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Why does a simple question like, “What’s for dinner?” cause so much relationship conflict?

When you’re dating, and you’re both living separately, your responsibilities in life don’t overlap. Everything is in Lover-mode which inspires lots of kissing and googoo eyes. You’re both lost in dream-land and that’s fun.

Your ability to live happily ever after, however, will succeed in proportion to your ability to negotiate shared responsibilities. Which means enlisting the Partner-roles in your relationship

In this episode you’ll discover how a simple question like “What’s for dinner?” is hiding dreams for your relationship and causing conflict.

  • We’ll examine the dreams you have when you’re in Lover-mode and
  • Why those dreams cause conflict for the Partnership element of your relationship
  • We’ll compare the Partner and the Lover inside your relationship and figure out why they disagree


Partner & Lover at odds

“You never cook,” my client’s wife shouts.

My client attacks back, “Well, we never have any food in this house.”

So, most nights, after blaming each other because there’s nothing to eat, they order a pizza delivered.

This is a classic struggle between the Partner and the Lover inside a relationship.

The Lover lives in the moment. These two people were living life completely in Lover-mode.  They wanted their weekends to be filled with sports and parties. They had no time to think about cooking …. Until they got hungry.

Then they went into Partner mode.

Except that the Partner likes to plan ahead. The Partner likes a list and adequate time to prepare.

When a Lover turns to a Partner and says, “What’s for dinner?” The Partner wants to nurture and take care of the Lover. But if that same Partner hasn’t had time to make a pot of chili so that dinner would be easy, the Partner feels embarrassed because now they aren’t able to fulfill their role of keeping the family cared for.

Do you know what an embarrassed Partner does? They blame: “You never cook.” “Well, you never shop for food!”

Relationship Date Night Discussion

This week’s date night discussion is a way to explore the dreams that might be hiding in your relationship.

I invite you to ask questions about the dreams your sweetheart has for your relationship, and to tell your sweetheart YOUR dreams for your relationship.

As you can see from my client’s story today, hidden dreams can become a source of conflict. So get curious about the dreams–simple and practical–your spouse has for your shared life.

Habit for Your Happily Ever After

To help you turn conflict into connection, this week’s habit for your happily ever after is to give The Partner in your relationship time and resources.

The Lover doesn’t like to carve out time for our Partner because the Partner tasks of life are boring. But The Lover’s hidden dreams need time and attention and that’s where the Partner excels.

Think about your tiny conflict or Hidden Dream from the discussion above. How can you offer your Inner Partner enough time and resources to create a solution for your Sweetheart’s hidden dream?

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