When You Have To Do Something You Don't Like For Your Partner, Here's How To Cope

by Annie Foskett

Have you ever had to do something that you didn't want to? I'm going to do my best full-'90s "DUH!" You're an adult. Yes, I'm being super salty, but this is life: in life, we have to do many things we don't want to do. Laundry is a bummer. Getting a Pap smear is garbage. Working five days a week is not ideal. When you have a loving partner and they suggest doing something you don't like for date night, unless they have asked you to kidnap a child, you should probably quit your whining and just get through it. (Especially if you dragged them to bowling or whatever your jam is last week.)

Dear readers, I'm sorry — I'm being a jerk. Because I sort of am one. But I am a jerk who can relate! The truth is that I love complaining, and as a jerk, I love picking date nights that I like — and I dislike many places, things, and activities. I completely understand the disdain for which you might look at going to see that weird new punk band called "Fifteen C*cks Til Midnight," but I want to suggest an alternative way to look at the evening of spilling beer and terrible audio: it's your free pass to choose date night next week. MARGARITAS AND MARY POPPINS! Or bowling! (Clearly I love bowling.) Or whatever your heart desires.

As for the actual night of the thing you don't want to do and how you're going to cope with it? This is how: by being a mature adult (and then like a child, continually reminding yourself about how soon your turn is.) As one who has gone to more than one random, far-away concert for a dude in her lifetime, I actually have to say I usually end up having a great time. I learn about a cool new band, and it's fun to do something that isn't just sitting down together to drink or eat.

And if it's your partner's turn to pick a movie and they think watching The Shape of Water is actually a good idea? I pity you, but you're going to make it through. It's just a movie, and being flexible and bending to your partner's needs is a very healthy thing to do. If you can't get down with playing video games with bae from time to time, you're going to be extremely hard-pressed to find a way to compromise when you want four kids and they just want one.

An afternoon, evening, or entire night of your life doing something you don't really love is barely a sacrifice. The world is a scary place! You have a nice person in your life! Do the things they want to do, as long as they do the things you want to do!

All in all, I feel that the advice above should suffice, but if you're still worried about how to get through a particularly excruciating experience like, let's say, going to an oyster spot your partner really wants to try when you're allergic to shellfish? Here are some concrete steps: take a deep breath, put things into perspective, and remind yourself that you will get to plan an equally unfairly weighted date next time. Oh, and don't eat any shellfish.

I am going to put my jerk hat back on and remind you that this life is hard, so you can complain about it, or you can do one thing to make the person you love happy without grumbling. And if you feel like you're always compromising? That's another conversation you and your partner can have. But for now, go mini-golfing at that weird spot on the other side of town — you might actually have fun!