Thoughts: Having hard conversations with your romantic partner

I had mentioned in my Sexuality series about how important having the hard conversations with your romantic partner is, in order to stay connected and keep moving towards each other in your relationship instead of drifting apart. There is no wrong or right way to do this but I want to give you a few ways that have worked really well for us in the past and still do to this day.

One way we love to connect and prompt some deep, interesting conversations is to choose, at random, some cards to read from The Skin Deep {The And} Couple’s Edition Cards. They have some really great questions that you may be too afraid to ask but find the courage when reading it off a prompt card. I’m not sponsored, but honestly have loved their youtube channel for years and bought the cards about 5 years ago. It is our go-to when we need to get a conversation going. Check out their YOUTUBE and the CARDS.

I don’t know about you but sometimes when something is bothering me or I have something I want to bring up but am super scared or nervous about starting the conversation. I feel paralyzed, running through all the ways to initial the conversation or things I could say. I spiral around and around in my head trying to figure out the exact best wording to create the perfect scenario for us to have this possible touchy conversation. But there never seems to be a perfect way to start those kinds of conversations, so I often would get stuck in my silence and then the moment of opportunity would pass and I would feel let down by both myself, and Devon for him not noticing I had something important I wanted to talk about. I’m not saying my thought process was rational or fair, but when we’re working from a place of fear and anxiety, our thoughts and actions often are not rational or fair.

I decided this was obviously not working for me so I told him that I often struggle to initiate hard conversations. I needed to find a non threatening way to let him know I had something on my mind and that I wanted to talk about it but was having a hard time getting the words out.

We decided to come up with a “safe word” or an ice breaker word that would be easy for me to just say and would notify him I needed to talk about something serious. He would then give me his full attention which would allow me to feel safe enough to start talking. It would set the stage, so to speak.

The word we came up with that felt easy and non-threatening was “giraffe!” Lol…And now if either of us need to talk about something, we say it — “I have a giraffe.”. If we feel like the other is holding onto something that needs to be talked about, we also ask “Do you have a giraffe?” which creates space for the conversation to start.

An important thing to mention is that the timing might not always be good to have a serious conversation. Maybe your partner is in the middle of something they can’t shift focus away from or maybe they aren’t emotionally in a space to have a serious deep conversation. What Devon and I do in these situations is to acknowledge that there is a giraffe that needs to be talked about and ask if we can set a specific time to focus on that conversation, either that day or the next. This helps us each feel heard, acknowledged and respected.

Another great thing we have been doing more often in the last year is setting conversation dates to check in with each other, talk about something specific or to go through a few {The And} cards I mentioned earlier. It’s amazing the types of conversations we have just by creating a safe space for them. And it’s a fantastic way of connecting with your partner to create a deeper level of emotional intimacy.

Having date nights where you go out and do something outside of your house is great too. It can be as simple as a walk around a cute neighborhood or getting a beautiful hotel room for the night. The trick is trying to not talk about work, family, friend drama or house things. Try to make the goal to get to know your romantic partner again as if they were someone new to you. What are their interests, what’s something they are dying to experience or learn? Touch each other’s hands, look into each other’s eyes. See what comes up for you both.

I’ve never tried this next tip, but it came to mind so I thought I’d add it in here. What if you did a bit of role play where you ask your partner to listen to what you need to say as if they were just a friend hearing about your problem/issue/fear and they would respond as they would to a friend, releasing the stigma of what you’re saying being about them or your relationship with them?

These tips and scenarios all help the hard conversations to happen a bit more freely.

Creating a space of love and acceptance, and an environment of support and encouragement will help ease the anxiety and fear of speaking on the topics you are nervous and worry less about how they will be received.

You are in this together. You love each other. Communication is sexy and honesty is a turn on. 🙂

I hope these tips and suggestions help start you off on the hard-conversation journey and bring you even closer together along the way.

Sending much love, warmth and encouragement to you all. And let me know if you try any of these tips, which one’s were a success or if you have any suggestions of your own!

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