The talk

Relationships are fantastic. They’re a chance to share your life with someone special, experiencing things with them and having a connection that goes beyond regular friendship.

While you’ve probably already discussed loyalty to each other and various other boundaries, you’ll eventually reach a point where the conversations turn more serious. It may be time to have “the talk” with your significant other.

Conversations about where the relationship is going, what each partner’s expectations for the relationship are, and thoughts on a serious future are essential to an honest and open relationship. While you probably shouldn’t bring these up on the first date, by the end of the first few months (around the time that the first “I love yous” may be cautiously dropping), these are important things to talk about.

Here are a few questions to get you going:

  1. What is your goal for this relationship? This question is neutral. It isn’t coercive or assuming, and it is open-ended, leaving your partner room to answer however they want to. Have your own answer in mind, but be sure to listen to their response before cutting in with yours. This also isn’t reaching too far into the future and doesn’t bring up the all-so-serious m-word.
  2. Where do you want us to be in six months? Again, open-ended and unassuming. This also opens the floor for future planning (moving in together, if meeting the parents is in order, etc.) and what each of your expectations are.
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More seriously:

  1. What are your thoughts on moving in together? While the presence of this question is dependent on your own views about co-habitation before marriage, it’s a good question to ask so you’re both on the same page. If you find that you’re spending more nights with each other than separately, this may be a question to ask sooner rather than later (lease agreements pending).
  2. What are your thoughts on marriage? Do you think this is a possibility for us? This is a question that’s important to time correctly. This is a little more assuming and dependent on where each of you are in your life. Where you are in your schooling and careers may determine whether or not you have the money to afford being married, as well as other things. This conversation, if you are both down with eventually getting married, will lead to other regarding the details of your future with each other.

While you may want to bask in the glow of a perfect relationship forever, these are important questions to ask so you and your partner both have the same idea of where you are as a couple. You may not like the answer they give you, but being honest with each other is much more important.

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And remember, people can always change their minds. Even bringing these questions up and giving your input may give them a different perspective they hadn’t considered before.

A relationship is a beautiful thing, and it can be made even more beautiful with communication and discussions about your future.