Dealing with Mismatched Relationship Objectives

When you meet someone new and begin a relationship with them, there’s no guarantee of a happy ending. In fact, if your expectations for the relationship differ from theirs, then things could turn sour before you know it.

The kind of mismatches I’m talking about aren’t the little things like whether or not you’re a sports fan or if you happen to like different cuisines than your partner. It’s the big issues, like whether you see kids in your future and your partner wants something less committed.

Being in a mismatched couple can cause mistrust, frustration and no small amount of mental and emotional anguish. In order for a relationship to thrive, you and your partner need to be on the same page when it comes to the important stuff. For instance, if your partner wants commitment but you’d prefer an open relationship, that’s obviously an issue. If you’d like a joint checking account and your partner would like to keep your finances separate, that’s another potential roadblock.

If you have different ideas about the really important issues, you need to discuss and address them as soon as possible. No relationship can work if you can’t compromise on these issues. You may not be able to bring your partner around on certain things, but at the very least, they (and you) need to at least respect each other’s point of view and whenever possible, come to a solution which works for both of you.

Tackling the big issues right off the bat can make it easier to arrive at a compromise – or let you know early on that you aren’t going to be able to resolve your issues. If you want to move forward, you have to be able to reach an agreement. If you can’t, then the time to end things and move on is now; some relationships just aren’t meant to work out and recognizing this early on can save everyone a lot of time and a lot of pain in the long run.

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