If you're serious about the long-term and making a life together, it's imperative that you make sure you're on the same page with your partner. When you're in a relationship, tough topics will come up and there are some conversations couples need to have.
"Obviously some things are easier than others and there are a number of conversations that couples might tend to shy away from," relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein tells Bustle. "However, the conversations that people are avoiding are the very ones that they need to have!" And I know it's hard. The weight of those tough conversations can be suffocating.
There's some issue you probably know needs addressing, but you keep pushing it to the back of your mind. When you finally decide to talk about it, you sit there, with your stomach in a knot, tiptoeing around what you need to talk about, until eventually you loosen up and the conversation starts to flow. It's still awkward and difficult, but if you're in a healthy, supportive relationship, you should be able to talk about everything. Everything.
Here are seven conversations that couples shouldn't be afraid to have, because talking about poop will make your relationship better:
1. The "Do You Want Children?" Conversation
This is probably the king of all deal-breakers, meaning it's all the more important to talk about it. And actually, it's not a bad thing to mention early on. "Women often think that this topic is a hot potato and that they should not touch it when they are dating. But in fact, the opposite is true," Hartstein tells Bustle. "If you feel strongly about having children then it’s actually something that should be mentioned early on in the dating process. There’s really no point in continuing to date someone who doesn’t want to have children if it’s something that is very important to you. One of the most devastating things is when a couple is in love and one wants to have children and the other doesn’t." By having the conversation, you can save a lot of heart break.
2. The Poop Conversation
Look, you're going to be spending a lot of time together — a lot of time. Do you really want to hide every time you need to poop? Or have a stomach problem? Feel constantly embarrassed every time you run to the bathroom? Nope. Sorry. Start talking about poop — learn to make a joke out of it— and you'll be so much more relaxed as a couple.
3. The Money Conversation
This is such an awkward one, but it definitely needs to happen. "Do you have any debt? What about savings? Money is a very touchy, emotional subject," says Hartsein. "We are all influenced by what the money situation in our childhoods were like. You definitely need to know if you and he are both savers or both spenders. It’s not that a saver and a spender can’t live happily ever after, but they will likely be shocked by the other’s habits and money styles! And don’t think that you can assume what they are like from observation alone. Just because he is a big spender doesn’t mean he is loaded. It can often mean the opposite." So don't assume you know— really take the time to talk it out.
4. The "Do You Like My Friends?" Conversation
Whether or not you like each other's friends, it's important to make a real effort with them. That's just part of being in a relationship. But it's good to know who they really mesh with and who they struggle with more. It will make social gatherings a lot smoother. But like I said, they should respect your friends and be kind no matter what.
5. The Sex Conversation
You need to be able to put your egos aside and really talk about sex. Before the sex gets boring. Make it a normal part of your conversation. "People often have the idea that sex should be 'magical and just happen'," says Hartsein. "Sometimes this is the case and sometimes it isn’t. And even if it’s the case early on, that does not mean that it wall always be perfect. Often sex is passionate and natural during the early stages. But once a couple becomes closer and there’s an opportunity for greater intimacy, it can become a little more tricky. The earlier sex can be part of the conversation the better." Then it will be less hard to talk about if you do have a rough patch.
6. The Monogamy Conversation
Whatever your views on monogamy, you need to get it out there. Do you want to be monogamous? What does infidelity mean to you? What should you if the spark fades? Another topic to cover before it happens.
7. The Future Conversation
And of course, you should talk about the future generally. Not just about you as a couple — although, that should obviously be talked about. You need to talk about your own future goals, dreams, where you see yourself. And more importantly, you need to make sure that these match up with your partner. These don't necessarily have to be the same, but at least work out where you're compatible and if you can compromise over certain things. It's the best way to make sure you and your relationship, are on track for being happy.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (7)