If you’ve ever had to make a decision (no matter how big or small) with your partner, then you would know that it’s not an easy feat! Why is it such a struggle, though?
When you’re living the true bachelor-life, your decisions are solely yours. They only require your own approval and typically have minimal impact on others (or at least that’s what you’d like to think, most of the time!)
On the other end of the spectrum, when you find yourself in a committed relationship, decisions that are made require buy-in from both partners. Ultimately, most of the decisions you make do have an impact on your partner.
Decisions: Single vs. Couple
When two people start a relationship, the number of decisions that they make by themselves decreases considerably, as their respective decision circles start to overlap. This is not necessarily because all of these decisions have to be made together, but relates more to the fact that nearly all the individual decisions you make in a relationship will have an impact on your significant other.
In order to foster a healthy environment for a relationship, each partner needs to take his or her spouse into consideration when making a decision.
Of course, the degree to which both your decision circle’s overlap with one another is at your own discretion, and this differs from one couple to another.
The bottom line is that the more decisions a couple is able to successfully share, or at least know the others’ opinion on, the better things will be!
Alternatively, if one or both of the parties are making an excessive amount of autonomous decisions; then, at some point, things are going to start collapsing.
One Common Struggle with Decision-Making
For many people, the “ideal relationship” (in their head) might be one where the two circles are separate, not overlapping at all.
The problem is, though, that this kind of ideal is not compatible in a fully committed relationship.
So, oftentimes, despite a strong will to make a relationship work and find ways to improve upon things, one person may not be able to let go of their desire for ultimate freedom, choosing to end the relationship instead.
How Decision-Making Builds Connection and Trust
Luckily, this is not the fate of every relationship! There are also many couples that I have encountered who had previously been making mostly one-sided decisions, but who were able to take a step back, re-evaluate, correct their behaviour, and save the relationship!
I really can’t stress enough how important decision-making in relationships is for the overall health of the partnership. Every single decision that you, as a couple, effectively make together actually brings you closer to one another. It deepens the connection and increases the amount of trust that you have for each other. It creates a sense of reassurance that they are always putting each other’s needs on the same level – if not above – their own.
When you start operating as though your partner’s needs are your own needs, and you take responsibility for how your actions might cause them to feel, then you have reached a truly evolved and sustainable level of your relationship.
The Three Core Principles for Joint Decision-Making
So, before you get to the point where you’re ready to make all these decisions as a couple, there are three key principles that you need to embrace throughout the process if you want to successfully take action.
Number one is communication. It is vital that you understand one another’s perspective. How does your partner see things? Tap into their brain; talk to them; ask them questions! Allow them to tell you what they see and what they believe to be true. Make it known to them that you truly value their input and that it contributes greatly to the final decision and result.
Number two is respect. When it comes to your partner making his or her own personal decisions (in other words, decisions not directly relating to your relationship), you need to openly and wholeheartedly respect their choice and their judgement, giving them the freedom to succeed or fail by themselves.
And number three is trustworthiness. This applies to you making your own personal decisions – you need to consistently show your partner that you can make good decisions on your own.
As long as you stick to these three ideals, there is no doubt that your relationship will blossom and grow stronger!
The personal decisions we make determine where we find ourselves in this life. Often, it is these decisions that are the difference between success and failure. It follows that decision-making is just as important in determining where we end up in our relationships.
It’s inevitable that we are going to go through some tough times with our partner at one point or another, and when that happens, I urge you to remember this simple mantra:
“I respect your decisions, my decisions are trustworthy, and I communicate through our decisions.”
Success will follow naturally.