Stop Giving Ultimatums — They’ll Just Destroy Your Relationship

Whether you’re asking for marriage or just an exclusive relationship, demanding commitment will never give you what you want. So if you’re thinking about handing over an ultimatum to your partner to either commit or quit, consider the following:

  1. An ultimatum is nothing more than a threat. Do you truly believe that threatening your partner will ever give you what you desire? It’s a pretty nasty way to get what you want, but hey, if that’s how you want to start out this new phase of your relationship, that’s on you.
  2. It’s insulting. Your intentions may be good, but honestly, giving an ultimatum is demeaning to your partner. Your boyfriend is not a child or a dog — you can’t reward him for good behavior and punish him for bad.
  3. You’re breaking every foundation you built. Putting pressure on the situation will not have a positive affect on his feelings for you. Instead of reaching an emotional understanding of the connection you share, he’ll be focused on the fact that you backed him into a corner and forced him to make a choice before he was ready.
  4. You may not mean it. Before you make a rash decision, think it through. Will you really follow through with your threat in the case of his noncompliance? He may just call your bluff, especially if you’ve used this empty threat in the past.
  5. You’re forcing progress. Instead of forcing an answer out of him, ask yourself if you can be happy without the commitment. If you can, then allow your relationship to develop on its own, without superficial timelines.
  6. You aren’t communicating properly. If you can’t go on without some sort of commitment, talk to your partner. You’ve probably mentioned the desire for commitment what feels like a thousand times already, but try just once more. This time, fully express your feelings and explain how you need more from the relationship.
  7. You’re already unhappy. For you it’s all or nothing, but he doesn’t have to know that. If you’re not getting all you want out of your relationship, then that’s a clear sign that something just isn’t working. You deserve happiness, not the constant and desperate wishing for more.
  8. You’re giving the relationship a time limit. Don’t force an answer. Instead, give him time to think things over without the pressure of thinking you will leave him if he makes the wrong decision.
  9. You’re pretending to put the ball in his court. Allowing your partner time to mull things over in a calm manner will show him what he really wants. Maybe that’s you, or maybe it isn’t, but after he finally makes a decision, you can make the decision to stay or to go. In the end, the choice is up to you.
  10. You’re settling. Before you settle on a choice, remember that his opposition to commitment stems from the fact that he either isn’t ready or just doesn’t want to. If he’s not ready, the only thing you can do is give him time (while still knowing that he may never be ready). If he just doesn’t want to, then he’ll never be able to give you what you want. He likes that he doesn’t have to work at the relationship, because caring takes too much effort.
  11. You deserve better. It’s the sad truth, but after you face that reality, know that you don’t deserve that BS. Reunite with the single life, because being single is a lot better than being with a man who doesn’t give you the respect you deserve.
  12. You’re being strung along. The fear of commitment is not an excuse to string you along. A real man will be able to fully commit to you purely based on your genuine connection.
  13. Your relationship is already dysfunctional. Instead of asking him to commit to you or to let you go, ask yourself why you’re thinking about the deadly ultimatum in the first place. The fact that you were put in a situation where you felt the need for such drastic actions says a lot about your relationship, and darling, the conclusion is not in your favor.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.