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At the beginning of a new relationship, most chats tend to be fun and light-hearted. Getting to know each other is the fundamental goal of these conversations.
As your relationship progresses, the conversations between you and your partner should become more meaningful and complex. Rather than discussing your favorite colors, you should be focused on having heart-to-heart conversations. Though many of these conversations are joyful and romantic, other topics can be more challenging to discuss. Despite the discomfort, discussing these topics will help you assess the strength of your relationship while preparing you for the future.
Pet Peeves & Personal Flaws
Discussing our flaws and the things that get on our nerves is never particularly enjoyable. Even so, these things must be discussed in order to keep a relationship healthy.
Instead of quietly seething about your partner's annoying habits, sit down and have an open conversation about the things that are bothering you. Frankly discuss what you need from your partner. Would an apology satisfy you or are you adamant about changing your partner's ways? Listen to your partner and hear what he or she has to say, too. You should both be willing to make minor changes and compromises for the sake of your relationship.
Sometimes, an individual will simply need to accept that their partner has a trait that is bothersome. If your partner is chronically messy but it drives you crazy, you may have to find a solution that works for both of you. If cleaning up after your partner irritates you, consider hiring a housemaid.
By finding practical solutions for your pet peeves and shortcomings, you can build a stronger and healthier relationship.
Your Goals for the Future
If you are entering into a serious relationship with someone, it is absolutely crucial to discuss your future goals and plans. Do you see yourself getting married (or re-married) in the future? Do you plan to continue working the same job for the next ten years or are you looking to change your career? Would you like to spend your retirement in your hometown or do you plan to move somewhere entirely new?
Discussing your future plans is crucial to the health of your relationship. Vastly conflicting goals may ultimately be a deal-breaker for you or your partner. By discussing your plans earlier in the relationship, however, you have a better chance of finding a compromise that satisfies both parties. If one partner wants to retire abroad while the other wishes to stay close to their family, it may be possible to rent or purchase homes in both locations, spending half the year in each place. Though discussing the future can be tricky, talking about these topics will allow you to better plan for the times ahead.
Most people are uncomfortable facing their own mortality. Thinking about death can be upsetting, frightening, and disconcerting.
Though discussing death and end-of-life wishes isn't pleasant, it is a conversation that needs to happen. If your relationship is serious, you will want to explain your final wishes to your partner. Even if your partner is not the surrogate decision maker for your end-of-life health, your partner should understand where you stand regarding topics such as life support, burial or cremation, and hospice care.
By discussing these topics with your partner while you are in good health, you can reduce the stress and confusion surrounding the end-of-life decision-making process.
The Compromises You Cannot Make
Before committing to a serious relationship, you and your partner should discuss the compromises that you are unwilling to make. Both individuals in a relationship should retain a certain independence from one another. It is important not to lose yourself in your relationship.
You and your partner should each retain your old friends, interests, and hobbies. You should avoid feeling jealous or possessive when your partner needs "me time" or a weekend away with their family. If certain aspects of your life, such as your career, are especially important to you, make it clear to your partner that you are not willing to sacrifice this part of yourself for your relationship. By making your opinions known, you and your partner can create a future together that accommodates both of your needs and desires.
Though it can be uncomfortable to discuss these serious subjects, doing so can improve the quality of your relationship. Instead of silently resenting your partner, make your needs known to him or her. Rather than being caught off-guard by your divergent plans for the future, talk about things before they result in conflict. By discussing these difficult topics today, you can strengthen your relationship.
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