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15 Firm Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner

indecisive partner

Sometimes, you wonder why you can never decide on something and then realize that it’s not you – it’s your partner. Here’s how you can deal with it.

Indecisiveness is a common trait among many people. But little did we know that there is an underlying cause to this slightly annoying habit.

What makes people indecisive?

To actually understand indecisiveness, you need to remember that people who are indecisive are not really interested in their own final decision. They are more concerned about who is involved in the outcome of their decision.

They are experiencing inner passivity which is borne out of a misguided idea that they are weak and helpless. They are deciding without really believing in their own authority.

No matter what decision they make, the choice is usually based on the perception of the person or people who are involved.

They can’t make a quick decision because they don’t want to be blamed for failing to make the right one. Even if that’s not the case, they’re still reluctant to do so in case they make the wrong one for themselves.

Shallow or not, the reasons for indecisiveness are borne out of self-doubt. No matter which choice a person ends up making, there is a huge possibility that they will not be happy about it, unless the person they’re with assures them that it is.

How does this affect your relationship?

When you hear about it from other people, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But from the perspective of the one who’s experiencing this with an indecisive partner, it can be quite taxing.

The most common arguments you’ll hear from couples is where they’re deciding to eat. It’s even the butt of many, many memes online. [Read: 18 relationship turns offs that can ruin your romance]

It does not necessarily cause breakups, but it can annoy people and can even be the cause of fighting, or worse, the dreaded silent treatment. When this happens frequently, there is a chance that it can affect the whole dynamic of your relationship.

When making huge decisions about your relationship, taking too much time can allow for other developments too, and not all of them are positive.

For example, if you take too long to answer a marriage proposal or make the proposal, you’re screwed. But when it comes to decisions like where or when to move in together, it can cause tangible repercussions like real estate price surges.

If you find yourself in the receiving end of your partner’s indecisiveness, you have to be prepared for the consequences. Aside from that, you need to take responsibility as the person who can help them with it. [Read: 12 easy steps to change your life and find your happiness]

How do you deal with your indecisive partner?

There are a lot of things that your partner can be indecisive about. Serious or not, you will have to deal with this. Why? For one thing, you care enough about this person to want the best for them. Here’s how.

#1 Plan B, C, D and so forth. If your partner can’t decide on Plan A, it’s your job to give them as many viable options as possible. Make sure that you’re always ready to help them, so it would help to study up on the things that they have trouble deciding with – even when it’s about your relationship. [Read: 12 things happy couples talk about to understand each other better]

#2 Put your foot down. When your partner can’t decide on their own, it’s time to call in your “Relationship Card.” You are now a unit, which means that your decision matters just as much as theirs. If you are allowed to make the decision – because some can only be made by your partner – you should show your assertiveness and just do what needs to be done.

#3 Find your center. If you are not in a position to make a decision for your partner, it’s best that you just step aside and take a breather. Dealing with an indecisive partner takes a lot of patience. If you have very little of that, you better start training yourself to have more.

#4 Think outside the box. Your partner may be having doubts about their decision because they have a firm grasp of what the outcome may be. You can help your partner by offering options that they aren’t familiar with. An example would be choosing to move in to a place they don’t know about, but is just as safe and beautiful as your other options.

#5 Be a little selfish. Giving your partner too much leeway can be disadvantageous sometimes. This is where you can draw the line and tell them that what you want should matter as well. Don’t force your decision on them, but do explain that it would make you happy to decide for both of you. If they don’t agree with you, return to #1. [Read: 12 signs you’re being overly selfish in your relationship]

#6 Don’t be afraid to use mind games. This is not about manipulation. Think of it as stimulating your partner’s mind in order to help them decide faster. The most popular one is the game where you make a person choose between two random choices rapidly until you surprise them with the important question and they end up answering with the first thing that comes to their mind. You can find other ways too, to help them make decisions faster, based on their subconscious thought processes.

#7 Use their gut. Studies have shown that our instincts are more effective than relying on calculated decisions. It’s pretty easy to use your instincts, since there are only two ways to go about it. If you feel good about your decision, just go with it. If it makes you doubt yourself or makes you feel bad, leave it alone. Explain this to your partner and tell them whichever feels less stressful is the right one at the time.

#8 Let the chips fall where they may. You cannot change a person, but you can help guide them to become better at the things that make them weak. In cases like these, it is best to be there as much as possible for your partner. But there is a limit. Know when to give up and just be there for your partner. You never know, they might experience something along the way that can help them improve. [Read: 7 reasons why empathy is so important in a relationship]

Things to remember…

An indecisive partner is likely to be disagreeable most of the time. This can make it difficult for you to help them become less indecisive. They might get stressed out when you push them too hard and they might resent you for trying to control how they feel about their decisions.

In situations like that, you have to be vigilant. This is especially true if your partner’s indecisiveness is starting to affect your relationship in a negative way.

#1 You must surrender all control. Your job is to guide your partner. Once your end of the bargain has been executed, you just have to stand back and let your partner deal with this new information. Whether or not they change for the better is ultimately up to them. Don’t be a control freak when it comes to your partner’s decisions! [Read: 20 glaring signs you have a control freak in you]

#2 Do not fall for their puppy dog eyes. This might have been going on for a while, which means your partner is not the only one to blame. If you’ve been enabling them to the point that their indecisiveness has become an issue, it’s time to change and be strong enough to ignore their pouting.

#3 Use the silent treatment. If your partner refuses to change their ways, not humoring them might just do the trick. Ignore the fact that they’re taking too long to decide and do things on your own without them. Soon enough, they will see that they’re missing out on so many things because they can’t decide quickly on the things that really matter. [Read: How to use the silent treatment in a way that it helps your relationship]

#4 Help them understand why this is necessary. Helping your partner is only possible if they know what’s up. You need to tell them about their problem and how it’s affecting your relationship. Show them how this process will be beneficial for you both. When they have all the information, they’re more likely to agree that working on their indecisiveness is a good idea.

#5 Don’t apologize for trying to help them. They may get mad at you and try to argue that you’re not accepting of their flaws. The truth is that some flaws are completely unacceptable, especially when it’s doing more harm than good. With that being said, you’re doing what you think is best for your relationship. Do not apologize because doing so will just put you back in square one.

Don’t mistake indecisiveness as a personality disorder. There are extreme cases, but that can hardly be said for someone who just isn’t confident about how they decide things. Instead, treat this like you would any obstacle in your relationship. Discuss it, work on it together and do your best to solve the issue with your partner.

[Read: 16 silly bad habits that can hurt your relationship in no time]

Dealing with an indecisive partner isn’t easy, and it can even be frustrating. But with a little patience and effort using these tips here, you can change their life, and your relationship for the better in no time.

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Danielle Anne
Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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DISCUSSION

5 thoughts on “15 Firm Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner”

  1. sistersister4 says:

    Come on now decision making and a relationship are hard to navigate and deciding on date night with an especially indecisive partner requires mastery of mental and physical tactics. Using coercive physical attributes is a definite necessity. So eyes, hands, and upper torso are put to work in guiding them to make a decision which might be coming around to the decision I already have. Every once in a while though just go with the flow of what decision they make and encourage them and that may become a trend.

  2. Jenny says:

    Although I agree with the majority of the article, I don’t think you should surrender all control, ever. Considering the fact that your partner is indecisive, giving away all control and letting them make all the decisions is a very bad idea if you ask me. Imagine having to wait for your boyfriend to decide where you’re going to eat when he’s so indecisive that he spent like half an hour picking out the right shirt for your date.

    You have to remember that you’re in a relationship, all of the decisions should be made together. If your partner is indecisive you’re there to help him decide because in a way, a relationship is a team sport. If you both work together on making the right decision, however small it may be, you won’t have any problems.

  3. Susan says:

    I actually tried to apply some of the info here and started by putting my foot down. I was growing tired of feeling like just another option to him. Even though we’ve been dating for about six months, he was still openly talking to other women who have reportedly shared equally long terms with him. I don’t think he knew how I felt, but playing that

  4. brave heart says:

    Being indecisive doesn’t mean that a person can’t properly decide or can’t decide at all. It is a weakness and I can relate to that. Why I can’t decide immediately is because I always consider what might be the outcome if I do this or do that. I am also afraid to be blamed if things don’t work out positively. I am afraid to fail and that’s what compelled me to be passive and reluctant to make any decision. I am thankful that my partner knew how to deal with me. From the start of our relationship until we get married, he used different approaches just to help me with my indecisiveness. He teaches me that it’s alright to make failure sometimes. When we go out to eat, at first I will let him decide everything but he taught me to choose what I want notwithstanding what he wants. Laying down his foot and occasionally giving me the control help me to be confident and make me brave to make decisions. I am still learning and my partner is very supportive to me. Indecisive ones out there, let’s come out from our shell and face the world.

  5. Lila says:

    Reading this actually turned back the hands of the clock for me and once again made me relive the moments when my boyfriend was so indecisive that I was almost going to dump him. Having a partner who is indecisive can be the worst thing in a relationship ever. I was telling him to go to the movies or the theater and he’d say okay and then change his mind and we spent hours deciding where we should go to picnic. However, I’m a very patient person by nature (thank God for that) and I was always doing the first mentioned point. Now we are all okay 🙂

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