What Should You Talk about in a New Relationship?
When you’re starting a new relationship, it’s a good idea to talk about certain things, especially if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises down the line. Opening communication lines is very important. This way, you will be establishing a foundation for good communication throughout the whole relationship.
There are a lot of important things to talk about, and it’s best to address them when the relationship is just starting out. Doing so will help you get to know the person you’re with. It will also help you see if there are reconcilable or irreconcilable differences between you two.
In my office, I have seen cases of couples that split up because they weren’t clear about things that mattered the most at the beginning of the relationship. Now they’re upset, not only because the relationship ended, but also because they hadn’t identified these differences earlier.
Talk about your philosophy of life and vision for the future
Talk about your view on the world, your political and religious ideas. Your goals for work and for your life. For example, if you would like to live in another country. And while it might be a bit difficult and uncomfortable, talk about marriage and having children. Even discuss how you would raise them, although you don’t need to agree on everything.
During the conversation, questions might come up that you hadn’t even thought about before.
Two more tips: this type of conversation is not only useful for getting to know the other person. It’s also useful for getting to know yourself. And remember it’s important to be open and respectful during these types of talks. But also, show that you are being sincere and you’re willing to share what you think.
Talk about your childhood and your past
Sharing fun memories is a nice way of spending time together. Your first love, your first hangover, trouble you got into as a kid, etc. Don’t be afraid to tell them about painful or embarrassing memories, or to talk about whether you have experienced abuse or anything else that marked you as a person. Showing vulnerability might make the other person feel comfortable about showing their own.
You can also take advantage of this talk to tell about past relationships, always respectfully and telling only the necessary details. Infidelities are a delicate subject, but it’s always important to address it.
Hiding information in a new relationship isn’t a good idea. If you’ve been cheated on, as well as if you’ve been the cheater, it’s important to talk to your partner about it and to tell them the reasons and feelings surrounding this situation.
Talk about sex
Make sure to approach this subject in a relaxed and private setting, since it’s delicate and can be uncomfortable. Especially when the relationship is new and trust isn’t very strong yet. Sex is an important part of any romantic relationship, and communication in this area is essential. So don’t treat this subject as taboo.
Talk about your fantasies, what you like and dislike, as well as whether you’d like to try new things. Talking about sex can increase intimacy. It’s a private subject, and it’s best if what is said remains between you two.
Talk about money, debt, and any legal problems
Talk about how much money you make and how much you spend per month. If you’re saving up for something special or if you like to travel, eat out a lot. Talk about if you have a savings account or if you’re in debt.
It’s important to address these topics so they don’t find out from anyone else. If you’ve ever had problems with the law, it should be talked about.
When you’re starting a new project in your life, every decision (including ones that deal with money, especially shared money) should be discussed and made together. There needs to be agreement about what will happen. Nobody should make decisions without consulting the other person.
Talk about your family and friends
This is a tricky subject. I don’t recommend sharing opinions about your family or conflicts you may have. It could create prejudice and muddle the relationship.
I also don’t recommend sharing your relationship troubles with your family. That’s a private matter. Family will always be on our side and later they may hold a grudge for things that we have already forgiven.
We should pick and choose the information we share with our partner about our family, as well as the information about our partner that we share with our family. It’s usually not necessary to lie, but being respectful and careful with the information shared is a must.
Friends are a whole different story. Some people think their partner spends too much time with their friends or that some of their friends are a bad influence. Talk about your friendships, always with respect.
Also, never put yourself in the uncomfortable situation of having to decide between your friends and your partner. Respect the time that they spend with their friends. Try to find a balance, and everything will be easier.
Talk about the things that bother you
This is a very important topic, even in a new relationship. Don’t avoid talking about it because you’re afraid it will turn into a fight. Sharing your feelings is a great starting point for an open and honest conversation. Try to do so in a calm and respectful manner, without using words that might offend the other person.
Relationships and life itself take constant effort. We should talk about our needs and desires and be clear as early in the game as possible about the things we dislike.
These topics are fundamental in a new relationship. But we also shouldn’t assume that these topics don’t need to be addressed later on too. It’s a good idea to go back and pick them up any time things change or questions come up.
“Marriage is 97% communication.”