Openness and honesty are the key to every successful relationship. And so you must always bring up anything that’s bothering you. But sensitively. And there are still some things you shouldn’t say at all!
Like you’re bound to compare your current partner to other people you’ve dated. But keep your thoughts to yourself. It’s also not a good idea to ask too much about their previous partners – or even how many they’ve slept with. But it’s completely reasonable to worry about your sexual health. With this one it’s best to be blunt. Just ask straight out: “Do you have any STIs?”
Similarly, your partner might be doing something completely innocent that reminds you of a previous bad experience. It will affect your behaviour. Like making you unreasonably suspicious if an ex cheated, for example. Bringing everything into the open generally solves the problem.
Don’t be annoyed – or sarcastic – about body image questions like “Do I look fat in this?” Instead, gently encourage your partner to accept themselves the way they actually are. Stressing that it’s their personality and the way you treat one another that’s what’s really attractive about them.
Tempted to stray?
Your eye is also bound to wander! We’re just wired that way. Just so long as you’re only harmlessly attracted to passing strangers, mentioning these moments to your partner will only upset them.
But if you’re ever seriously tempted to stray, then something’s probably going wrong in your relationship. Resist the temptations – and try to find the cause together.
Avoid “You always…” and “You never…” arguments. They just put your partner on the defensive. Instead only discuss specific events, stressing how each one made you feel, and what your partner can do differently next time. Chances are they will.
If you’re still early in a relationship, don’t make any comments at all about your partner’s finances! But once you’re serious, you must start discussing your financial plans and how to manage your money together.
Be diplomatic – it’s a hot topic – and give your partner time to prepare for your discussions.
Openness and honesty’s also very important when talking about sex. Many couples find the whole subject hugely embarrassing. But becoming truly intimate with someone means discussing literally everything. And there’s no doubt that you’ll have much more fun in bed once you can talk openly about what you want.
Then there’s your in-laws. Don’t try to keep your feelings hidden, but be respectful. Exactly how you’d want your partner to talk about your family if the situation were reversed.
Never ambush your partner on a difficult subject. Especially if either of you is stressed. Fix a time in the next day or so. Your conversation will go much better if you’re both prepared for the discussion.
And think how you react to what your partner tells you. If you’re always giving them a hard time, they’ll soon stop telling you anything at all! Instead just listen, and think before you reply.