There are a lot of different factors that determine compatibility. Spending styles, religions, even nighttime routines can all affect how easy it is to be in a relationship with someone. But there's one factor that can make a big difference to a relationship that doesn't get talked about enough — and that's spontaneity. If your
partner is more spontaneous than you, it can have a big impact on your relationship. "This is actually a characteristic that can sometimes make or break a relationship," relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW tells Bustle. "No one really talks about it much but there are real differences between people who are spontaneous and people who are planners. Neither way is right or wrong, but if you are on different pages, it can often cause a lot of tension and unhappiness."
Hopefully, you and your partner either have similar levels of spontaneity or can meet in the middle. "In an ideal world, you and your partner fall on similar ends of the spectrum," Hartstein says. "However, if one of you is a planner and one of you leans towards spontaneity, the best that you can do is try to meet in the middle!" But sometimes, that's harder than it looks.
partner is more spontaneous than you, it can actually have a huge impact on your daily life. Here's how you can tell if your partner is too spontaneous for you, according to experts. 1 You Feel Blindsided
One sign that your
partner may be too spontaneous is if you always feel caught off guard. "If you’re constantly having thoughts like, 'What the hell, I thought we were going to this restaurant?' or 'Why do they always change things up at the last minute?', you may be with someone who’s too spontaneous for you," family and marriage therapist Rachel Wright tells Bustle. In a relationship, you shouldn't have to feel like you're constantly reeling. 2 Their Plans Make You Anxious
A common sign that your partner is too spontaneous is if their plans make you anxious. "When it’s your partner’s turn to plan a date night or pick the vacation spot or even the movie theatre you’re going to and you feel anxious waiting to see how spontaneous or out of the box the plans are going to be," Wright says. The occasional surprise should feel like a nice thing, not a constant source of stress.
3 Their Plans Irritate You
If you start to feel annoyed by the plans that your partner makes, that may be a sign that your lack of compatibility isn't sustainable. "Do you appreciate in concept what they are doing, but does the spontaneity make you feel irritated when plans have changed or not been accounted for?" Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of
, tells Bustle. You can try talking to them and see if they'll meet you in the middle. The Kurre and Klapow Show 4 You Find Yourself Resenting Them
"Do you start feeling angry or resent your partner because they are so spontaneous?" Klapow says. If their spontaneity really gets to you, you may find yourself resenting them or harboring anger.
5 You're Worried That They're Irresponsible
If your partner's spontaneity seems to affect all area of their lives, it may make you question their maturity or accountability. "Do you have thoughts that they are not being responsible?" Klapow says. If you're asking bigger questions about their judgement, it can be a sign that something's off.
6 You Don't Feel Respected
Your partner should be able to respect that you're less spontaneous than they are. "Some individuals have a harder time with uncertainty, unpredictability, and change," Klapow says. "They tend to feel better, be more comfortable, and enjoy things more when they know about, have planned for, and have allotted time for them." If you feel like your partner is ignoring your needs or not being respectful of how their spontaneity makes you feel, it might not be a good match.
7 It Feels Like It's Holding Your Relationship Back
You should take a step back and figure out whether their spontaneity helps or harms your relationship. "Spontaneity and novelty keep the relationship fresh, allow it to continue to grow, and allow each individual to experience more and more with their partner," Klapow says. But it only works if both people feel comfortable with it. If it feels like it's driving the two of you apart, it's time to address the issue.
Spontaneity may seem like a fun, exciting quality — and it can be. But it can also be a divisive quality and one that can have a huge impact on your relationship. It's important to talk to your partner and try to find a compromise, but you should always feel respected and understood. If they can't give you that, the relationship might have bigger problems.
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