There are certain conversations every couple should have in a relationship. Being in a relationship with the same man for 15 years has taught me a lot about communication. We have grown up together, our lives have changed, our views have changed, our relationship has evolved so discussing these topics, often, has helped us maintain a healthy relationship. These conversations every couple should have are not always easy but they need to happen. They will come up time and time again so sit down, get comfortable and talk it out!
Here are 11 Conversations Every Couple Should Have:
Money, money, money! Probably the one of the most important conversations every couple should have. Early on in a relationship this topic may be taboo to talk about. Once you get comfortable with each other, money should be talked about immediately. Ask the hard questions; how much debt do you have? How much money do you make? What are you monetary goals for the next 5 years and how are those goals going to be met? I understand that money isn’t everything and all you want is love. But being surprised by money problems probably isn’t the surprise you were expecting from your partner.
Not only does this conversation need to happen at the beginning of the relationship but also throughout the relationship. Will you share an account or have separate accounts? I know a lot of couples that have separate accounts. But the moment Matt and I moved into together (at 21 & 19 years old), we have always shared accounts. It has worked for us but that doesn’t mean it will work for you and your partner.
Budgeting! Whether you are with a cheapskate or an over spender, budgeting will need to be discussed. I like to spend money and Matt is a cheapskate! There 2 things that I buy that drives Matt absolutely nuts; Starbucks and clothing. Obviously I need clothing but I have worked on how much clothing I actually purchase. Starbucks is not a necessity so in order to avoid an argument, I’ve cut it back to 2 times a month (if that!). I make coffee at home instead. Although Matt is a cheapskate but he likes to buy expensive toys which drives me nuts. For example, he just came into the room and asked me what I thought about him buying an electric shooter….like for what?! We have healthy conversations about spending but we don’t discuss every little thing we purchase either. Figure out what your partners hot buttons are with spending and then compromise.
It is human instinct to want to reproduce but does your partner want kids? Matt and I have had the continuous “kid talk” now for the past 15 years. Currently, we do not have kids but know that we want them…someday! Being on the same page (or at least a similar page) about when to have kids, where to have kids and how to have kids will be the most important decision you make as a couple. Don’t forget to talk about how you want to raise your kids! Everyone grew up with different parents, different childhoods so be sure that their idea of parenting aligns with yours. If it doesn’t align, work on it! I believe every issue in life can be resolved with a little compromise, compassion and understanding so talk it out! Raising kids is the biggest responsibility you will have in life!
This may feel like an odd thing to talk about while you are in love but this is the best time to have the conversation! Have the conversation when you are coming from a loving place rather than (gosh forbid) a place of anger, resentment and sadness. Divorce/separation is the last thing any couple wants but it is 2018 and more and more common. Matt and I have had lots of conversations throughout our relationship about how we would treat each other if we did separate. Of course, it wouldn’t be a great situation but we know that we want to have respect for each other, we would not “play games” and we would not cost each other everything we’ve worked so hard for. Divorcing/separating with kids is another topic we talk about even though we do not have kids yet. We know 100% we want to co-parent no matter what! Divorce is a tough conversation to have but know where your partner stands. If it is uncomfortable to bring up, ask the questions when someone you know is getting divorced or separating. It will make the conversation a little easier.
There is no better time to start planning and saving for retirement than now! If you are in it for the long haul with your partner, this is definitely included in the conversations every couple should have. You will want to have the conversation about what you want your retirement to look like. Make a plan! Even if you are single, you need to have this conversation with yourself and make a plan. Retirement age for our age group (30’s) is now 68 years old and who knows what social security will look like by then?! Have a plan, invest and start saving…now!
How to Fight
Fighting is inevitable in a relationship, so learning how to fight effectively is an absolute must. It is also something that takes time and a lot of practice. Learning to fight effectively is something you and your partner should always be working on. It all comes back to communication. Being able to talk through disagreements without over reacting, criticizing or hitting below the belt is key in effectively fighting. Learning how to fight will save you and your partner a lot of pain, a lot of unnecessary stress, and a lot of time.
Sex and intimacy is another key to a healthy relationship. Throughout a relationship intimacy and sex needs to be worked on. Life gets busy, people get tired but don’t forget about your partner! If you are feeling off, not sexual or lacking intimacy from your partner, talk about it with your partner! The longer you let it carry on, the harder it will be to get your groove back.
Is travel something that is important to you? Travel is something that is extremely important to me. It inspires me, it refuels me and it just feeds my soul. Matt’s job consists of constant traveling so for him traveling isn’t as exciting. I will travel with others if he does not want to go. I get what I want, he gets what he wants and it is a healthy compromise. Now, there are times that I only want to travel with him. In those situations, he will go! Compromise. It is extremely important to me that we save and spend our money on travel versus other things that may be important to other people.
There will be a few career changes throughout your relationship. Have open and honest conversations about where you want your career to go and what your long term goals are. Will your partner help you achieve those goals? Career changes are hard and can be scary so having a partner that is supportive of your decision is a must. How can you be successful in your career if your partner doesn’t back you 100%? Vice versa, how can your relationship be healthy if your partner does not support your career choices?
Now that we are in our 30’s, this has become extremely important to me. In our 20’s, we used our body as trash cans. We drank too much, slept too little, ate whatever we wanted but that came to a halt the moment I turned 30. Now I am focused on getting enough sleep, putting good things into my body and making sure I am the healthiest me that I can be! But I’m not only focused on myself, I am focused on my partner too! I want him to live his best life too so I shove all the vitamins in his mouth, put all the skincare products on his face and body and make him all of my plant-based foods. He secretly loves it…kinda! I want Matt to live his healthiest and best life. We are all more pleasant of people when we feel great on the inside. Encourage each other to be healthy and stay healthy. What is your partners idea of “healthy”? Do you have the same views? How will you work together to better each others health?
Religion & Politics
The forbidden topics! Someone can have different politic views and religion views as you but make sure you are ok with that. At some point in your relationship, these values will come to the forefront so be ready for it! If their values and ideals of religion and politics do not align with yours, more than likely, other life issues will become an issue too. Honesty and understanding is key!
Your Bottom Line
Your bottom line or the “hill you will die on” is your non negotiable. What you will not put up with from your partner, is another one of the most important conversations every couple should have. This is something that was discussed very early on in my relationship and has evolved since then. There are just somethings, we as human, cannot put up with…figure out what yours is and share it with your partner! It will change over time depending on age and life experiences. Communicating your bottom line to your partner will help them not go down the path of no return.
While not always easy, these conversations every couple should have are an important part of any relationship. Because are relationships constantly change, being able to discuss big/important topics with your significant other will not only help you to feel closer to one another, but it will also help keep the relationship strong and healthy! So be sure these 11 conversations every couple should have are talked about often!
Do you and your partner discuss these topics? Pull up our “11 Conversations Every Couple Should Have” and give it a try!