This post was updated on Nov 29, 2022
If we’re being completely honest, we rarely like hearing the word “no” ourselves, especially from our partner – the one person in the world who’s there to have our back and support us. However, that’s not exactly the right way of looking at relationship “nos”, is it?
And that’s the main problem with a “no”. The perception of it, which is why, in addition to not liking the sound of it, we don’t like to say it either. It’s as if the mere action of refusing your partner meant that you’re letting them down or looking at how to get out of a relationship.
That’s not how it’s supposed to be. There’s no betrayal, lack of love, affection, or empathy in saying “no” to your partner every once in a while. After all, not every idea is a good idea. It’s worth exploring the power of “no” and how you can learn to implement it.
What Does It Mean To Say “No” In A Relationship?
Some people lack the ability and the desire to say “no” in a relationship because they feel that less disagreement equals no conflict. Others fear that refusing their partner’s ideas will only lead to long-term deepening dissatisfaction, ultimately grinding their relationship to a premature and hurtful ending.
There are even more reasons but the result remains the same. You, or your partner, or both of you refrain yourselves from saying “no”, causing more harm than good over time. That’s why it’s important to clarify exactly what it means to say “no” to your partner and everybody else, and potentially remove the stigma associated with such a simple word.
Saying “no” means you’re simply valuing your, and not just somebody else’s wishes. It means that you’re trying to validate your own desires and feelings. It means you believe you can be completely honest with your partner. It means deepening your relationship and allowing yourself to be your true self.
Why Do I Need To Learn To Say “No”?
Refusing is not shooting down your partner and warding off their happiness. It’s being true to yourself and feeling enough confidence in them and your relationship that you feel comfortable not saying “yes” to everything. This is how you start paving the way for beneficial experiences in your life, such as:
- Better valuing your time and the time you spend with your partner
- Knowing what you want out of your relationship
- Saying “no” to one thing means saying “yes” to something else
- Enhancing the honesty in your relationship and toward your partner
- Giving others and your partner a chance to say “yes” to you
When Can I Say “No” In My Relationship?
There are no strict rules about when it’s OK and when it’s not to say “no” to your partner. Saying no is simply expressing how you feel about something. Some of us may enjoy saying “yes” to something because we want to please the other person. That is ok unless you are going against your own true feelings. Since it’s about your own personal feelings, don’t refrain from telling your partner “no” if:
- You simply don’t feel that into it
- You’re not ready for something
- You’re scared of it
- You’re too busy with more important obligations
- You’re being made to feel guilty or ashamed for refusing
- You have a bad feeling about the proposition
However, this is all when you’re considering “normal” circumstances and offers. There are also some situations where you can say “no” and potentially look into alternative resolution to your problems, including:
- Controlling behavior
How Can I Learn To Say “No” To My Partner?
Saying “no” to your partner is tricky because you might be feeling that it will indicate a lack of affection even though it’s not there. However, learning how to say “no” is good and will only end up being beneficial to the both of you.
Here’s what you can do to learn to politely incorporate a “no” into your relationship without coming off as you wouldn’t want to:
- Be clear about your feelings on something, but remember to also be respectful and mindful of your partner’s feelings.
- Show your gratitude for their desire to propose an activity for the two of you.
- Be honest about the reason you’re unwilling to follow through on their proposition.
- Offer your partner an alternative you would enjoy and allow them to say “yes” to your offer.
- Understand that you’re not doing anything wrong by sometimes refusing your partner’s offers.
PIVOT Organizes Healthy Relationship Activities That Will Help You & Your Partner Learn The Value Of “No”
Saying “yes” to your partner’s ideas is good. It can make you more adventurous, open to new experiences, broaden your horizons, and take you to places you didn’t think you’d go to. However, saying “no” is just as important, but it seems not as frequently discussed, which is a shame, because it can also bring benefits into your life.
Learning to say “no” when in a relationship is important for your own personal growth and can even help improve your confidence and satisfaction. It’s also one of the key communication components of healthy relationships. However, many people struggle with declining their partner’s wishes, and they need help to do so. Which is why PIVOT is here to help you if you or your partner are struggling with it. Our expert relationship advocates organize healthy relationship activities at our couples retreat will show you there’s no harm in refusing, and our individual activities will help you say “no” to your partner at certain times. Give us a call today!