How To Have “The Talk”
“We need to talk”. Seriously one of the most dreaded phrases in the English language. These four words could mean so many different things and are usually associated with being negative. But realistically, talking things through can be therapeutic and reduce anxiety, especially when people are genuine and honest.
Whether you just started dating someone or having been together for a while, having a serious talk can be so scary that some people avoid it entirely. If it’s something trivial that you aren’t going to care about in 5 years or even 5 months, then that’s one talk that is okay to avoid. But if it has something to do with your mental, physical or emotional health? Then DO NOT pass go and collect $200. Here are 3 talks that should not be avoided and how to handle them like an adult:
Sexual/Dating History: When it comes to this topic, stick with the basics. Regarding dating history, just make sure there are no skeletons in the closet such as you may have dated one of your partners relatives or friends and vice versa. In most cases, if the relationship is over, there is a reason why it didn’t work out and why they aren’t together now. Don’t obsess over exes or past flings as it will only give you major anxiety and hurt your current relationship.
As far as sexual history, if there are no children from previous relationships, no past criminal offenses or incurable (or curable!) sexually transmitted diseases in the picture, let it be. You don’t need to know their “number” – in fact, I think the whole number thing is a huge double standard. Men get praised for bedding as many women as possible, while women are labeled “a slut” or “easy” for having any number higher than 1. The wild phase they may have went through in college should not be the deciding factor into whether you enter into a relationship with who they are now.
Getting Tested: This is a conversation that NEEDS to be had, regardless how long you’ve been with a person. It’s 2018 and as an adult, talking about sexual health is not embarrassing or “uncool”. What’s uncool is how selfish people can be when risking other people’s lives by not practicing safe sex or being aware of their status. Flat out ask them when was the last time they got tested and if they avoid answering, avoid taking your clothes off. Simple as that.
And if they aren’t sure or if it’s been a while, offer to go together so you both can be confident and comfortable when it comes to taking your relationship to the next level.
Defining The Relationship: This one can be tricky. Too early and you come across as an obsessed bunny-boiler. Too late and it could fizzle out from the unintentional miscommunication that neither of you want to be exclusive. Usually within the first 3 dates, I suggest putting it all out there and asking what they’re looking for and what expectations do they have for a person they’re dating. Some people don’t just assume they know what’s going on and actually need the words “let’s be exclusive” to literally come out of their partners mouth. In most cases, if someone wants you, you will know it pretty quickly. In the meantime while you’re waiting to define the relationship, relax, have fun and just enjoy their company.
What’s your least favorite talk to have with a new partner?