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8 Signs You’re Not On The Same Page As Your Partner (And How To Get On The Same Page)

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Are you starting to question whether you and your partner are on the same page?

Maybe they said something that got you wondering whether you’re moving in different directions.

Or perhaps plans are unfolding that aren’t quite what you had in mind for the two of you.

Either way, this article will help determine whether you and your partner are on different pages, and if so, how to get back on track together.

Speak to a certified relationship counselor about this issue. Why? Because they have the training and experience to help you get on the same page as your partner. You may want to try speaking to someone via for practical advice that is tailored to your exact circumstances.

8 Signs You’re Not On The Same Page As Your Partner

Here are some of the most common signs that you and your partner aren’t as synchronized as you thought you were:

1. You have different expectations about the relationship.

This one usually comes up early in a relationship, but it can arise at any time.

Often, it arises when one partner suddenly realizes the other partner doesn’t have the same emotional investment or commitment that they do.

Whilst it’s difficult to discover this at any stage in a relationship, it can be devastating if you’ve been together for years and suddenly realize you’re not on the same page as far as your connection or future is concerned.

For example, let’s say you and your partner get along great and have never argued. One of you brings up that an amazing house is for sale nearby and maybe you should look at buying it together, and the other balks at the mere prospect of that kind of commitment.

Suddenly you realize that one of you thinks you’re in a long-term, committed relationship, while the other is simply enjoying a friends-with-benefits situation that they could walk away from at any time and never look back.

The, “But I thought we were a committed couple?!” chat may bring up other horrors, like discovering that one of you thought you were in a monogamous partnership en route to marriage, while the other has been sleeping with other people the whole time.

It’s a drastic example, but it’s certainly not unheard of to discover you’re on different pages about commitment when big decisions like this crop up.

2. Your goals are no longer in alignment.

When the two of you got together, you may have had grandiose ideas about the future.

Perhaps you’re both animal lovers and dreamed of buying some acreage and transforming it into an animal sanctuary. Or maybe you’re both travel junkies and planned to relocate abroad to live and work permanently.  

Then one of you decides this goal doesn’t align with their interests anymore and they’d rather do something else instead. Or some type of challenge arises for one of you which means you can’t pursue that path together anymore.

If your relationship was established on a foundation of shared dreams, you may find that you suddenly feel lost and uncertain about your future together once those goals are no longer in alignment.

Alternatively, you may have discovered that one of you was serious about the goals while the other was only musing about them theoretically.

This can be hugely disappointing on both sides because each person assumed that the other one felt the same way about the goal that they did.

3. You’ve developed different values.

People grow and evolve as they go through life, and this often involves developing different values and priorities over time.

You likely know people who suddenly took up a vegan or Paleo diet overnight, for example. Alternatively, they may have converted to a different religion than the one they were raised with or switched from being religious to atheist (or vice versa).

When these changes occur, partners who previously shared a perfectly harmonious relationship may find themselves suddenly at odds.

For example, let’s say a religiously observant couple regularly attended services together and looked forward to certain holiday celebrations, but now one’s an atheist and isn’t interested in doing any of that anymore.

This can create a massive rift where before there was nothing but harmony.

Similarly, a couple that once enjoyed cooking elaborate meals together may no longer be able to do so because one of them is now militant about the ingredients they will and won’t consume.

This can be exacerbated if they become so zealous about it that they lecture the other partner about how unhealthy or unethical their choices are, and try to pressure them into adhering to the same diet they’ve chosen.

Differences like this can contribute to severe friction in a relationship.

4. Your lifestyle preferences are no longer compatible.

This often happens if you met your partner when you were a lot younger or got together when you were in a very different environment to the one you’re in now.

For example, if the two of you got together when you were in college, you likely had a limited budget and made do with what you could. This may have involved using milk crates as shelves, using the furniture you found on the curb on garbage day, etc.

Back then, you may have been content to live on ramen noodles and beer and spend your weekends getting high on the couch while watching cartoons.

Whilst this may have suited you both just fine at that age, problems arise when one partner is perfectly happy to remain in that lifestyle while the other would prefer to have more than one set of sheets and some matching cutlery.

This isn’t a question of maturity. People can be wholly mature and completely content with a simple life and few material possessions. However, it can be problematic when one partner no longer feels comfortable with the same lifestyle parameters as the other.

Similar situations occur if the couple has been ‘couch potato-y’ for years, and then one partner decides that they want to get super fit and healthy, but the other doesn’t.

When partners change in this way, they don’t have much in common anymore, and may even become contemptuous of each other’s lifestyle differences.

5. Your views on family have changed.

You may have been on the same page about family planning and priorities when you first got together, but your views can change drastically over time.

This often happens when people experience some kind of trauma that makes them rethink their stances on things that they were previously firm about.

For example, a person who was dead-set on not having children when they were in their 20s may change their mind after experiencing a life-changing event.

Suddenly they may really want to know what it’s like to be a parent and experience the world through the eyes of a child.

Alternatively, someone who had previously been dead-set on having a large family might change their mind in light of challenging world events or personal obstacles.

If this happens, the life plans and goals the two of you had decided on together are now in contention, and it’s a very difficult situation to navigate.

6. Your love languages are too different.

Believe it or not, having differing love languages has caused more strife between partners than you can imagine.

People who don’t speak the same love language can feel unappreciated and unloved by those they care most about because their efforts and expressions aren’t seen, let alone reciprocated.

For example, your partner may tell you that they feel unloved because you never tell them how much you care about them, yet in your mind, you show them your love in a thousand different ways every single day.

They associate loving behavior with verbal expression while you communicate your love through acts of service, so neither of you sees or understands what the other is putting forth.

It’s difficult to move forward together or even understand what the other person is trying to tell you when you literally don’t speak the same language.

It’s a tower of Babel situation in your own home and is going to take continued effort to overcome. 

7. You’re perpetually disappointed.

It’s both disheartening and damaging to a relationship if one person always does what’s asked of them, and the other perpetually drops the ball.

The one who’s always responsible, keeping their word and commitment in every situation will inevitably end up feeling let down and disappointed when their partner doesn’t show the same dedication and diligence as they do.

Things get even more tense if the assigned task or goal is completely achievable, but hasn’t been done due to neglect, self-involvement, or misguided priorities.

If it’s your partner’s week to cook dinner because you’re working late, and you come home hungry only to find they haven’t prepared anything because reorganizing their collectible cabinet was more important, it’s going to be a problem.

8. You’ve simply grown apart.

Many things in life have expiry dates, and relationships are no exception.

If you find that things just don’t feel the same between you anymore, your relationship may simply be coming to its natural end.

Some signs that you’re growing apart may include:

  • Choosing to spend more time alone than together.
  • Eating alone or at different times rather than together.
  • Not attending any events or family gatherings as a couple.
  • Having nothing to talk about (nor having any interest in each other’s lives).
  • Politely tolerating one another rather than enjoying each other’s company.

It’s important to note that experiencing some or most of these things doesn’t necessarily spell the death of your relationship. Life can ebb and flow over time, and you may just be going through an ebb right now—either as individuals or as a couple.

It’s possible that you can overcome these issues together if you can figure out where they’re stemming from, and work as a team to move forward through them.

If one of you is seeing ebb and the other is seeing the end, it may be that you can’t move forward. But the tips below will at least give you the best shot at trying.

5 Tips To Get On The Same Page As Your Partner

If you’re both dedicated to this relationship and want to make it work, here are 5 things you can do to try and get back onto the same page:

You ought to consider seeking professional help from one of the experts at Relationship Hero as counseling can be highly effective in helping couples to get on the same page as one another in their relationship.

1. Communicate.

One of the primary ways in which people find themselves at odds is that they don’t communicate properly.

Many people assume that they know what the other person is thinking or feeling based on their own experiences and perspectives, when in reality their views may be completely polarized.

Some people are averse to open and honest communication because they’re conflict-avoidant and don’t want to risk arguing. Others don’t want to deal with anything ‘too deep’ and simply want to go with the flow, dealing with whatever arises as it unfolds.

Problems arise in both situations as any gaps in communication will be filled with assumptions, which can lead to significant rifts and resentments as time goes by.

As a result, you need to find a way to communicate both clearly and lovingly with one another. This may involve writing each other emails if emotions run too high for you to speak calmly, or even getting couples therapy so the neutral third party can act as a mediator.

The key here is to be honest so that you’re both fulfilled and supported in the relationship, instead of one of you pretending to be happy to avoid upsetting (or being dumped by) the other.

2. Determine whether you’re dreamers or doers.

A major issue that many people contend with is the misunderstanding between someone who’s a ‘dreamer’, and one who’s a ‘doer’.

The former dwells in the realm of potential, and daydreams about all the amazing things they could or would do if they had the opportunity. Meanwhile, the latter also daydreams, but with the full intention of making those dreams a reality through intention and action.

It’s vitally important that you figure out whether you’re both dreamers, doers, or one of each. Any of these combinations can work in a relationship as long as you’re both on the same page, rather than simply assuming that you are.

Two dreamers can dwell in the realm of potentiality together without any pressure to turn those dreams into reality. Similarly, two doers will be able to achieve a startling amount together because they’re both focused on making things happen.

When a doer and a dreamer get together, however, they’ll need to be very clear as to whether there’s real intention behind putting these dreams into action.

For example, let’s say that you have some land, and you want to raise some alpacas together (humor me). The doer agrees to make the arrangements to get the alpacas, and the dreamer agrees to build a pen for them.

When the ball starts rolling, the dreamer doesn’t actually do any construction work because although it’s on their ‘to-do’ list, they don’t feel real pressure to make it happen. Tensions erupt when the doer arrives with the lovely alpacas in tow, only to discover the dreamer hasn’t held up their side of the responsibility.

It doesn’t need to be this way though. Once you’ve decided where your leanings lie, you need to work to your respective strengths.

For example, the dreamer may be great at conceptualizing ideas that the doer can then make a reality. There doesn’t need to be any tension here, provided you both have a crystal clear understanding of each other’s confirmed role in every endeavor.

3. Be real about expectations.

If one person is diligent about keeping their promises and the other perpetually breaks theirs, it’ll be immensely frustrating to both.

This often happens when one partner is a people-pleaser who agrees to just about anything in the moment, and then either forgets about what they’ve promised or feels overwhelmed by said obligation and procrastinates about it.

Meanwhile, the partner who always keeps up their end of the agreement feels horribly let down by the other. They always keep their word and make their partner feel loved by doing so, while said partner never puts effort into doing the same for them.

The partner who can’t step up inevitably feels shame and guilt and may withdraw into solitude. In turn, the giving, diligent partner won’t do anything for them anymore because they know they won’t reciprocate.

It’s important to be realistic about one another’s abilities to make good on promises.

If one has difficulties with executive function or is absent-minded, it’s unrealistic to expect them to remember to do things without reminders or encouragement. Similarly, the other shouldn’t be expected to take the lead on all things without reciprocity.

When you understand each other’s capabilities and work within those parameters, you’re much less likely to be disappointed by unmet (or even unspoken) expectations. Instead, you can find solutions that work best for both of you as equals.

4. Address incompatibilities as soon as possible.

If you think that there are potential incompatibilities between you, it’s important to address these as soon as possible rather than putting them off to deal with ‘someday’.

This allows you to either map out a course that you can follow as a team, or determine whether or not you’re simply too incompatible to pursue things together as a couple.

A lot of people put off these conversations because they’re afraid to lose someone they love, but it’s seriously unfair to another person if you don’t admit to something that you know isn’t compatible with them, and thus derails their own life goals or dreams.

For example, if someone knows for sure that they don’t want kids and their partner does, they might keep delaying starting a family indefinitely even though they know that peak fertility is waning.

Possibly because they know it’s waning.

In their mind, they don’t want to lose their partner, but they know that not wanting kids is a dealbreaker. As such, if they can delay that action until it’s no longer viable, then oops – oh well, we missed the window, no big deal.

Essentially, they’re preventing their partner from living the life they want because of their selfishness.

If they truly love their partner and absolutely don’t want kids, they’ll let them go to be with someone else who can fulfill their life dreams and goals (or at least give them that informed choice), instead of forcing disappointment upon them.

5. Find a middle ground.

Just about any conflict-based situation can be resolved by finding a way to compromise.

This requires give and take from both parties, resulting in a solution that may not have been what either of them envisioned to begin with but works well enough to satisfy both.

In some cases, however, attempting to find a middle ground can result in anger and dissatisfaction from both, in which case the original plans or dreams may have to be scrapped entirely in favor of a new solution that doesn’t hurt or disappoint either party.

Attempting to find a middle ground can also be difficult when people have personalities that clash because they’re just too different to be able to compromise.

For example, if you’re trying to come to a joint solution about something, but one of you is highly emotional and goes by intuition and feelings whereas the other prefers logic and reason, you may end up hitting stalemates no matter which direction you try to move in.

One partner may get increasingly frustrated because they brought months’ worth of research—including PowerPoint presentations and handouts—to the table, while the other one doesn’t believe in ‘all that science’ and thinks they should go by what their astrologer suggested instead.

As you can imagine, you’re unlikely to find a solution that works best for both of you in this situation. Either one of you will have to concede, or you’ll have to go in a completely different direction as a unified team, otherwise one of you will inevitably end up hurt and resentful.

Sometimes, the best way to deal with incompatibility about a given endeavor is to drop it and find something different that’s easier to agree upon.

Either that or part ways so you can both choose different partners that you get on better with.

Still not sure whether you and your partner are on the same page, or how to get on the same page?

Speak to an experienced relationship expert about it.

Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours.

Relationship Hero is a website where you can connect with a certified relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

While you can try to work through this situation yourself or as a couple, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can fix.

And if it is affecting your relationship and mental well-being, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people try to muddle through in their relationships without ever being able to resolve the issues that affect them. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, speaking to a relationship expert is 100% the best way forward.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.

About The Author

Finn Robinson has spent the past few decades travelling the globe and honing his skills in bodywork, holistic health, and environmental stewardship. In his role as a personal trainer and fitness coach, he’s acted as an informal counselor to clients and friends alike, drawing upon his own life experience as well as his studies in both Eastern and Western philosophies. For him, every day is an opportunity to be of service to others in the hope of sowing seeds for a better world.