Partner Probation© Unsplash

Will Putting Your Partner In Probation Save Your Relationship?

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Relationships can be hard work. You and your partner need to be able to communicate on the same level and convey what you need from the other effectively. There’s also the inevitable adjustment you have to make to accommodate the other’s sharp edges. It’s not surprising, therefore, that many relationships dissolve into unhappy endings.

But what if we tell you that you can salvage a rocky relationship by putting your partner on probation with a performance review?

Yes, a new relationship trend that’s going viral online is inviting people to act exactly how your manager would in a corporate set-up!

What is Partner Probation?

‘Partner Probation’ requires a couple to use the framework of a professional performance review as a strategy to save their relationship. In a trending video online, an ex-Google employee claimed that she put her boyfriend on a ‘Performance Improvement Plan’, something that you get put on when you’re about to get fired.

“He’s an engineer and sometimes it’s really hard to communicate with him without using something he can already relate to,” she said.

According to the woman in the video, the couple were having problems and were on the verge of breaking up before she came up with the strategy.

How does it work?

Partner Probation©Pexels

According to the video, the woman’s partner was assigned a set of daily and weekly tasks along with a set of things that he needed to work on. “It worked well,” she claimed.

While the comments expressed their incredulity over the idea of introducing a cold and clinical concept like performance review and probation to a relationship, many supported the strategy claiming that sometimes clear-cut communication like this is required to have your needs met.

Experts agree with the latter, claiming that the strategy can increase accountability and help people be able to exercise some form of control over the outcome of events. It also allows the couple to foster an environment where it becomes safe to recognise their needs and ask for them to be met. Many professionals agreed that this is also how couple’s therapy works, where the two are assigned homework to do, akin to these tasks.

Should you try putting your partner on probation?

Partner Probation©Pexels

If you feel your relationship is falling apart and you think your communication strategy is not working, you could benefit from the strategy. However, only if both of you are on board.

This is not a one-way exercise and it needs to be mutually respectful. You need to address questions like ‘Why do you want something changed?’, or ‘What does each partner want from the other?’, and ‘How often do you want to review things?’.

If this is a one-sided exercise, then it can foster bitterness and resentment. You must remember that you can’t change people. The only way to actually mould your partner differently is through encouragement, communication, and mutual respect.