Having a relationship is already tough. There are expectations, feelings, responsibilities, etc. But then at certain stages in your life, you realize you actually have to make some difficult decisions, and that means sitting your partner down and actually talking. Scary, right? Yes, especially when the outcomes can be life-changing.
- Whether or not to get married.It’s no longer a question of “when” you’ll get married, but “if.” Girls still dream of getting married, but when you get older, you realize that it actually sucks. Do you really need a piece of paper to prove your love for someone? With the divorce rate as high as it is, we also see less of a point to marriage in the first place.
- Whether or not to have children.having kids is like giving up your life. Say goodbye to your career, time, freedom, body and extra cash, because it’s all going to support your baby. Sure, you can argue otherwise, but unless you start out wealthy and have a ton of family and friends who would offer to babysit all the time for free, you’re probably going to end up having to put your life on hold for 25 years (because let’s face it, kids don’t move out at 18 anymore). This is a serious discussion to have with your guy, because between the two of you, it’s going to affect you more than him.
- Whether to go back to school. I think at this point, we’ve all come to associate going to school with incurring disgustingly massive amounts of debt. Debt so massive, it will take you decades to pay off, especially if you can’t find a good job. In fact, higher education costs so much that it makes us start questioning whether or not it’s even worth it in the long run. If you’re planning to build a life with someone else, you both need to be okay taking on thousands worth of debt in order to go back to school.
- Whether to move somewhere completely new.Usually, where you go, your partner goes, and vice versa. But most of us have families, friends, histories, and feelings in and for the places where we grew up or lived for most of our lives, and it’s not always easy to leave everything behind. Before you plan on moving somewhere new or doing something completely different with your life, be prepared to have a serious conversation to make sure your partner feels the same.
- Acknowledging a disease If you have a disease, either physical or mental, you may feel like you’re somehow broken, especially if you haven’t told your partner about it and you don’t know how they’ll react. If they love you for who you are though, you shouldn’t be that worried, and you’ll feel a lot better after telling them about it. It’s hard to tell someone you love that you have a STI, depression, or any other disease, but it’s better that your partner knows than you keep it a secret.
- Admitting to cheating. People will disagree on this, but I always think it’s better to admit to something than wait for someone to find out on their own. Admitting shows honesty and remorse, whereas hiding just shows you’re trying to be sneaky. Still, if you don’t admit to it, there’s a chance your partner will never find out and you can go on being happy-go-lucky forever, but do you really want this on your conscience? Telling your partner about your mistake is a risk, but it may be worth it.
- Admitting to failure.Failure is something that’s hard to admit to. Even if we know our partner loves us and accepts us, it still hurts to say we’ve failed them. But, it’s something that needs to be said. Honesty is key to any relationship, but that doesn’t mean it makes it any easier. Your partner won’t stop loving you just because you’ve failed.
- Your religious or political stancePolitics and religion divide people and can even make or break relationships. If you don’t have the same views, it could actually cause a lot of problems down the line. Whether you want to have that conversation in the first place is up to you, because you could probably get away with never bringing it up.
- Your finances.Money, and “greed” and “entitlement,” also have the power to tear people and families apart. At some point, all couples fight over money and how to spend it, or who pays for what, or the lack of it. We start calling each other names, arguing, and eventually splitting up from the stress that comes from money. It’s that powerful, so be warned and prepared for a conversation about finances.