At the early stage of a romantic relationship, everything is glitter and gold. Then after the honeymoon stage, the question of “where do we stand?” might start to linger in your mind. At this point, you might start to doubt the status of the relationship.
Before getting ahead of yourself and assuming that your partner is on a different page, here are five steps on how to have the conversation with your lover about getting serious.
1. Prepare the way.
Having any type of conversation where you don’t know how the other person is feeling can get you anxious. Giving your partner a heads up that you both need to talk can serve as a lead so that you don’t catch your partner unaware.
Even though you might think that your significant other hasn’t cared to bring the topic up, you probably don’t know how they feel. According to Psychology Today, “When something is bothering you, whether it’s a trivial housekeeping concern or a more serious relationship dispute, it’s only fair to provide your partner with an alert that there’s something you wish to discuss.”
2. Avoidance doesn’t work.
Being emotionally trapped in between what you feel and how your partner might react can make you prolong the conversation. Communication is the key to success in any relationship. Avoiding any sort of conversation with your partner does not do well for any relationship’s future. Feelings of fear and doubt when wanting to address an issue with your partner reassures that you are both not communicating effectively.
3. Effective Communication
Since the conversation might be a bit overdue, you need to know how to effectively bring the topic up and run it smoothly. Understand that your partner is not up to date with the millions of thoughts that have run through your head or the assumptions you have made about the relationship. Ideally, you should first run the conversation in your head, one topic at a time.
Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and act as if you are becoming aware of everything. Build your foundation to ease your way into the conversation and set aside some starter questions such as, “Where do you see us going?” or “Have you put some thought into our relationship?” Remain open to understanding your partner’s side.
4. Reflect and see if you are both on the same page.
After having the conversation, you should know where you stand. Even if you are both on the same page and want the same things or not, you now need to sit and have a conversation by yourself.
Are you okay with committing, taking more time to figure things out, or are you willing to live on your partner’s terms? After having the talk, you can begin playing mind games and wonder why you even brought up the conversation in the first place. Take some time to reflect before you make your final decision to proceed or leave things as they are.
5. Decide if you can live with the outcome.
By now, you should know what your ideal outcome is. Deciding whether to stay or leave a relationship can be one of the hardest things to do. Are you going to change your mind about what you want? Probably not. If you are looking to get married within a year and your partner doesn’t feel the same, is your significant other going to change their mind? Probably not. Understand that if you both want different things, there isn’t one that is better than the other. You just both want different things and that is okay. Take some time to recollect your thoughts and think about your final decision. Keep your cool and move forward.
In a perfect world, you and your partner’s future looks bright, but the world isn’t perfect.
Take these steps and reflect on them before having the actual conversation. Be open and receptive to your significant other’s opinion and just let things fall into place.