Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes When Talking About The Future Of Your Relationship
It’s crazy how talking about something as important as the future of a relationship can sometimes bring more problems than good.
Some people get super excited at the thought of even having that conversation, but so many others just get anxiety when it’s brought up. [What’s funny is how often these two types of people end up together]
From what I’ve observed, these conversations always go south because we go in expecting our partner to feel the same way about it that we do. But when they don’t, we don’t know how to bridge that gap and we end up making stupid mistakes that only make the situation worse.
For instance, the first mistake people make is they try to talk about the whole future all at once.
They want to talk about how many kids they’ll have, about when they’ll be moving in together, about how the wedding has to be planned out, etc.
Not realizing that there’s a good chance your partner hasn’t fully thought through what they’re going to have for dinner that night, let alone have their whole life figured out. So it just overwhelms them.
Which brings me to the other extreme. The flip side of that coin is when you’re trying to avoid discussing the future at all.
Look, I get that it’s not always the most fun conversation to have, but if you’re interested in potentially sharing your future together with someone, you should have SOME idea of what that future looks like.
So the only reasonable thing to do is to break the future down into smaller, more casual discussions you can have over time.
If you want to talk about kids, let that conversation come up naturally. If you want to discuss commitment, let it come up naturally. But to have it all at once only leads to more fights and arguments.
The second mistake people make, is they treat the conversation as a test rather than a dialogue.
For them, the only purpose of this discussion is to make sure what their partner wants is in line with what they want. And if those things don’t line up, they're out. Or, they're gonna try to fight and convince their partner until they do.
It’s okay for your partner to have a different outlook on the future than you. They might not have a three-year life and career plan like you do.
Maybe their hopes and dreams consist of traveling and casually enjoying the early days of the relationship with you instead of focusing on settling down and starting a family. That doesn’t make them wrong, nor does it make you wrong.
But if you’re approaching them with a list of ultimatums they have to get with, there’s a good chance they’ll shut down and the conversation won’t go anywhere.
The real purpose of this conversation is to share your expectations with each other and find a way forward that works for the both of you.
What that entails is you listening and asking questions as much as you’re making suggestions. It also means you’re staying open to possibilities you might not have considered yet.
The third mistake people make [and this is an important one] is they allow their insecurities to drive the conversation.
Instead of the discussion coming from a place of curiosity, it ends up coming from a place of fear or anxiety. It comes from the fear of not meeting your friends and family’s expectations for you. It comes from the fear of losing your partner or feeling like you don’t deserve their commitment to you. It comes from a place of not knowing exactly what’s going to happen next.
The thing about seeking validation for those insecurities from your partner is that no answer they give will ever be enough. So instead of the conversation being comfortable and casual, it comes off to them as desperate and filled with pressure to make decisions they might not be ready to make.
You might be thinking, “I just want to know what our future holds. What’s wrong with that?” Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s critical that you’re honest with yourself about WHY you want to know.
If that why coming from a place of fear, anxiety or insecurity, that’s the internal stuff you have to work on yourself, instead of placing the burden on your partner to make you feel better about it.
So what are your thoughts? Have you made these mistakes? What would would you add to the list? Leave a comment and let me know!