21 Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner (2022)

21 Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner (1)

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One of the key features of a healthy relationship is making plans to achieve a goal. However, it might be hard to achieve this if both partners are not on the same page. When one partner is particular about something and the other is unsure, it can cause conflict.

Dealing with an indecisive partner is a lot of work because you need to be patient, loving, and understanding. If you are struggling with how to deal with an indecisive partner, this article is for you.

What is the meaning of indecisiveness in a relationship?

To be indecisive in a relationship means not having the willpower to make decisions and stand by them. Someone indecisive can take a long time to decide on something due to fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, laziness, fear of being responsible, etc.

Therefore, indecisiveness can be a drawback in the relationship, and it can strain the other partner who is more decisive.

What are the traits of an indecisive partner?

How do you know the traits of an indecisive person in a relationship? You can know if your partner is indecisive by looking at some of these traits below:

1. They promise but forget easily

If you notice that your partner is used to making promises but not meeting them, they might be indecisive. Don’t rely too much on their promises if this pattern occurs regularly. Instead, focus on helping them get better at making decisions.

2. They cancel plans without any valid reason

Have you noticed that your partner is used to canceling plans without providing any good reason? This means that they are not usually sure of their plans. Therefore, they will prefer to cancel, not minding the repercussions.

This usually happens because they act on impulse. Emily Barkley Levenson and Craig R Fox worked on a research study titled: The surprising relationship between indecisiveness and impulsivity. This study explores this relationship with several individual difference measures.

3. They keep most of their plans private

If you are looking for ways on how to deal with an indecisive partner, one of the things to notice is they prefer to keep their plans secret. They want to do things at their pace without any pressure.

21 Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner (2)


What makes a partner indecisive?

One of the reasons for being indecisive is the fear of making the wrong decision. No one wants to decide on something and later find out they were wrong. Therefore, some people might be reluctant to make such decisions in the first place.

On the other hand, some partners would stick to one decision after several findings and brainstorming sessions. Some people can also be worried about the consequence of succeeding, so making decisions might be difficult for them.

Related Reading: 25 Relationship Issues and How to Solve Them

What are the signs of an indecisive partner?

One of the ways to spot an indecisive partner is their unwillingness to be committed, especially to things that are pretty far away. They don’t like to plan ahead but instead live in the moment.

Also, another sign of an indecisive woman or man is they don’t know what they want. And you can easily detect this in different aspects of their lives.

For example, if you ask an indecisive person a simple question, they hardly know the answer because they have never taken ample time to think about it.

To help your partner learn how to be more decisive, check out Damon Zahariades book titled: How to Make Better Decisions. This book contains profound tactics for making courageous decisions in different aspects of life.

21 effective ways to deal with an indecisive partner

Having an indecisive partner can be tiring and frustrating. This is because they find it hard to be sure of anything. They can make some promises today and not follow through the next day. If you want to know how to deal with an indecisive partner, here are some tips to help you.

1. Create backup plans for them

When it comes to how to deal with indecisiveness, it is important to know that such people have this habit because they are unsure of their plans. It might be challenging to know what to do when they have a sole plan.

If you have an indecisive partner, you need to make several options available. So, if they cannot decide on their first plan, they can try out the available backup alternatives.

2. Be assertive

One of the ways on how to overcome indecision, especially in a relationship, is to be the assertive one. If your partner cannot easily make choices, you might have to do this for them.

For instance, if both of you go shopping and you know your partner finds it hard to select for themselves, you need to step in and call the shots.

Related Reading: 15 Ways to Be Assertive in a Relationship

3. Be patient

In the process of how to help indecisiveness in your partner, you might give up because it requires a lot of patience. If you don’t have the bandwidth for that, you need to train yourself to give your partner the time to make critical decisions for themselves.

You should also provide them with the needed guidance and resources to avoid making mistakes.

(Video) How To Be More Patient In Your Love Life

Watch this video on how to be more patient in your love life:

21 Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner (3)

4. Throw in a bit of selfishness

Another effective step on how to deal with an indecisive partner is to act selfishly a little. If they are trying to make decisions and are stuck, you can tell them to make you the focal point of their planning.

So, when they want to make decisions, they can give you a free hand to state what you want and implement it.

Related Reading: Being Selfish in a Relationship – Is It Really Unhealthy?

5. Stimulate their mental capacity

When it comes to indecisive people relationships, you need to be careful not to mistake this for manipulation.

Sometimes, an indecisive girlfriend or boyfriend might not have the mental strength to brainstorm on making some crucial decisions. Therefore, you can help them by posing important questions that help them decide faster.

6. Encourage them to use their instincts

No matter how indecisive a person might be, there is always something nudging them to do a particular thing. However, the fear of uncertainty and failure prevents them from taking that bold step.

If you are looking for how to deal with an indecisive partner, you can always encourage them to use their instincts if they are at crossroads.

Related Reading: 20 Steps to Becoming a Supportive Partner

7. Give them the silent treatment

For tips on how to deal with indecisive people, it is sometimes effective to give silent treatment when they are taking too long to make a decision.

Then, when they notice that you have left them to their fate, they might be more intentional about thoroughly thinking things through and coming up with the right decisions.

8. Explain the importance of making a wise and fast decision

On how to stop being indecisive in a relationship, you might need to take the extra effort to explain why they need to make a decision quickly. You can also let them know how it affects you.

Please encourage them to put the necessary factors in place to make the right decision instead of being reluctant.

Related Reading: Ways to Make a Strong Decision Together

9. Don’t be too serious

The downside of being too serious while waiting for your partner to decide is that they might take you for granted. Some people might give you faux hope to stop bothering them to make a decision. Unfortunately, it would also make them think you are the only serious person in the relationship.

(Video) How to Overcome Indecision | Nuala Walsh | TEDxUniversityofSalford

Related Reading: Am I Ready for a Serious Relationship: 25 Sure Signs You’re Ready

10. Don’t be too harsh on them

When dealing with an indecisive partner, you need to control yourself to avoid being too harsh on them. You don’t have to react to their behavior every time. Sometimes, when indecisive, you can overlook it but let them know you are doing it out of love.

11. Communicate openly with them

Trying to be open is one of the effective ways on how to deal with an indecisive man or woman is to be open with them.

Discuss with them about their indecisiveness and make them see why you are concerned. Then, convince them to change because it would benefit the relationship.

Related Reading: Open Communication In a Relationship: How to Make it Work

12. Don’t entertain flattery

Some partners might want to flatter you so that you would take your mind off it. However, be careful not to get drawn into their excessive compliments so that you don’t lose focus on the matter at hand.

If you accept compliments too much, your partner will not take any decision-making process seriously.

21 Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner (4)

13. Give them a deadline

Sometimes, when you are thinking of how to deal with an indecisive partner, you have to be firm. You can threaten them with a deadline that comes with repercussions if they don’t decide fast. But, if your partner treasures the relationship and loves you, they will make adjustments.

14. Keep a healthy communication with them

When dealing with an indecisive partner, you have to be careful because you might get angry and refuse to communicate with them.

You can prevent this from happening by maintaining healthy communication with them. They might be under pressure so avoid bringing up unhealthy conversations that will make matters worse.

15. Choose your battles wisely

It would be best to learn that you don’t have to be firm in some aspects of indecisive people relationships. It would help if you did not force your partner to decide on sensitive matters. Give them all the time they want while still motivating them to employ critical thinking.

16. Support their decisions sometimes

When your partner decides, but they are not sure of it, you should throw your weight behind them.

Sometimes, all they need is your vote of confidence so that they can take a bold step. When they see that you support them, they will be more motivated to make crucial decisions.

Related Reading: 15 Ways to Improve Emotional Support in Your Relationship

17. Don’t expect too much

It is important not to get your hopes up for an indecisive relationship. If you expect too much from your partner, they might disappoint you.

(Video) The Secret to Standing Out from Everyone (It's So Much Simpler Than You Think) (Matthew Hussey, GTG)

As they continue becoming less indecisive, you need to allow them to grow and fully adjust to the process. The change phase might be slow, but you need to patiently wait till they become better.

18. Remind them of their commitments

On how to deal with an indecisive partner, you need to constantly remind them of how important their commitment is. When someone needs to decide, a commitment level is associated with it.

If they are reluctant to make a decision, their commitment could suffer. When you remind them about how vital their commitment level is, they will sit up.

Related Reading: Significance of Commitment in Relationships

19. Feel free to give up sometimes

After applying all the effective strategies to make them more decisive, they might not take action. At this point, you can take a step back and watch.

Your strategies might be correct, but your method of approach may be flawed. Therefore, give up on them for a while and plan a comeback that they would not see coming.

20. Love them unconditionally

While you wonder what causes indecisiveness in a relationship, remember that you need to keep loving your partner for who they are.

Even though indecisiveness is a flaw that many people cannot keep up with, always remind your partner that they are unique and you will always have their backs.

Sometimes, the best motivation is showing love, which automatically compels them to do the right thing without any external influence.

Related Reading: Unconditional Love: Meaning, How To Give It and Know If It’s Healthy

21. See a relationship counselor

If you feel that it is becoming more difficult for you to handle your partner because of their indecisiveness, you can seek the help of a relationship counselor.

One of the first things the counselor would do is help you uncover the root cause of their indecisiveness. Then, after conducting a personalized and in-depth interview with them, the counselor would create a treatment plan that will help them get better.

You can also take a cue from Chip and Dan Heath’s book, Decisive. Apart from romantic relationships, this book teaches how to make better choices in life and work.


The strategies on how to deal with an indecisive partner in this article are guaranteed to work, provided you are ready to stick with your partner through thick and thin. However, dealing with indecisiveness also requires that you approach their inadequacies with love and be patient enough for them to get better.


21 Ways to Deal with an Indecisive Partner? ›

Ways To Deal With An Indecisive Partner
  • Take It Slow. Taking it slow in a relationship is a good way to deal with an indecisive partner. ...
  • Don't Be Too Serious. There's nothing wrong with taking a relationship seriously. ...
  • Act Casual. ...
  • Reply With Short Messages. ...
  • Control Yourself. ...
  • Be Open. ...
  • Silent Treatment. ...
  • Refuse To Be Flattered.
Jun 15, 2022

What do I do if my partner is indecisive? ›

Communicate openly with them. Trying to be open is one of the effective ways on how to deal with an indecisive man or woman is to be open with them. Discuss with them about their indecisiveness and make them see why you are concerned. Then, convince them to change because it would benefit the relationship.

What causes a man to be indecisive? ›

The big reason people have trouble as to indecision is the underlying indecision as to which represents them: respect or contempt. People don't want to make up their minds about that. And while you don't, you can have all sorts of casualties—you can decide and not decide in bad ways.

What does indecisiveness say about a person? ›

Someone who is indecisive has trouble making decisions. People who are only somewhat indecisive may take their time with decisions and want to consider their options before moving ahead.

How do you live with indecisive people? ›

Methods for dealing with someone who can't make a decision vary based on your relationship with the indecisive person.
  1. Analyze behavior and thinking to determine the motive for indecision or stalling. ...
  2. Verbalize the benefits of making a decision. ...
  3. Offer encouragement. ...
  4. Walk away, if necessary.

Is indecisiveness toxic? ›

The Indecisive Partner

However, being indecisive about the actual relationship is what makes this type of person toxic. "Their relationship with you is tentative on all levels. They can't decide how they feel about you [and] how they feel about other relationships in their lives," explains Dr. Klapow.

What do you call a person who can't make a decision? ›

1. The definition of indecisive is someone who can't make up his mind or make decisions, or something that doesn't decide an issue. An example of indecisive is a person who cannot ever decide what to wear or what color to paint a room. adjective. 1.

Is being indecisive a mental disorder? ›

This is a diagnosable mental disorder. “Aboulomania is when a person shows signs of pathological indecisiveness,” Perlus explains. “While most people will be indecisive at some point, people with aboulomania are indecisive to the point where it is an obsession and severely affects their daily lives.”

How do you fix indecisiveness? ›

7 Ways to Cure Indecisiveness Once and for All
  1. Pay Attention to Your Emotions. ...
  2. Take Your Time. ...
  3. Think Strategically. ...
  4. Ask Who You're Trying to Please. ...
  5. Banish Your Perfection Mindset. ...
  6. Let Go of Bad Decisions. ...
  7. Visualize Possible Outcomes.
Jun 19, 2020

Is indecisive a personality trait? ›

While career indecision is assumed to be a normal part of human development, personal indecisiveness is not a part of human development, rather it is a personality trait that can be generalized to all decision making situations (Bacanlı, 2005; Cooper et al., 1984; Germeijs et al., 2006; Osipow, 1999).

What is the 40 70 rule? ›

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, had a particular approach when faced with making a quick decision. He called it the 40/70 rule. He would strive to not make a decision with less than 40% of the information needed, then ultimately make the decision when he had at most, 70% of the information.

Is indecisiveness part of ADHD? ›

Indecision (sometimes called decisional procrastination) is very common in people with ADHD.

What is the result of indecisiveness? ›

An indecisive result in a contest or election is one which is not clear or definite. An indecisive result would force a second round of voting. The outcome of the battle was indecisive.

When people can't make up their mind? ›

vacillating Add to list Share. If someone can't make up their mind, you can call that person vacillating. A vacillating student might not know whether to commit to a major in electrical engineering or in art history.

What does it mean when someone can't make a decision? ›

Fear of making the wrong decision is one of the reasons that many people hesitate when faced with a choice. You may be afraid of failure or even the consequences of success. You may worry what other people will think about you. Perfectionism may be getting in your way.

Is indecisiveness a symptom of anxiety? ›

Indecisiveness is also considered a prominent symptom associated with anxiety and mood disorders.

How do toxic relationships start? ›

People often engage in toxic behaviors when they are coping with some underlying problem, such as a history of trauma, unhealthy familial relationships, or addiction. Working with a therapist can help you understand what might be at the heart of your unhealthy relationship behaviors.

What is toxic in a relationship? ›

Lillian Glass, a California-based communication and psychology expert who says she coined the term in her 1995 book Toxic People, defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship [between people who] don't support each other, where there's conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there's competition, where ...

What do you call someone who doesn't change their mind? ›

An inexorable person is hard-headed and cannot be convinced to change their mind, no matter what. You can also say that a process, like the progress of a deadly illness, is inexorable because it can't be stopped.

Is indecision a symptom of bipolar? ›

To complicate the symptom further, anxiety can also make someone indecisive. They may enter into a cycle of thinking about what they need to accomplish but finding it difficult to commit to a solution. Some people with bipolar depression experience generalized anxiety.

How do you deal with aboulomania? ›

Aboulomania treatment

Psychotherapy is the main form of treatment, with the goal of helping the individual to become more active and independent, and learn to develop healthy relationships. Short – term therapy is preferred, since long-term therapy can lead to a sort of dependence on the therapist.

Is indecisiveness a weakness? ›

There's no better way to show weakness than by being indecisive. Failing to make a decision actually involves making two decisions: one to postpone doing something, and one to make the decision to postpone doing that thing.

How do you overcome Decidophobia? ›

Tips to Help You Cope with Decidophobia
  1. Take Actionable Decisions: It's okay to acknowledge that making a decision is scary. ...
  2. Reduce the Number Of Decisions: ...
  3. Be Curious: ...
  4. Shift Your Point of View: ...
  5. Empower Yourself: ...
  6. Know Your Why: ...
  7. See Both Sides of Risk: ...
  8. Learn from Mistakes:

Which personality type is the most indecisive? ›

Out of the IN personality types, INFPs and INTPs struggle the most with indecisiveness. These types can see endless possibilities, which makes it difficult for them to gain the closure they need to move forward. INPs may struggle to identify a strong sense of purpose and direction.

How do you make a decision not look back? ›

If you're in the process of making one of those big decisions, here are some tips for navigating it from a heart-centered place.
  1. Be aware that you have a choice. ...
  2. Question your choice. ...
  3. Notice when fear is taking the lead. ...
  4. Surrender your decision. ...
  5. Ask for help. ...
  6. Be present and look for signs. ...
  7. Trust your intuition.
Jan 21, 2021

What is a timely decision? ›

1 at the right or an opportune or appropriate time. 2 an archaic word for → early.

How much information do you need to make a decision? ›

He said that when you have an important decision to make, remember “40 to 70.” Never make a decision with less than 40% of the information you think you need. And never delay making a decision once you have at least 70% of the information you think you need.

Is indecisiveness a symptom of OCD? ›

Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often exhibit indecisiveness, pathological doubt, and avoidance of uncertainty (Rasmussen and Eisen, 1992; Reed, 1985; Tolin et al., 2003), even when the task at hand is unrelated to their primary symptomatology (Hamilton, 1957).

What are the 3 types of ADHD? ›

Three major types of ADHD include the following:
  • ADHD, combined type. This, the most common type of ADHD, is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors as well as inattention and distractibility.
  • ADHD, impulsive/hyperactive type. ...
  • ADHD, inattentive and distractible type.

Does Adderall help with decision-making? ›

People tend to think that Ritalin and Adderall help them to focus. And they do, in some sense. But what this study shows is that they do so, in part, by increasing your cognitive motivation. Your perceived benefits of performing a demanding task are elevated, while the perceived costs are reduced.

Is indecision a behavior? ›

Indecisiveness is defined as a dysfunctional personality trait characterized by a generalized difficulty to make decisions (Lauderdale et al., 2019).

What's the opposite of indecisiveness? ›

What is the opposite of indecisive?
5 more rows

What is the word for someone who always changes their mind? ›

Some common synonyms of capricious are fickle, inconstant, mercurial, and unstable. While all these words mean "lacking firmness or steadiness (as in purpose or devotion)," capricious suggests motivation by sudden whim or fancy and stresses unpredictability.

What is it called when you can't choose between two things? ›

Here are several choices: on the fence, indecisive, vacillating.

What do you do when your partner is unsure about your relationship? ›

  1. Give him time. If he had already made up his mind about calling it quits, you would know. But, if you think that this is a phase (which is probably is), then give it time. ...
  2. Give him space. Give him space to streamline his thoughts, and give him space to miss you. ...
  3. Give him reassurance.
Mar 28, 2018

How do you know your partner is not right for you? ›

Here are the five signs your partner may not be right for you:
  • You have different core values. Core values are your non-negotiables. ...
  • They take you for granted. ...
  • They don't respect you. ...
  • They don't care about your emotional or sexual needs. ...
  • They take, rather than give, care.
Jul 4, 2017

Is it normal to be unsure in a relationship? ›

If you're questioning your bond with your partner, you're not alone. It's normal to have doubts about your relationship at times. After all, relationships are hard and no one is perfect. Some degree of uncertainty can be good.

What to do when someone is unsure about you? ›

What to do when a guy is confused about his feelings?
  1. Openly talk to him. It's a good idea to let the guy know about your feelings. ...
  2. Give him time and space. Try not to make him feel like he has to decide right away. ...
  3. Reassure him. Let him know that you understand that he isn't ready yet.
Jun 23, 2021


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