There comes a point in every relationship where you have to have an awkward or intimidating conversation you’d rather avoid.
There’s no getting around it. No relationship you’ll ever have, whether it’s with friends, family or lovers, will be without problems. If you’ve got two (or more) humans together, conflict is pretty much inevitable. It’s easy in the early days, when great sex, or even just the thrill and novelty of a new relationship can paper over a lot of sins. When you’re busy banging out on every flat surface you can find, it’s very easy to convince yourself that those rough edges aren’t so bad. You’re pretty sure that this particular problem will smooth itself out in the future. And really, if you bring it up now… well, why ruin a good thing, right?
But not every problem in a relationship is there from the start. Even when things are perfect at the beginning, we grow. We change. What we need from others will change as well. Even things that may have worked for us in the past may not work any more.
However, the longer we go without talking about those issues, the harder it can be to actually bring them up in the first place. After all, how can you tell your partner that you’re not enjoying sex with them any more without starting a fight? How do you tell your partner that the thing they love to do squicks you out?
Things go unsaid and so the conversation becomes more difficult. It’s one thing to say that something is wrong in the relationship. But how do you have a conversation about something that’s been wrong for months or even years?
It doesn’t take very long before we become afraid of the conversation about the problem. But because we’re afraid of making things awkward, we let those problems fester.
If you can’t talk about the problems in your relationship, you can’t fix them. Here’s how to actually have those awkward conversations.