Having “the talk” in dating can be an uncomfortable but necessary conversation for many couples. The “what are we?” conversation is typically used to establish the relationship status, expectations, and future plans of a couple. Here’s a guide on how to have this important discussion in a healthy and productive way.
Wait for the right moment: The timing of the talk is important. Don’t bring it up when one of you is feeling emotional or stressed, or in the middle of a fight. Choose a quiet, relaxed moment to have the conversation, such as a walk in the park or a dinner date.
Be honest with yourself: Before you have the talk, think about what you want and need from the relationship. Be clear about your own feelings, goals, and expectations. If you’re unsure about the future of the relationship, it’s okay to acknowledge this to your partner.
Choose your words carefully: When having the talk, choose your words carefully. Avoid using ultimatums or making demands. Instead, focus on having an open and honest conversation about your feelings and expectations. It’s important to listen to your partner’s perspective as well.
Be respectful: Remember that your partner may have different feelings and expectations about the relationship. Listen to their perspective and be respectful of their thoughts and feelings. Try to avoid making assumptions about what your partner wants or needs.
Be open-minded: The talk should be a time for both of you to express your thoughts and feelings, and to listen to each other’s perspectives. Be open-minded and considerate of your partner’s views. If there are differences in opinion, try to find a compromise that works for both of you.
Be clear and direct: Be clear and direct in your communication. If you’re not sure what your partner is thinking or feeling, ask them. It’s important to be straightforward and honest in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
Be prepared for different outcomes: The talk may not always have the outcome you expect. Your partner may not be ready for a serious commitment, or they may have different goals for the relationship. Be prepared for different outcomes and be ready to adjust your expectations if necessary.
Take your time: Don’t feel pressured to have the talk right away. Take your time and wait until both of you are ready. Rushing into the conversation may lead to misunderstandings and cause unnecessary stress.
Avoid blaming or accusing: When having the talk, avoid blaming or accusing your partner. This can lead to defensiveness and make the conversation less productive. Instead, focus on expressing your own feelings and needs in a non-threatening way.
Avoid using the word “never“: When discussing future plans, avoid using words like “never” or “always“. This can make the conversation less productive and lead to misunderstandings. Instead, focus on discussing your goals and expectations for the future in a flexible and open-minded way.
Be open to negotiation: Relationships are about compromise and negotiation. Be open to discussing and negotiating your goals and expectations for the future. This can help both of you feel more secure and satisfied in the relationship.
Seek outside support: If you’re feeling nervous about having the talk, consider seeking outside support from a trusted friend or therapist. This can help you to feel more confident and prepared for the conversation.
Follow up: After the talk, make sure to follow up and check in with your partner. This will help you both to stay on the same page and ensure that your relationship continues to grow and develop in a positive way.
In conclusion, having “the talk” in dating can be a difficult but necessary conversation for many couples. By being honest with yourself, choosing your words carefully, being respectful, open-minded, clear, and direct, and being prepared for different outcomes, you can have a healthy and productive conversation about your relationship status and future plans.