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What to Do When You Want Different Things

Written on March 27th

March 2018

Whether it’s where to live, whether or not to have a(nother) kid, where to go to eat, or whether or not to bring a pet into the house, it can be a painful experience when your beloved shoots down your idea, says “no” to what you really want, or simply doesn’t share your excitement about something.

It can also feel confusing and bring up big questions about your relationship:

Does this mean we aren’t compatible?

Will we have to break-up in order to both get our needs met?

Do I have to choose between what feels right in my heart and my partner?

If you can relate to the pain and confusion of wanting something different from your beloved, we’re hopeful these 3 key tips will give you guidance and bring some relief.

Couple going in different directions


It can be painfully disappointing and disconnecting when you excitedly or nervously pitch an idea to your beloved — only to hear a hard “no.”

This kind of finality and dead-end-response is a power move (i.e. the one doing it unfairly takes all the power), and it’s not sustainable when it comes to the long-term health and happiness of your union. In fact, if one of you feels like you are losing yourself or feels controlled or dominated, you will likely (and sometimes unconsciously) step back from the relationship just to ensure you stay connected to yourself.

So, instead of just saying NO, try this…

“That doesn’t exactly work for me, but how about…”

Keep going back and forth, hearing and appreciating each other’s ideas (this is key) and constantly offering new creative solutions until you land on one that works for both of you.

Make sure you don’t just keep offering the same thing over and over again. Keep offering new ideas, and think outside the box. Be teammates who are working together to find some clever way for both of you to get your needs met.

Go in with curiosity and opennessnot to prove to your beloved how your wants and needs are superior. Be willing and generous when it comes to the things of utmost importance to your beloved.

At first glance, we often only see choice A or B, and we think the two simply cannot coexist. However, during this process, possibilities open up that you can’t even imagine right now!

Happy loving couple having fun lying on a wheat field and dreaming together


Remember, as a kid, fantasizing about amazing adventures you wanted to take? Remember how much fun that was and how you would light up just talking about it?

Or have you ever had a conversation with a friend where you went in thinking you wanted one thing but then, after tossing it around a bit, realized it’s not actually what you want?

Many of our dreams and desires in life are simply fun or illuminating to talk about, rather than actually do. It can be so bonding just to give each other time and space to brainstorm about whatever is stirring in your hearts.

In our own relationship, we find this happens all of the time. One of us will enthusiastically bring up an idea — and, after we’ve given it a voice and played around with it a bit, we realize we don’t want it after all.

These conversations are invaluable for processing our inner worlds with each other. It feels so supportive to simply have a wide open, inviting, and accepting space to explore what’s alive for us.

On the contrary, when we humans don’t feel the freedom to express and share, our ideas get stuck inside of us and become disguised as repressed and unfulfilled dreams — rather than as possibilities we were simply meant to explore in our minds, not in the actual world.

In other words, when it feels like you disagree on what you want, make sure you’ve first given each other the freedom and permission to freely and externally process whatever you’re thinking and feeling.

This alone can help you realize that your seemingly opposed desires are closer than you initially thought.

Couple holding each other and gazing into each other's eyes


When someone wants something different from us, it’s very easy to try to convince them of our idea by making their idea seem impractical, immoral, or illogical.

Underneath your judgments, however, it reveals something deeper about what’s going on inside of you.

Rather than telling your beloved they have a bad idea, get vulnerable about your own feelings. Tell them what their idea brings up for you in a radically honest way.

Never make your beloved wrong for wanting what they want.

For example…

“I can see why you’d want that. It makes perfect sense. I guess it just brings up dread/fear/anxiety/etc. for me because…”

Share your heart. Express your personal feelings.

This keeps our defenses down and our hearts open — where we can have the real conversation around what it’s all about.

When we’re in our defenses and entrenched in our positions, we miss finding common ground and discovering the middle path that meets both of our needs.



If you’re currently navigating a delicate issue, and you’ve reached a standstill with two seemingly opposed desires, know you aren’t alone, and we’re here to help! We love going on these creative journeys and finding amazing solutions that honor you both. You can easily book a free 20-minute consultation at this link HERE.

Wishing you both a deeply fulfilling relationship where your individual dreams combine together to create something so much more beautiful, meaningful, and interesting than you could have ever imagined on your own!

Infinite Love and Joy,
Christine and Bret


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