When you’re in a relationship, the simple act of making life decisions becomes more complicated and that’s as it should be. Your choices no longer affect just you, so it makes sense to bring your partner in on the conversation more often than not. Some decisions should still be considered yours to make on your own though (and vice versa for your partner).
It’s important to keep your partner in the loop and include them, so even personal decisions should probably at least be discussed. Large decisions about where you’ll live or whether to buy a house together should always be considered joint decisions. However, you should always get the final say in more personal decisions. The following are some great examples.
What You Do for a Living
If you’re like most people, you want your partner’s input when it comes to your future career, but at the end of the day, it’s ultimately your call. It’s not just a money issue either, although income is important. Only you can say for sure whether you’re passionate enough about something to do it for the rest of your life.
You’re also the only one who can determine whether a particular job field is compatible with everything else you want for your life. Are the hours you’ll be expected to work really for you? What about the other job requirements? A partner can be a great help when it comes to figuring those things out, but the final call should be yours to make.
When You Have Sex
When you decide to be in a sexual relationship with another person, it makes sense that they’ll want sex fairly regularly. It’s also fine to indulge your partner occasionally if they’re really in the mood, but you’re less enthused. What isn’t fine is for your partner to ever make you feel like you don’t have the right to say no.
You’re the one who gets the final call when it comes to your body. If you don’t want to have sex or engage in something specific, it’s your call and your partner should respect that. If you and your partner find you disagree on the ideal frequency for your sex life, it may be time to initiate a more in-depth decision.
Whether You’re on Birth Control
Whether or not the two of you have children right now (or ever) is a mutual decision you and your partner make together. However, whether you’re on oral birth control is a personal decision about your body that you deserve the final call on.
Oral birth control doesn’t agree with every woman or every system, so there are lots of reasons why someone might not want to be on it. The opposite is also true. Many women far prefer the freedom and peace of mind taking oral contraceptives brings to the table as compared to the alternatives. Your partner does not have the right to decide for you either way.
Who Your Friends Are
While it’s great when your friends and your partner get along famously and like one another, that might not always be the case. Unless a particular friendship is somehow affecting your relationship, it’s up to you and you alone who you hang out with and include in your social circle. Your partner doesn’t get to decide otherwise because they don’t like them or approve of something specific about them.
Yes, you should listen to your partner if they express concern about a friend who’s maybe hurting you or taking advantage of you. Yes, you should value their opinion and be respectful of your partner’s feelings when being firm about boundaries. No, you shouldn’t give them the final call on your friendships just because it’s easier. Friendships are important and personal, so decisions about them should be personal too.
How You Look
Looks may be only skin deep, but that doesn’t make them unimportant. How you choose to dress, and look is part of how you express your identity to the rest of the world, so it makes sense that it’s personal to you on many levels.
That said, your looks are your own. It’s fine to take your partner’s likes and dislikes into consideration when styling yourself or making decisions about body modifications like tattoos or piercings. It’s not fine for them to make demands or try to decide for you how you’re allowed to look, how you’ll wear your hair, and so forth. Again, it’s your body, so it’s your call.
Being in a relationship frequently means putting your heads together and coming up with a compromise. Healthy relationships are between two individuals who are comfortable making their own decisions though. What decisions do you share with your partner versus make on your own?