide. A partner’s role is to be there to guide and support them.
#4 Whether or not to accept a promotion. Promotions can mean a lot of things, like longer work hours, traveling out of town, or even getting relocated permanently. It can drastically affect your relationship dynamic, but only one person can determine whether the sacrifice is worth it or not. Relationships usually come out as the top priority, but looking at the bigger picture can change that.
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#5 Getting body modifications. Whether it’s a tattoo, plastic surgery, or even a tiny piercing, the choice to make a permanent change on your body is yours alone. Your partner can give their input and make their case against it, but it’s your decision, in the end. Remember: it’s your body.
#6 What to spend your money on. If you are married without a prenup, you are legally sharing each other’s money. But you still earned part of that share, and you have the right to spend it on whatever you want. Even if you aren’t married, you and your partner may have decided to share your expenses, which means they have a say in what you spend together. Still, once you’ve set aside your share, you can do whatever you want with the money left. You can ask your partner for advice on how to spend it, but it’s ultimately your decision.
#7 Who you should be friends with. If your friendships aren’t affecting your relationship, there is no need for your partner to choose your friends for you. The only time they’re allowed to step in is when your friends are taking advantage of you or hurting you. Apart from that, they cannot decide who you should be friends with, based on social status or appearances. If they simply don’t like your friends, you can always engage with them separately.
#8 When to have S3x. If you and your partner agreed to have a S3xual relationship, it’s understandable that they would want to do it regularly. Sometimes, however, you won’t want to have S3x and your partner should accept that. Forcing, manipulating, or guilting you into having S3x is tantamount to rape.
It’s your body, and you have the right to decide how and when to use it. If the frequency of S3x *whether it’s too often or too infrequent* is raising alarm bells, you should discuss this with your partner.
#9 When to get married. Although some people might claim that getting married isn’t such a big deal, it still is for a lot of people. You are legally binding yourself to one person for the rest of your life *or until a judge allows you to separate*. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly, which means that you and your partner must decide on it separately, before you can agree to it together.
#10 When to say “I love you.” It seems like an unimportant issue, but it has a heavy connotation. Love should not be taken lightly. It is a huge emotional investment, and you can’t force your partner to say it, especially when they’re not sure yet. Your partner obviously likes you, but it takes time for some people to fall in love. When the feeling arrives, your partner will say those three words. If that moment never comes, you must be mature enough to respect it or be self-aware enough to accept that it’s not going to happen.
How to talk to your partner about your decisions
The best way to decide on something together is to set aside some time to discuss everything that you need to tackle. You can decide on the things we mentioned above on your own, but you should always run it by your partner, anyway.
Everything that happens in your life affects both of you, but some decisions are yours alone. You just have to share it with your partner first. You need to hear each other out before making any drastic decisions. This way, you’ll know how the other feels and can make your decisions honestly and clearly.