Sometimes making small decisions as a couple can be annoyingly difficult. Consider choosing where to eat dinner.
“So, what are you thinking?”
“Like, for lunch. What sounds good?”
“Oh! Hm. Maybe Mexican?”
“OK. Where would you like to get Mexican food?”
“I don’t know. Name some places.”
“Taco Mamacitas, Chago’s, Mas Tacos …”
“Eh. We’ve been to all of those recently.”
“Gross. Maybe not Mexican. Maybe sandwiches. Do you feel like sandwiches?”
“I mean, I had a sandwich for lunch, but I could eat one again. Or Thai.”
“Where would you like to get Thai food?”
“Eh, I don’t know. … Name some places.”
If you’ve ever been in a relationship, or just regularly shared life and meals with someone else, the above conversation is likely familiar and frustrating.
It’s baffling how long it can take to make trivial decisions.
And how quickly they can intensify. More than once, I’ve ended up declaring, “Fine, I don’t care, just go to the first restaurant you mentioned!” — only to sit in irritated silence for the majority of the meal.
There are many other seemingly insignificant choices that suddenly take on a difficult tone if you spend a lot of time together, as couples tend to do.
Go out or stay in?
Small, intimate ceremony or big, barnyard wedding?
Jersey knit bed sheets or Egyptian cotton?
The new season of House of Cards or the Redbox that’s been sitting on the counter for a week?
For the most part, navigating life as a pair can be comforting, freeing.
But when you live, work and love as a team, the decisions, both big and small, start to stack up. Exhaustion creeps in. Selfish tendencies stir. And one day you realize you’ve developed a very strong opinion about the proper way to fold a towel.
The truth is, you have far too many things to do and care about — individually and together — to risk getting caught in unproductive arguments.
Which is why, over the past couple of years, my husband and I have started “outsourcing” these decisions.
We flip a coin. Well, not literally — but we do Google “coin flip.” Seriously.
About a couple times a week, Chris and I begin butting heads over something silly, like how to distribute chores.
Eventually, one of us will say the magic words:
We pull up the browser on a phone, designate Heads and Tails, and relinquish control.
We almost always obey Google’s ruling. Occasionally, it reveals that we both really wanted the other option, and in that case, our choices is still made for us. That’s that; we don’t think about it again, except to occasionally marvel over how many petty spats that little digital coin has probably saved us from.
So maybe the next time you are tempted to get into a shouting match over some common conflict with your fiancé or spouse, you’ll try Googling your way out of it.
I hope it helps you like it’s helped us.
But more than anything, I hope you’ll simply pause and remember just how special it is to have this other person, who cares so much and comes so close that they can’t help but get involved in your decorating, your guest lists, and your grocery cart.
I think you’ll find that when you stop fussing over the minutiae of life, you two can get back to really living it.