THE cliché ‘love is blind’ can be true to an extent, conversations are one of the ways to open the sleepy eyes of love. This is why it is very important that you have heart-felt conversations with people you share a bond with. This is not a ritual that is unique to just romantic relationships; it must be practised in platonic relationships as well. When you choose to converse, you are opening yourself to another person’s opinion and world and it is best that you evaluate the information you are getting critically.
The focus will be on romantic relationships for this week and the laser target will be on a number of topics that you must discuss with the person you are in a relationship with. Engaging in this kind of discussion will help you to know the kind of person you are dealing with and how you can move forward in the relationship. It will also help you re-evaluate your commitment to the relationship and to the other party. What conversations must you have in your relationship?
The ‘tell me about your childhood’ chat
‘What exactly does my partner’s childhood have to do with our relationship?’ Everything! How a person is raised determines a lot of things about their behaviour and reactions to events. It might surprise you to find out that your partner is incapable of remembering important dates in your relationships and it is not because he is not invested in the relationship. It might just mean that his upbringing is not so hung on dates and petty celebrations. That is one conflict resolved within the relationship! Talking about your values and how you were raised can help you walk the relationship tightrope.
Even with people raised in similar or nearly identical background, there will still be issues bordering around individual differences, how much more with people from very different background and value system. The tell me about your childhood chat will shed light on the reason why your partner is acting the way they do. While the question might be shallow on a second or third date, once the relationship starts getting serious, you must make out time to talk about it. It is that important.
The ‘how about the bills’ chat
Sometimes in relationships, partners do not sit down to explicitly have money talks. They just hover around with assumptions and behavioural analysis – it is very normal to know how your partner would spend a pay check. These assumptions can cause a lot of friction, it is better to sit down and talk about it in plain terms. Money issues are not actually about money, it is about what money means to each partner in a relationship. To avoid money issues and the other trivialities they can bring up; it is best you know what money means to your partner and how you can resolve issues around money, if and when they show up.
With the possibility that you would end up in the same house, or you are already in the same house, the place of money cannot be overemphasised. Ask your partner important questions revolving around how they manage their finance presently. Ask them about bills and who is expected to pay for what at a particular time. You can work up scenarios that are realistic and see what your partner has to say about it. These conversations can be really eye-opening. Most spendthrifts do not know that they are one; it takes the intervention of an external agent for them to see how they have been mismanaging money. You must also decide on issues like the modalities of a joint account or how each partner will contribute to run the house, depending on your preference.
The ‘Let’s talk about sex’ conversation
Like it or loathe it, sex is an important part of the entire romantic relationship endeavour. In the conservative environment, we have found ourselves, it is even likely that a lot of people in romantic relationships are not even aware of their sexual orientation and preference and this is why they do not get the most out of sex. This makes the conversation dicey and really awkward, what you can do is to bring it up in a very friendly, non-judgemental way. One thing you must do is to ensure that you listen when your other half is speaking. If need be, you might have to meet up with a sex therapist.
Sexual incompatibility is a big deal and marriages have gotten dissolved due to it. You should talk about sex with your other half – their preference, the frequency, perhaps, there is a particular fantasy they would like to try out. Here is what is promised, you are likely to hear mind-blowing things, but you must remain as open and non-judgemental as possible during and after the discussion.
The ‘Hey, what about Junior’ conversation
It would be futile to discuss sex and not plan for the possible aftermath of sex. Talk about children, it is an important conversation as well. How many do you plan to have, is the number in direct contradiction to what your partner wants? How do you plan to maintain intimacy as the children come in? About two-thirds of couples have a sharp drop in relationship satisfaction shortly after a child is born and the drop gets deeper with each subsequent child.
How do you plan to cater for the offspring? What kind of life do you envisage for them? All of these must be discussed and agreed upon. That’s why the conversation is serious.
Next week on WhatsApp conversation, we will be considering the series of conversations you must have in your relationships with a focus on platonic relationships.