Hearts and Hangovers

The Ultimatum: When is It Appropriate?

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Summer Willow Fitch
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Summer Willow Fitch

(Mixologist /Author/ Entrepreneur)Summer Willow Fitch has 20+ years of dexterity as a writer and editor with roots in music composition and business writing. Her literary contributions have been featured in major trade magazines, blogs and published books. Summer Willow is also a highly sought after Mixologist who founded SummerWillow.com. Her career behind-the-bar afforded her countless years of armchair therapy experience and influenced her first published book titled, "Let Me Tell You Like I Told Myself: Love’s Truth Never Changes". Summer Willow holds an MBA with an Entrepreneurship focus from Eastern University and is a small business advocate currently producing and taping the ‘Whachadrinkin’ Vlog Series to be released, January 2016. ‘Whachadrinkin’ is a cocktail cooking show and interview series highlighting entrepreneurs and change-makers.
Summer Willow Fitch
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Many believe that an ultimatum is a bad idea for a woman to deliver to her man. It is seemingly taboo and supposedly points to a woman’s insecurity or need to rush someone else along. However, I challenge you to a different perspective.

An ultimatum by definition is; (1. a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force (2. a final proposal or statement of conditions.


There is a theme here- can you find the magic word? Yes! The magic word is “Final”. An ultimatum is the end of the road. It should not be used to “get your way”, “strike fear” or to “control” your mate. If you tell him this is the last time “X” is acceptable he may change. But if he behaves just to stay in your good graces, I promise you he will offend again and you will render your demand powerless overtime – if you keep taking him back.

An  ultimatum should be used in a situation where there is love, respect, care for the other person and for the preservation of the relationship. The legend is that if you give a man an ultimatum – you will ruin your relationship. I think that could not be farther from the truth. With all things static – It could be exactly what he needs. More importantly it is exactly what you need in order to feel no regrets if things can not improve.

The ultimatum is for you just as much as it is for him. You are in essence saying that you need him to bend, compromise or even change something that you just can not live with. You are saying “This is a deal breaker”. You have come to a point in your relationship where the action or situation is unacceptable.

Now here is the kicker. You must have mentioned this issue before. You can not give a man (or anyone for that matter) an ultimatum based on something that you are just expressing disdain about for the first time. Adversely, some women are just that decisive that if he does something she does not like – she knows herself enough to know that she can not wait for change and she may give you and ultimatum upon first strike. But this usually is the exception – not the rule.

So here is the good news: men look at an ultimatum (when delivered properly) like this:

“She loves me so much and has been patient as much as she could be about “X”. She is obviously getting to a point where she can no longer tolerate this and she is ready to end our relationship if I can not appease this or compromise to her standards. Before she just cuts it all off – she is being very clear about why she is gearing up to leave. Let me revisit this and see if I have gotten to a point where I can make the decision she needs me to make. I am scared but she is worth it. After all -she has been very understanding and compromising with me.”


That is another major key to pay attention to ladies. You can not expect a man to always bend, compromise and change for you and you do not reciprocate. Take an inventory of your relationship before you offer an ultimatum. Make sure you are deserving.

Are you trying to control? Is this clearly not the person for you but are you attempting to perform mental, emotional and circumstantial surgery on him to make him what YOU want him to be?  You may need to prepare for the denial off the bat – he may have nothing to consider…for you

What to do?

First and foremost, be cool and collected about your ultimatum. You do not want to sound as if you are purposely intimidating or controlling someone. Be focused but calm. Yelling is NOT a part of this process. If you find yourself yelling or angry while you deliver this message – this is not the time to deliver it. You are frustrated, sound impatient and he is going to stop listening. Re-evaluate the whys.

Mention this during a non-threatening moment; out on a date or while having a non-threatening conversation. When you have found that moment… SAY IT. Be forthright in your approach. Do not make him guess – he is bad at that. Just be honest.  Be kind but be firm.

What next?

The next thing to do is where MOST women mess up. What you do next is NOTHING. Fall back. You can not expect him to answer your request immediately. Even if he has the mental, emotional, physical and financial means to do so. Even if you have been waiting forever for him to make this choice. You have to understand that the reason he has not done it thus far is because he has apprehensions. Allow him ample time to shift his paradigm. Even if you have said it before- this is a new concept for him and obviously difficult.

Make a date (you don’t have to disclose this to him) to revisit things and do a pulse check. In the meantime do not mention this matter. I would also encourage you to create distance (you do not have to announce this either). You may be hearing a no. Ultimatum denied. He may not come through and you will have to move on and not look back. It would be easier for you to do this if you stopped looking at his pictures, reading his letters, talking on social media, talking about him to your friends or being too available. You need to take care of yourself AS HE WILL DO THE SAME when he makes his decision.

If it turns out that the answer is no and he is not ready for what you have requested – decide whether this is the end or you if you wait. This is where it gets tricky. If you decide to still stick around, know that the ultimatum may not be as effective if you try to use it again.

On the flip side. If he agreed to the terms when you delivered the ultimatum hold him to it- to the letter. No matter what. If he said “ok”, “anything for you” and agreed to the terms and he has selective amnesia when it is time to deliver, WALK. Especially if he did not communicate with you about why it can not happen the way you requested and just ignores the request. He is not ready. He is not the one.

Point: sometimes you MUST stir the pot. You can’t allow things to be status quo if they feel uncomfortable. You never know; the ultimatum may be just what is needed to move on to the next level and make it all good!

With that said, this is for your heart:

“We all have braved strong but bitter coffee (or tea) just to find tons of sweetness dormant at the bottom. Point: you could have enjoyed that or just got a new cup. Stir it up! “

but if all else fails….. drink this and look for new options


1 part frozen strawberry Daiquiri mix
1 part Piña Colada
1 splash Curacao
1 shot Bacardi 151 proof rum
Mixing instructions:

In a tall glass: Fill glass 1/3 full of strawberry daiquiri. Layer in the Pina Colada. Add a splash of Blue Curacao on top. Insert straw and fill with 151 Rum.

Are You Drinking or Thinking?

*If you have a specific question (anonymously, of course) or a topic you want covered, send an e-mail to: contact@SummerWillow.com
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