23 Tried And True Ways To Deal With An Indecisive Partner

Last updated on November 10, 2022 by Michelle Devani

If you have a partner who has trouble deciding on anything, there may be some self-doubt happening there, but you really do need to know the tried and true ways to deal with an indecisive partner. While this may just be a slightly annoying habit to you, in the long run, the time, an indecisive partner takes to make a decision may cause you to question things!

I would not suggest playing too many mind games on your loved ones, as this may just be the way they are going to be, but you could set some ground rules to what you will and will not put up with - in your relationship. Start training your partner on ways to make decisions if this has become a difficult topic for the two of you and is affecting your relationship in a negative way.

While I’m certainly not a big fan of making decisions (it takes up too much brainpower), I do usually make the decisions in my relationship because my man will just decide for me if I say I do not know. He knows that by making up his mind, I will automatically make a decision at that point in time. It works beautifully for our relationship, but everyone is different!

Top 23 Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner

Making sure your relationship is healthy and functioning well is an important thing to do. You must encourage your partner in the areas of his or her weakness. The most common arguments in relationships happen because people misunderstand one another. They hope that we are all mind readers, but short messages stating cryptic clues are probably not really going to work!

When you have to deal with an indecisive person in your relationship, you may want to give them as many viable options as you can so that they can make an informed decision when deciding whatever it may be. If the issue is something trivial, like where you will eat dinner at, you might want to make the decision for them. There’s no big wrong way to go about it, really.

As long as you are working toward a healthy relationship, you are going in the right direction. You just need to be a team with your partner. To do this, you’ll need to think of ways to help your partner with their indecisive nature. You can do this by being an encouraging and patient person. Don’t be controlling or forceful about the issue, or you’ll scare them off!

1. Tell them that indecision is a decision

Really, when you don’t make a choice, you are making one. If you cannot choose between eating out or cooking a homemade meal, you will likely end up eating at home, which is a choice by default. Indecision is a choice, so let your partner know how this is affecting your relationship and what you believe to be true about indecisiveness.

Your partner may realize how intelligent you are for coming up with this insight, and the secret is that you can say it came from you! Steal the idea and let them know you’d prefer it if they’d start making more decisions in the relationship rather than letting things just sit - undecided. Explain how that makes you feel (afraid, uneasy, annoyed, etc.).

2. Ask them to trust their gut

ask them to trust their gut

Sometimes, you just need to remind your partner that their intuition is usually right (even if that is not the case in most circumstances). If you help them feel more confident about their ability to make decisions, you have a greater chance of them making decisions in the future. They will soon be able to look at a choice and make the right one - fast!

3. Explain the attractiveness of assertiveness

Often, we just need to be reminded of how attractive assertiveness really is. When your partner makes a wise decision or takes a chance and steps out on their own, you should reward them with compliments!

4. Do the good old coin toss!

There will be moments when the best course of action in your relationship is just flipping a coin. It may not make your relationship more romantic, but you will be showing your partner that you know in their heart, they are biased one way or the other. As the coin is in the air, ask them which way they are secretly rooting for! They’ll have an opinion then!

5. Give them time to decide

Sometimes, you just need to have a little patience. Realize that your relationship is unique with this individual. Maybe he or she has this particular flaw but many other great attributes. As you practice patience and understanding with your partner, be sure to count the blessings you have with this person. What good have they brought you?

If you think about their strengths, you will be less likely to judge them at this time. Just give them any time that they ask for or seem to need to make the decision at hand. Being understanding will help your relationship. 

6. Ask questions

If you ask the right questions, you are likely going to get them thinking in the right direction. Ask them one of the following questions to get the creative juices flowing.

  • How does this make you feel?
  • What are the pros?
  • What are the cons?
  • What will happen if you don’t make up your mind?
  • Why is this so difficult for you?
  • What is causing you to have hesitations?
  • What is the worst that could happen?

7. Give them space to think things over

We mentioned giving your partner time to think things over, but have you thought about letting them sit with it. Maybe go for a walk or hit the mall to do some shopping. Whatever you decide to do - just give them space to have plenty of room for their thoughts and creative thinking process.

8. Take control, and make the decisions for them

My man said that I have trouble making decisions, so I asked him what he does when I’m having trouble in this area. He said that he typically would just make the decision for me. He said it’s often easier to just do it quickly than to wait on me to hash out every possible outcome. People are just built differently, in my opinion.

9. Try writing about it

Writing is an excellent way to get creative juices flowing. Tell your partner that you’d like to help them with this problem and that you want them to free-write for 15 minutes. Just allow them a few minutes to think about what they have to decide over. 

Tell them to write out their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Get it all out on paper! This will make them feel freer!

10. Build their confidence in the relationship

build their confidence in the relationship

Let your partner know that you do not consider this to be a reason to break up but that it is an issue. If you secure their confidence in your relationship, they will be more sure of themselves when making decisions in the future. It’s a great thing - to be a part of the increase in someone’s self-worth or self-esteem!

11. Try the 40-70% rule

This rule states that if you do not have at least 40% of the knowledge needed to make this decision, you shouldn’t make it. If you wait until you have more than 70% of the knowledge needed to make the decision, the opportunity will pass you by. This means that between 40% and 70% is your sweet spot! Give it a try the next time you are stuck.

12. Take a break from the relationship

I often recommend a 3-month break because that amount of time gives you long enough to miss the person (if you are going to miss them) but enough time to work on yourself and the issues that are affecting the relationship. If indecisiveness is a problem for your partner, you might want to consider a break for about three months.

13. Have them weigh the pros and the cons

Have your partner list out the pros and cons of the choice to you. As they think up every possible option, they will likely think of some things that they’d never thought of before. This new information may help them make a clearer decision or clarify which way they were leaning.

14. Ask someone else to decide

Sometimes, you need to get an outside point of view. You might want to involve a third party in this decision if it is tearing the two of you apart. It doesn’t hurt to ask another wise soul what their take is on the subject. Give it a try!

15. Create a deadline

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your partner is to give them boundaries, specifically a deadline to make this decision. If they are forced to decide by a certain date, it may be an easier choice for them. 

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16. Make a decision matrix

A decision matrix is similar to a list of pros and cons, but you assign a weight to each pro and each con. This will help you determine which way you were truly leaning. You can make two lists of pros and cons, too. One for making the decision and one for not. As you put a weight (a number) beside each item on the list, you will assign value.

Now you have a list of reasons for the item and against it. You’ve actually made two lists, too. You have one for making the decision and one for not doing it. This will help your partner see that there are results of not taking action, the same as there are results for taking action. Once you do the math, everything will be seen clearly

17. Talk to someone you trust about your relationship

If you don’t have family or friends that you trust to discuss your relationship, consider talking to a couples therapist or someone who specializes in family counseling. They may have the right tools and techniques for you to suggest to your partner given this situation. They may also know of solutions not mentioned in this article!

18. Try some exercise

When facing a tough choice or when having trouble making up one’s mind, it is suggested that you get some exercise to activate the “diffuse” mode that your brain has. This will help your partner see things with more focus and clarity, so break out the sweats and Fitbit and get to walking, or consider making love!

19. Trust your opinion

If you trust your own judgment, explain to your partner that they are having trouble making up their mind, and you are here to help.

20. Ask what their first instinct was

Often, our first instinct is the right one. Just ask your partner what his or her gut tells them to do, which decision seems the best, and what they believe to be true given all circumstances.

21. Show patience

show patience

When dealing with an indecisive partner, the best thing you can do is to remain hopeful, patient, and understanding. Realize that this will not be an easy task for them. Try to realize that you are not perfect either, and they have accepted trade-offs to be with you. Remember to count your many blessings!

22. Decide if you can continue this in the long run

If you’ve tried even half of the items on this list, you are probably exhausted and sick of thinking about the things your partner was having trouble deciding upon. Is this going to work in the long run? Can you be with someone who cannot make up his or her mind? Will this forever cause you stress? It may be time to cut ties if you cannot handle this.

23. Decide that you will not make the decision and force their hand

One final suggestion is for you to just not make the decision and allow them to do so out of default. Let them determine the best course of action based on the information available. If you do not bail them out of this one, they will have to learn how to make decisions on their own. This is good for them, and it’s great for you, as well!

FAQs

How do you live with an indecisive partner?

Don’t give too much leeway when it comes to your partner’s indecisiveness. Although there is a huge possibility that the underlying cause of indecision could be something minute, you should make sure they aren’t playing the relationship card - dangling that in front of you in order to get you to make decisions.

How do you deal with an indecisive person?

If the red flags are there, telling you that breaking up with them is the right decision, then you can end the relationship - unless you like making choices all the time. You should understand indecisiveness is a common trait in relationships. It’s important you are on the same page!

What does it mean when a man is indecisive?

An indecisive man is a guy who cannot make up his mind. Indecisive guys might have trouble making commitments to their girls because that requires a huge decision on their part. An indecisive guy may make you feel like you do not have a firm grasp on the relationship.

Is it normal to be indecisive about a relationship?

There are many indecisive men out there who are scared of commitment. When dealing with an indecisive partner, you should realize they have a hard time deciding on anything! Let them know that everyone’s decision matters but that you care more about what they think.

What causes the inability to make decisions?

The fear of making the wrong one can cause people to doubt their ability to make their own final decision. Instead, they will throw out every right and wrong viable option. Viable options mean they are possible choices. Just don’t try to control or force your partner to make choices; encourage them instead.

To Sum It All Up

Dealing with an indecisive partner can make you feel bad because you wonder if you are making the right choice. It’s hard to have patience if you have to make a quick decision, too! Do you have to deal with an indecisive partner? Tell all in the comments!

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

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