Communication is crucial in relationships. If you can’t speak to someone, how can you spend the rest of your life with them? In fact, miscommunication is a leading cause for breakups. If you don’t mention things which matter, or say them in a way your partner can understand, then you can’t be surprised if they’re not on the same page.

Equally, over communication could do damage. Nothing kills the fun of a relationship as much as someone who wants deep conversations all the time. It’s hardly appealing. In this instance, your partner may avoid coming home because they can’t deal with how serious you always are.

So, how do you find the middle ground? Obviously, this varies. Some couples love to get everything out in the open, while others work better with a little more resolve. But, to help you find the balance, we’re going to look at some of the crucial conversations every relationship needs to have at some stage.

The ‘I love you’ talk

The first conversation is the classic ‘I love you’ talk. It doesn’t get much harder than this. Say it too soon, and your partner may run a mile. Say it too late, and they may convince themselves that you don’t have those feelings.

To be honest, there’s nothing more you can do than go with your gut feeling here. And, remember that sometimes ‘love’ feelings are often infatuation in the early stages. It’s generally better to wait at least three months before saying those all important words. For some couples, this could extend to six months. Use indicators, such as the amount of time you spend together, and how the other person is towards you. And, be 100% sure of your feelings before you reveal them.

Equally, don’t feel afraid not to reciprocate if your partner says it before you’re ready. This may hurt them at the time, but it’s crucial you’re honest. And, they’re sure to appreciate the time you took when you do finally reach a place to return their love.

When for now becomes forever

Just after the above confession, the dynamics of your relationship will change. Instead of feeling like a temporary fling, it should take on a sense of permanence. And, when it does, there are a few things you need to talk about.

For the most part, conversations like these should take place in stages. They could span months or even years. First, check that you’re both on the same page. The marriage and baby conversation is always awkward, but these can be deal breakers. As such, you need to broach them. Find subtle ways to do this, and gage your partner’s reaction. Perhaps put on a film where someone gets married and make comments like ‘I’d love a wedding like that.’. Or, say things like ‘I always wanted to call my kids…’ When you hear a name you love. Keep things neutral, so you don’t come on too heavy. If your partner doesn’t seem interested, it could be a bad sign.

If the initial conversations go well, turn your general observations into personal ones. Start to talk about what you’d both like for your futures. This can span across everything from whether you’d like to become homeowners, to what retirement village you’d like to go to when the time comes. In a practical sense, it’s important you know these things about each other. After all, you’ll soon be each other’s next of kin. This is also an excellent way to keep the future in mind and continue to move forward as a couple.

Those niggling issues

Of course, not all conversations have such a positive slant. As your relationship progresses, certain things will start to annoy you. In the early days, you may think you can overlook these. But, if they keep grating, you need to address them. Generally, these will be small things that your partner doesn’t even notice doing. If you draw their attention to the issue, they’ll make an effort not to do it.

When we’re around someone all the time, things we’d never expect to be a problem can become irritating. Something as simple as not putting the toilet seat down could become a serious issue if you ignore it. Make sure to approach the issue in the right way. Just ask, in a calm manner, whether they’d mind changing the behavior. Accept, too, when they come to you with issues. Relationships are about compromise, and conversations like these are central to that.

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