FIne! We’re Going to McDonalds! How to Compromise on Dinner Tonight



Usually the text conversation goes something like this: I don’t feel like cooking tonight. Ok, what do you want to do? I don’t know. Where do you want to go? I don’t know, where do you want to go. Bob Evans? I thought you said you didn’t like that place? What? When did I say that? I never said that. Yes, you did. When we were at Erin’s house last month we were talking about pancakes and you said you didn’t like Bob Evans pancakes. How did you even remember that?

AND it goes from there until everyone is irritated and someone just decides to go through McDonalds. A evening that could have been relaxing and a prime time to connect with your partner just ended with lukewarm french fries. Learning a format to compromise might help some of these plans turn out the way you envisioned them. I like to work this out on paper when I’m working with clients in my office, but you can probably do it in your head.

  1. Figure out what each of you won’t budge on. (Honestly, if you are already in the car, just pull over somewhere to work this out). If you hate Chinese food and your partner hates Indian food, mark those off the mental list.
  2. Hopefully, you have narrowed things down a little now. Suggest a restaurant and say something like “Do you think there is anything you might ENJOY there?” Asking someone if they WANT something can be too much pressure. “Enjoy” sounds like a softer word. If your partner says “No” move on to another suggestion. If your partner says “Yes”, then go there. Please DO NOT say, “Ok, but I don’t want to hear you bitching when there isn’t anything there that you like.” You are asking for a fight at that point. Just let your partner order what they want, even if it is 3 side dishes rather than a full meal. My sister used to order mashed potatoes and key lime pie and was perfectly happy.

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