The challenges of making decisions in relationships, highlighting that decision paralysis is a common human problem. It goes through the psychology and biases that make relationship decisions difficult, offering strategies to aid decision-making. Some of the suggested strategies include slowing down thinking to become more deliberate, clarifying personal values, reframing the question, and embracing deliberate choices. The article also shares examples and insights from various experts and authors on the subject of decision-making in relationships.
- Decision Paralysis in Relationships: Many people struggle with decision-making in relationships, whether it’s about moving in together or revealing an affair. Such decisions can lead to an impasse, causing people to seek marital therapy. Decision paralysis is seen as a human issue, not just a relationship problem.
- Psychological Insights: The article explains how our brain’s status quo bias, along with stress and high emotions, can hinder decision-making. Emphasizing slowing down thinking and shifting from rapid intuitive thinking to more deliberate logical thinking can help in complex decisions.
- Clarifying Values: Understanding personal values and what truly matters can guide difficult decisions in relationships. Values offer stability and can override cognitive biases, helping individuals take a stand and make decisions aligned with their core beliefs.
- Reframing Questions: Instead of framing questions as “either/or” choices, reframing them to “both/and” questions allows for more nuanced decisions. For instance, upgrading the question from “do we divorce or stay unhappily married?” to “how can we be happier as individuals and co-parents?”
- Embracing Deliberate Choice: Making deliberate choices and avoiding a passive approach leads to better decisions. Research indicates that couples who deliberately decide to cohabit tend to have more successful relationships over time compared to those who slide into living together without much thought.