Thinking as a team is essential for any successful relationship however it demands that we overcome a basic human trait – selfishness. In order to think as a team, we must first put ourselves aside and consider what’s the best thing for the team. This is easier said than done.
Realize that you are not losing your individuality, rather you are making a conscious choice to align your goals with that of another person for mutual betterment. In that, you may lose the battle but you will win the war. This is a key feature of being able to think as a team.
Allow yourself to have selfish thoughts. It’s perfectly okay and quite frankly, if you didn’t it would be a little odd. Recognize that those thoughts are what’s good for you but may not be what’s best for the team. Attempting to never have selfish thoughts will only lead to frustration and resentment.
Now consider what is best for the team. It may include elements of what’s best for you but it probably won’t be everything that you want. If you’re unsure about your decision, consider how your partner would react; then consider how you would react if the situation were reversed.
Give yourself room for negotiation. If you truly want something, talk to your partner about it before you make the decision. If you’ve truly committed to your team, you don’t want to screw it up over something essentially insignificant (insignificant = temporary and fleeting). For example, if you’re saving for a house, you probably shouldn’t drop a few thousand on cute clothes but you probably can pick out a few nice things each year to supplement what you already own.