“Sweetheart. Where would you like to go to dinner this evening?”
“Oh, I don’t care. Anywhere you choose is fine by me.”
“Sweetie. I’d like to eat some place you’d enjoy.”
“Anywhere you’d like works for me.”
Ever had this conversation?
Do you see the difficulty this can cause the questioner?
It leaves the person asking in the difficult position – walking a minefield. And landmines are dangerous because you don’t know you’ve kick one until it explodes. Not healthy for the questioner or the relationship.
The person posing the question must:
- Divine where the other person would enjoy going;
- Make a choice, based on the presumptive mind-reading made above;
- Presume the selection is correct;
- Accept the consequences if incorrect.
The person asked can resent the choice the questioner makes. The resulting silent seething sometimes starts shattering the structure of the relationship, no matter how romantic the choice made by the questioner.
To prevent this situation from damaging your relationship and removing the possibility for romance, I’d like to suggest the following.
If you’re the one asked:
State any preference you might have – even if it’s not a strong preference.
If you usually let the other person make the choice, make a suggestion sometimes, even if you don’t have a preference. Take the above stated pressure off the questioner, reducing the stress that they must continually choose.
If you’re the questioner:
State any preference you might have. Phrase the query like:
“Sweetheart, I’d like to go to Robert’s Romantic Rendezvous for dinner this evening and I’m open to your suggestions. Do you have a place you’d like to go?”
This provides your sweetheart with a safe environment to make a suggestion and an opportunity to negotiate a win-win.
A great romance requires a great relationship.
And a great relationship requires two people contributing their differences to make the relationship greater than the sum of the parts.
Here’s to Keeping Romance Alive, Robert