According to Healthline, the best way to talk to your partner is by being respectful and have a normal conversation. You don’t want to start throwing accusations at each other, blaming them for your problems, and complaining. You don’t want to ambush your partner when they just walk in the door, before you are going to bed, before or after getting intimate, when your partner is hungry or tired, or when your partner has had a hard day.

You need to listen to your partner. Give your significant other the chance to say what they need to say. If you don’t listen to each other, your relationship may not get to the point where you can be exclusive. Ask your partner questions and let them ask you questions. This will give you the chance to get the answers you need.

Remember, do not try to read your partner’s mind or jump to conclusions. You can probably tell when something is wrong with your partner. So, directly ask your partner what’s going on, and don’t settle with the answer ‘fine.’ because clearly, something is wrong.

Something you can try to open up the lines of communications between you is set some time to the side so that you can have a designated time where you need to talk. It’s very hard to actually have a discussion in between the chaos that your everyday life is. You may even have to juggle opposing schedules to make sure that you find the time where you can be together in the midst of everything.

Lastly, make sure you tell your partner what you need. Whether it is a hug or a date night, or just some more communication between you so that you are on the same page and that there isn’t any miscommunications or any unneeded stress.

Here are the top five questions you need to discuss with your partner before you decide whether or not you are ready to become exclusive.

1. What are your plans, dreams, desires, and goals for the immediate future?

The first, less threatening question to ask your partner is what their dreams, plans, goals, etc. are for the future. This is important because you want to find out where you fit in in your significant other’s life. See if you have some of the same plans for the future because if you do, you will find that it will be very promising to go forward together.

2. Do you have any disgruntled ghosts of boyfriends/girlfriends past?

This is a more daring question for you to ask. But it might be good to know if you need to watch out for someone who probably really doesn’t like you or someone that might come back into the picture and haunt you. So if there are some disgruntled ghosts in your partner’s closet, you may find that it is relieving to know, so that you are prepared to deal with it, or if you have had a bad relationship in the past, it may be relieving to let your partner know so that there are no surprises.

3. Is there anything I should be aware of?

Awareness is the main thing you need to be conscious of can span across a plethora of issues. You need to be aware of anything that is going on with your partner, whether it’s health issues, their career, stress, anxiety, any mental health problems, children, ex’s, etc. If it’s important you should be aware of it because a relationship only works when you have transparency.

4. Do you have any family baggage or family relationship issues that I need to know?

Family is a very important thing for you to be aware of. Will your potential in-laws super crazy, difficult, overbearing, etc? Or are you going to love them? It’s important for you to know everything you need to about your partner’s family so that you aren’t shocked in meeting them.

5. What are your expectations when it comes to being intimate? 

This is a very risky, personal question to ask your partner. You can probably imagine all the questions you can ask about their thoughts about sex. Something you need to be aware of or if you aren’t ready for intimacy or you don’t like too much intimacy, you need to talk with your partner. It helps to know your partner’s mood when associated with getting intimate, their level of kinkiness, frequency, health, birth control options and more. Remember, the more you are open to discussing sex with your partner, the more you will understand each other and your intimacy will flourish.

Source: Your Tango

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