Changing Relationships: “Help! My Partner Wants to Try…”

Nervous woman peeking out from hands over face

Changes can be good or bad. When it comes to relationships, changes are only good if you and your partner are on the same page. It’s so important to be together in mind about a big change especially if the change involves something completely new. It can be scary to throw a new element into your relationship.

Let’s say your partner wants to try something new, but you’re not sure about it. Should you just tell your partner no? Well, that honestly depends on the situation and how opposed you are to it. We’ve looked at some common scenarios below for you to check out. Most proposed changes can be placed in one of the following categories, but it’s not always that clean cut. If none of these matches your situation, check out the section titled “General Advice”. There are some specific things to think about when it comes to your partner expressing interest in the new and unknown.

Woman sadly thinking

Something Weird in the Bedroom

Listen, when it comes to the bedroom we’re not all wild animals. Some of us prefer things to be a bit more vanilla, a bit more stable. When a partner throws an unconventional move or suggestion into the mix, it can throw us off completely. This area can be the hardest to try new things in because frankly, it can feel embarrassing. Even with our partners, we can feel shy. It’s hard to be open to looking silly or failing at something new. Explain this fear to your partner and talk with them about it. Decide whether you’re ever going to be willing to explore in this area. This topic is a bit more decisive because most people have very particular tastes. If you feel completely uncomfortable with the suggested change and you know you’ll never be into it, then let your partner know right away.

A Crazy Stunt

Let’s say you partner is the most predictable person you know. They’re hard-working, dependable, and they like to eat the same things every day. Then bam! Out of nowhere they want to try bungee jumping or climb Mt Everest. Their desire has thrown you completely off balance. Worst part is, they want you to do it with them. What is your gut reaction? Are you terrified, but a little excited over the thought of trying this new thing? Communicate your fears with them and figure out logistics. You might feel better about a crazy stunt if you knew there was a concrete plan and idea of how you’d go about it. If you’re still not into it, you just have to decide if you can handle your partner doing it alone. Suggest a less intimidating, but still thrilling, alternative and see if they go for it.

Man happily eating a salad

Diet Overhaul

Your partner has just informed you they’ll no longer be eating dairy, meat, processed foods of any kind, or bread. What will they be eating? Air? First, remind yourself how much you love your partner. Food differences can really drive couples crazy. Sit your partner down and explain to them that no matter how much you love them, you just can’t give up meat. Your partner needs to understand that your food needs and desires could be very different than theirs. Let them know you think it’s great they’re trying to be healthier and maybe meet them halfway: eating some of their healthy meals with them and having some of your own.

Let’s Have a Baby

Your partner wants to try something new: parenthood. You don’t know if you’re as ready as they are. What should you do? Well first, have you ever had this talk before? Maybe you don’t want kids at all and they’ve suddenly decided they do. Figure out whether this is a deal breaker. When it comes to this kind of suggestion, it’s important to know exactly where you both stand and where you’re willing to compromise. Maybe you’d be okay with kids in a few years, but not now. Ask them if they’re willing to wait a little while longer.

Woman sitting outside with hands clasped together

General Advice

Pretty much any suggestion can be discussed and communicated about. Honesty is the best policy with your partner even if you’re afraid it’ll hurt their feelings. They need to know how you feel. Figure out exactly how you feel about their desire. Give yourself time to do this and let them know you’re taking a bit to decide. Once you know how against or for their suggestion you are, you can decide where you stand. Are you completely against whatever it is or are you at least willing to try it? If you’re leaning towards no, is it something your partner could do by themselves? There’s no shame in having separate interests in a relationship, just be sure to have clear boundaries around the change. Again, communication is key when it comes to anything new. Maybe even try to communicate around why they’re desiring this change in the first place. Is it really about the change itself or something else that can be addressed? Once you know all the details, then you have a better chance at getting an outcome you can both be happy about.

Hopefully you’ve gained some useful advice here. The first thing you need to do is try not to panic even if their proposal freaks you out. You and your partner are still meant for each other even though they want to be vegan and you love meat. We’re all different and want different things. It’s actually a good sign that your partner is opening up to you about their desires. They must feel safe enough with you to really express their feelings. So, although you may hate the suggested change, just do your best to keep the balance. Know yourself, but keep an open mind too!

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