At the beginning of a relationship, everything feels new, magical, and cute, that you often overlook having serious conversations because you just don’t want to ruin the moment with seriousness.
But once the relationship gets serious and the lovey dovey phase is over, some difficult conversations must be had about different aspects of both your lives.
Though some of these conversations are difficult, it is important they are had as early as possible to prevent getting caught up with someone with whom you are not compatible. It also helps you to find out if there are differences between you that are too great to be overlooked.
In this article we share 10 important conversations that you must have with your partner once the relationship has reached the serious stage.
We all have different relationships with our families so a conversation about family is one of the first that should be had.
You need to know what role one’s family plays in their life, how involved they are in their family, and how much value they place on it.
During these conversations, you get to know if there are any triggers, baggage, or past family issues that can affect the relationship, so you can both decide whether to continue with the relationship despite any underlying situations.
Sharing about your family also enables your partner to respect and understand you better as well as establish what boundaries to set between your relationship and your family.
Conversations around money are extremely difficult to have because of the role, value, and symbolism that money has in our lives.
For so many people, money reflects success and personal growth, hence the hesitation to share about their finances for fear of how they will be perceived.
This makes it even more crucial that you have these conversations because one partner that’s bad with finances can ruin your credit score and all the hard work you have put in to become financially stable and independent.
It is important that you find out how they handle money on their own, individual debt, savings culture, and retirement plans.
This information can help you navigate how to share expenses as well as plan for the future and realize whether you can support each other financially or not.
Financial disagreements are a common cause of breakups so this makes this specific conversation a must have.
We all show commitment in different ways. To one changing their social media relationship status to “in a relationship” is commitment while to some there is no commitment until they have a ring on their finger.
You must both share your views on what commitment looks and feels like to both of you so that you can know how to express it to the other when the time comes.
You need to know how your partner feels about; marriage or not getting married, if they want a monogamous relationship or an open one.
You also need to know what stages they consider being important in a relationship. It is also key that you discuss boundaries and definitions of what both of you consider being cheating.
Once you know what commitment looks like to them versus what it looks like to you, you can decide whether or not you can see yourself with this person and whether you can get the fulfillment you desire out of the relationship.
You don’t have to wait to start having sex to start talking about it.
It’s important to know whether you are compatible sexually. You need to know your partner’s sexual needs and desires so that you can decide whether or not you can fulfill them and whether yours will be fulfilled.
It is also crucial that you create an open and non-judgmental space for these conversations so that you can both express your needs and desires expectations regarding sex.
Children are a crucial part of a relationship because they greatly affect the dynamic of a relationship. Therefore, it is important that you and your partner get to know each other’s thoughts on children.
You have to discuss things such as; whether to have them or not, how many you want, if one or both of you already has a child/children and what role you want the other to have in the child/children’s lives.
You also want to know what an ideal family looks like for both of you and what each partner’s role is in the children’s lives.
- PERSONAL DREAMS AND GOALS
I can’t stress how fundamental it is that as a couple, you talk about the individual aspirations and goals you each have for your lives. Things such as; education, career, and travel must be discussed without fail.
It will be problematic if you skip this conversation and later realize that you guys have very contrasting goals and aspirations. This will make you start to feel out of sync.
It’s important that you table what you are working towards, where you envision yourself in a few weeks, months, and years.
This will enable you to know whether you can be a part of each other’s dreams and how you can support them.
It will also give you the chance to realize that you are with someone who respects that you have a life outside of the relationship or not.
- RELATIONSHIP GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS
You must communicate what you both expect from your partner in regards to the relationship. Share your ideas about how you envision an equal partnership.
Do any of you prefer traditional roles or not? What are your ideas about balancing and sharing roles? These expectations once communicated will show you whether you can co-exist and function within the same space.
You should also communicate and set short-term and long-term goals as a couple. Do you guys want to travel a lot? Do you want to save up for a house or not?
These things are important so that you can both achieve the vision you have as a couple.
- PAST EXPERIENCES
Sharing about past experiences is important because it helps your partner understand you better. Share things such as good childhood memories as well as bad ones and fun adventures that you have had in the past.
Talk about past relationships respectfully and only necessary details, such as infidelity and how it has affected the way you view relationships.
It is also important that you share your legal history. Have you had trouble with the law in the past? This will enable both of you to know what shaped the other person and whether you are willing or not to put up with some of the consequences of things they did in the past.
- SPIRITUALITY AND VALUES
You must know what your partner considers to be their values as well as communicate what you consider to be yours.
Values guide behavior and decisions like how to raise your children, what careers to pursue or not to pursue and how you treat other people.
Hence the urgency to communicate what values you both hold in high regard.
When it comes to spirituality, it is key that you share any religious or non-religious beliefs that you hold.
Make your partner aware about them, how important they are to you and what role and influence they have in your life.
This will prevent you from getting deep in a relationship where you cannot tolerate certain religious or non-religious beliefs.
Conflict is an inevitable part of every relationship. It is important that you both communicate how you individually deal with conflict and how you would like to deal with it as a couple.
Do you like to yell or not? Do you like to solve things there immediately or would you rather take off some time to think and process?
Do you both feel safe to openly talk about disagreements and fights? How much fighting and disagreeing is too much?
Such questions are important because conflict management is a very crucial part of a relationship since it is impossible to be together and eye to eye on everything.
The level of compatibility is vital for the success and growth of a relationship. What’s considered important is also different depending on the relationship and the people. I hope the above suggestions can guide you on what to pay attention to, as well as determine what is negotiable for you and what isn’t.