If You Have To Give Him An Ultimatum, You Shouldn’t Be With Him

Do you want to be a woman who has to nag or chase a guy in order to get the relationship you want? Hell no. So then why would you give your boyfriend an ultimatum? If you have to force a guy to make a decision, don’t be surprised when the relationship falls apart.

  1. Threats don’t work. If you say things to your boyfriend like, “If you don’t do this, then the relationship is over,” you’re basically saying, “I’m threatening you.” You’re trying to make him feel fear to get what you want. It’s a horrible way to get your way and for what? You want someone who’ll make the effort to make you happy without first being threatened.
  2. It’s manipulativeThe problem with ultimatums is that they can become a nasty habit. If they worked once, you might always resort to them, like by making your boyfriend choose you over his friends or hobbies that take him away for weekends at a time. Whoa there. It’s creepy AF and if your boyfriend is making you that unhappy, why the hell would you stay with him?
  3. He shouldn’t need an ultimatum. In the same way that you shouldn’t have to ask a guy if he likes you because he’ll be clear about it, you shouldn’t need to reach the stage of giving your boyfriend an ultimatum because if he really loved you, he would’ve done what you needed naturally. Think about it.
  4. He should show you he values you. If you’re telling him he needs to stop his shady behavior or else you’ll walk out the door, the real issue isn’t that he has to change his behavior — it’s that he hasn’t considered how he’s been hurting you. He’s been doing things that upset you without any respect for your feelings. It eventually made you reach your limit and give him an ultimatum. Why waste time on a man who would disrespect you so much and cause you to resort to such things in the first place?
  5. He should meet your needs. One of the big reasons why you might be giving your boyfriend an ultimatum is because you feel your needs aren’t being met. You want a guy who tells you he loves you or who wants to marry you after five years of dating. If he hasn’t done that up until now, why the hell would he ever meet your needs after being backed into a corner? It’ll just push him away.
  6. You’re giving away your power. You might feel that you’re being powerful by telling him what you need and that you won’t stand for his behavior, but you’re actually giving your power away. You’re basically saying, “The ball’s in your court now” and letting him decide your fate.
  7. It leaves a bad aftertaste. If you give your boyfriend an ultimatum and he goes through with it, there’s definitely going to be some resentment left afterward — and not just from him. You might worry that he’ll just slip back to his previous behavior and then what? Or, you might fear that he’s only agreeing with you to make you happy but has no intention of actually doing what you need in the long term. Ultimatums create doubts, resentment, and unhappiness.
  8. It makes you chase him. By giving him an ultimatum, you’re telling him, “You won’t do this so now I’m going to push you into doing it.” You shouldn’t have to chase a guy to show you he loves you or take the relationship to the next level. You’re acting like a mother nagging a teenager to pick up his dirty laundry. Honestly, if you have to try to persuade him to do something, you already have your answer that he’s not keen to do it.
  9. You can’t communicate. An ultimatum is the last resort when communication has failed, or maybe it’s a sign you and your partner don’t know how to talk to each other to begin with. If you feel you can’t talk to your partner about your needs and expectations, then that’s a bad sign your relationship’s not going to make it. You can’t fix it with an ultimatum.
  10. You seem desperate. You might think an ultimatum makes you seem strong, but actually the opposite holds true. When you tell your partner that he HAS to do something (or not do something) or you’ll leave, there’s a hidden message being transmitted to him: “You have to change, please, otherwise I’m going to leave and I really don’t want to.” Think about it: if you were that fed up with him, you would’ve walked out already. You wouldn’t have needed to give him an ultimatum unless you desperately wanted the relationship to work.
  11. You’re testing the breakup waters. You might also be testing how the breakup would feel or hoping that if your partner can’t be forced to do something for you, you’ll get the courage to leave him once and for all. But screw that. You know in your heart that the relationship is in a bad place, otherwise you wouldn’t have considered an ultimatum. Leave the relationship if it’s making you that unhappy.
  12. You’re hoping to fix him. An ultimatum can sometimes be your way of trying to change or fix your partner, such as if he has a drinking problem or keeps straying, but you should know that no one can change anyone else. No matter how much you love him or give him ultimatums, he’s still got his own choices to make — and honestly, if he’s been choosing himself over you, he probably won’t change that now.
  13. You’re settlingWhen you give your boyfriend an ultimatum, there’s usually a timeframe attached to it. For instance, “You either propose to me by Christmas or we’re over.” The problem with this is that you’re basically staying put until that time comes around. You’re settling in an awkward and dissatisfying relationship until you see if you’re going to get what you want. It sucks! A day is too much time to waste on the wrong guy who needs to be nudged and pushed in order to make you happy. Come on, you can do so much better.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.