Monday, August 20, 2007

Relationship Talk Series: "Where is this Relationship Going?"

Ahhhh...the dreaded relationship "talks". I often get asked, "Keesh is it too soon for me to ask him where this is going?” I tend to err on the side of caution so my first response is often, "Yes! It's too soon!" Primarily because, in relationships, women tend to know fairly quickly (sometimes too quickly) if this is someone we want to try being exclusive with. Men on the other hand, not so much. My theory is that women are more resilient when it comes to bouncing back from getting our heart broken. As such, having the "talk" and plunging into another relationship is not as scary (emphasis on "AS") to us as it tends to be to men. Generally speaking, men tend to be a bit more cautious and need more time than women to decide to commit themselves.

So when is the right time to have the "where is this relationship going" talk? My advice, don't have it any earlier than 3 months, depending on how much time you and your new found partner spend together. Use this first 3 months to really get to know each other. Would you drive a car off the lot without test driving it first? Of course not. So give yourself and your partner, ample time to test drive before making a decision to buy. Whether you end up "leasing & trading in later" or "leasing with an option to buy", you need not rush the decision up front.

To All Men and Women: If you're at the 3 month mark (or longer) and it feels right to have this "talk", here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare:

  • No smoke signal!- Forewarning your partner about having the talk, only creates more stress. Likewise, starting your first sentence with "we need to talk..." is a double no-no.
  • Timing is everything!- Its safe to say that starting a deep conversation with someone who just got off work, is stressed about something else, or is getting ready to go somewhere is not a good move. You want their undivided attention, so be thoughtful about when you choose to bring up the talk.
  • No Piling On!- This means if you're in the midst of arguing about something else don't use it as an opportunity to say "and another thing...where the hell is this relationship going anyway?!" It's sure to go no where fast after that.
  • Drama Free!- Do your best to have a positive attitude and approach to the talk. If you lace the talk with a lot of complaints, crying, comparisons or ultimatums, you'll put him or her on the defense.