4 tricky dating conversations and how to broach them
In any new relationship it’s only natural that you and your partner will be curious about each other’s past experiences and what the future holds. You’ll often find you feel at ease when you know exactly how you both view your relationship. Take your time, only discuss tricky subjects when you feel ready, and don’t disclose more than you feel comfortable.
1. What’s happened in the past
Contrary to the age-old phrase, what’s happened in the past doesn’t always need to stay in the past. Although bitter memories of previous relationships can be difficult, it’s important to remember that these experiences have helped you become the person you are today – the person your date is interested in finding out more about.
Approach your past positively. Pointing out exactly what was wrong with your ex isn’t necessary and may have your new date wondering what you’re going to say about them if things don’t work out. Talk about what you’ve learned and how you now understand what you’re looking for in a partner. If you have children with your ex, make it clear that although you share this bond, you have no interest in rekindling your relationship. Your new date should be reassured that you’re ready to move forward, potentially with them.
2. Your future together
Whether talking about long-term aspirations like marriage, or the next stage in your relationship such as moving in together, setting expectations is important. Deciding what comes next should be exciting for you both, but will also be a time when you’ll undoubtedly question what the other expects.
Before discussing your future, be sure about what you personally want from your relationship. Having a clear idea of what’s important to you will help you to express yourself when such conversations arise.
When talking about your future, be truthful. Whether you’ve decided that you want to show more commitment or that you’re not yet sure what comes next, all that matters is that you agree on similar levels of commitment at this stage.
3. Thing aren’t going to plan
It’s difficult to discuss teething problems in a new relationship, especially when you’re not completely sure how your date reacts to difficult conversations.
Be gentle when discussing your annoyance, whether you’re concerned that you’re not spending enough time together or questioning your prospective partner’s interest. The idea isn’t to offend or have your date feel like you’re personally attacking them. Explain your problem and let them respond. Be diplomatic. Make sure you ask if there’s anything you can do to help and whether they have any grievances.
Talking through problems when they arise is the basis of a strong relationship and something you’ll need to learn to do if your relationship is to succeed.
4. Time to move on
Breaking up with someone is always tricky, especially if you’ve become attached to the person you’ve been seeing. But, when you’ve decided that it’s over you must be up front with your partner.
Choose a neutral but quiet location like a local park, so you can say your piece and go your separate ways. Remain composed, be firm, and explain your reasons if you feel comfortable. You don’t need to justify yourself to the other person and certainly don’t need to enter into an argument.
Try to remain positive. Every relationship teaches you something about yourself and what you’re looking for in a future partner. Although they may not see it now, eventually your date may agree that fundamentally your relationship wasn’t going to work.
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