Relationship Advice When Your Partner Wants "More" and You're Not
By Susie and Otto Collins
Let's say that you have been dating a particular person for a period
of time and the relationship has been fun, interesting, passionate
and overall quite enjoyable. But now your partner wants more.
He or she has commented to you that it's time to take your
relationship to the "next level." Frankly, this suggestion strikes
fear and torment in you!
You really care about your partner-- you might even love him or
her-- but you don't want to make a change or go to any "next level."
This dynamic can result in a lot of confusion, misunderstanding,
hurt feelings and distance. You might see your partner as ruining a
good thing by asking for more. Your partner may feel like you are
dragging your feet and resisting a deeper commitment.
It might seem that the two of you are very far apart when it comes
to what you want for the future of your relationship. And it may
even appear that you two have to make a radical decision that could
even mean breaking up.
Is it possible for two people who seem to want such different things
to remain in a healthy and satisfying relationship? Will one of you
have to give in and let go of what you truly desire in order to stay
This is a difficult-- and common-- relationship challenge. And these
questions can be equally difficult to resolve.
Take heart if you are in such a relationship dilemma. Other people
have faced these questions and apparent disagreements and have
figured out how to stay together. You can too if that's what you
decide to do.
It is possible for your relationship to weather this kind of
obstacle as well. In fact, you might find that you two end up closer
Get clear about what you do want.
When you feel triggered and confused because your partner seems to
desire a change that you are not so sure about, it's time for some
Our first suggestion to you is to stop jumping to conclusions about
what this suggestion will mean-- or even about what your partner
might be thinking.
Focus in on what you can know for sure; this is what you DO want.
Ask yourself if you want to continue being in a relationship with
this person. Think about the agreements that you two might have made
so far and feel into yourself to see if those still feel acceptable
What are the changes you might like to make in your relationship?
Please note that we are not asking what changes you'd like your
partner to make. What would you like to be different in your
This can include your own behaviors and habits as well as the way
you and your partner interact and communicate.
Overall, how do you feel about this person? Be certain to
acknowledge all of your feelings and also what you appreciate.
Get clearer about what your partner wants.
If you want to stay in this relationship, you probably want there to
be a healthy connection between the two of you. You probably want
this disagreement about taking your relationship to the "next level"
to be resolved in a way that pleases you both.
Another step toward such a resolution is to be clearer about what
your partner wants.
When your partner asks for "more" or to move your relationship to
the "next level," this might mean something completely different
than what you guess it means.
Is he or she talking about getting married? Moving in together?
Creating a drawer or space in the bathroom of his or her house for a
few of your personal belongings?
It could mean any or none of these things.
Communicate your questions in a way that promotes openness. For
example, you might say: "When you tell me that you want more from
our relationship, what does that mean to you? Can you tell me more
about what you want?"
Your partner could then give you some specific ideas of what he or
she is talking about. Feel free to ask for time to think about what
has been requested.
Again, when you ask for time you can choose words that will
For instance, you could reply: "I appreciate you giving me more
information about what you want. I care very much about you and our
relationship and I will respond to what you are asking. Can we sit
down together tomorrow evening after I've had a
chance to process and think more about what you've said?"
Instead of making assumptions and reacting out of fear, irritation
or resistance, get a fuller picture of what you want and what your
partner wants. From there, you can more easily see the overlap
between what you both desire and choose your next direction from
If this type of change still feels overwhelming to you, you can ask
your partner to take it one decision at a time. There are almost
always options that allow you both to feel satisfied while keeping
your connection close.
Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are
Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books
on relationships, including their new e-book
Words. Other books by Susie and Otto are:
Should You Stay or Should You Go?,
More Jealousy, Creating Relationship Trust,
and Attracting Your Perfect Partner.
In addition to having a great
relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on
love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles
like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips
newsletter visit http://www.collinspartners.com