Getting Serious? Be Sure to Discuss These 5 Topics Before Taking the Leap
Dating in a “swipe right” world is much different than how your parents dated. Courtship has evolved into speed dating, dating apps, and inflated profiles. The good news is one aspect of dating hasn’t changed. Discussing life-changing deal breakers before making ultimate commitments is still a best practice. If you find yourself in a semi-serious relationship and are contemplating a commitment, be sure to address these common social topics, and their financial implications before moving forward.
Wanting or not wanting children can make or break a relationship instantly. Know your preferences and don’t be afraid to engage in this conversation. Whether or not to have children can be a dynamic, life-changing decision. It also comes with a financial commitment of child-rearing costs, daycare, and tuitions. Make sure your partner shares your views.
Where to Live
If you’ve dreamt of country living and imagine yourself raising a family in a rural setting, you need to share this with your partner to make sure you’re not committing to someone who feels just as strongly about living in the city. Where you plan to establish your family will also have financial implications. Be sure to discuss your expectations so you can prepare together how best to manage the cost of living in your dream location.
We often avoid discussing religion when we’re starting off a new relationship. However, if you’re considering a long-term commitment, it’s probably best to have these discussions. Aligning your moral compass with someone may be simple but adhering to a series of spiritual requirements or adopting a new faith altogether might be a deal breaker. Be candid and honest about what you expect. Religion can play a part in every aspect of life together including ceremonies, child-rearing, and obligations.
Division of Finances
Be clear about your spending decisions, setting up finances and investments. If you’re adamant about maintaining your own accounts, discuss it with your partner. Maybe you both agree to make all of these financial decisions together and jointly. Don’t be afraid to discuss credit scores, outstanding debts and plans for long-term savings. The more you’re able to address up front, the easier the transition will be into a committed partnership.
Maybe your dream is to be an entrepreneur. Maybe you want to climb the corporate ladder with your firm. Maybe you don’t want to work at all. Talking about your career goals and understanding your partner’s career goals can uncover potential deal breakers. Career choices will also directly affect your income as a household.
Disagreeing on any of these topics doesn’t necessarily constitute a breakup. It will, however, be a good indicator of shared beliefs and relationship compromise. Stick to your guns on those most important to you, but don’t be afraid to negotiate others. Compromising and settling are very different. Be willing to compromise, but don’t settle for someone who challenges your core beliefs. Discussing these before walking down the aisle can help eliminate a lifetime of resentment or costly separation later.
Communication and Relationships: Communication Is The Key To A Healthy Sex Life
You know that feeling on Christmas morning, when you’re sitting down near the tree, and you’re excited because you’re pretty sure your special someone got you just what you wanted? But then, as the day goes on, you realize that they didn’t. Instead, they got you something that was very thoughtful, and a little insightful, but it wasn’t really what you had your heart set on.
That feeling? That mix of bittersweet and disappointment that you feel sort of bad for having, but still can’t shake off? There’s no reason you should feel like that in your sex life. If you find that sensation creeping in, there’s a sure-fire way to do away with it. It isn’t a huge secret, but it can take time to get used to it.
Tell Them What You Want… It’s As Simple As That
The reason you don’t get the gift you want, more often than not, is a lack of communication. Maybe you think you were being clear, but if you’re dropping hints hoping your significant other will follow the trail of breadcrumbs, there’s no guarantee they’ll reach the conclusion you wanted them to. If you want them to get to the right place, you need to post clear signs, and draw them a map.
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to your sex life.
The problem is that a lot of us are embarrassed to talk about sex, or about what we want from sex. We think that if it isn’t spontaneous, and that if it isn’t born out of in-the-moment passion that it’s somehow not as genuine, or that it shouldn’t be as good. That thing where two people intimately know each other’s wants, though? That happens in one of two ways. The first is that you’re the protagonist in a romance novel, and the writer wants to make your love life seem perfect and magical. The second is that you and your partner have been together for a long time, and you’ve explored each other’s needs, grown together, and discovered all those red buttons and secret wants.
There is no shortcut to a great sex life, but you can speed up the process by not playing coy when it comes time to retire to the bedroom (or the living room, or the kitchen, or wherever your preferred place happens to be). You just need to take a deep breath, sit down with your partner, and be open with them about what you need from them.
You Might Find Buried Treasure, If You Start Digging
Open, honest communication is scary. Even if you love your partner, and you trust them, you are leaving a very private part of yourself exposed. But if you can’t be truly naked when it comes to your sex life, then when would there be a more appropriate time?
You’ll find something else happens when you’re direct, open, and honest with your partner, too. You end up learning that what you want might not really be all that hard to provide. Whether it’s how you like to be touched, what your fantasies are, or what things you’d really prefer your partner stop doing, you’re going to find those barriers that felt insurmountable are really just smoke and mirrors.
Because trying to figure out your partner’s sexual wants is a lot like being a safe cracker. If you’ve got a good ear, the right tools, and a lot of experience, you can tell when the tumblers have dropped, and you’ve gotten inside. But since you want your partner to get in, not giving them the combination in the first place isn’t really helping anyone.
Attempting to broach any serious conversation with a loved one can lead to major anxiety depending on the topic at hand. Over the years, it has become more accepted to have frank discussions regarding a litany of subjects that were, at one time, considered too sensitive to approach.
The money discussion seems to have remained the steadfast untouchable topic among some. However, open and honest discussion about money issues with friends and family doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable chore. Here are some easy-to-follow tips on opening up the lines of communication about money with those nearest and dearest to you.
- Start Slow – You may want to ease into the money conversation, especially with regards to older family members who may not be as open to frank money discussions. Maybe bring up a recent news item that is topical and could lead to a deeper discussion about money matters.
- Remember You Are Not Alone – Money stress and worries are very common. It may surprise you to find that issues you are grappling with are issues for those you love as well. Finding common ground can help the discussion stay friendly and useful for all involved.
- Stay on Point – When discussing something as personal as finances, it can be easy to veer off topic or begin to accuse or object. You may find that breaking the talk up into smaller talks held over a longer period of time is more effective.
- Comparison is the Thief of Joy – Try to avoid comparing your financial situation with that of your loved one. We all have our own stories and we may be only receiving one side. Focus on your own situation in the midst of money discussions. If your discussion is one of concern or an attempt to help your loved one, try to remain focused on their current financial fitness and your role as listener.
The goal in any potentially awkward discussion is to remain focused, calm, and reasonable. This is important even in the face of a discussion partner who may not always approach things the same way. If a discussion begins to go “south” it is probably best to take a step back and attempt to address the issue at a later date. Money discussions do not have to leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. If you concentrate on the purpose behind the discussion and the connections you have (and want to maintain) with those involved in the conversation, the result can be win-win for everyone.