I'm not intentionally a liar, but I do keep a lot of secrets because I am terrified of emotional vulnerability. In my head, the more things I keep hidden, the higher the chance I have of coming off likable, right? But at some point, if you're wondering how to make your relationship last, you need to disclose actual information about yourself. No one is going to commit themselves to a complete stranger, let alone someone they don't connect to on an authentic, intimate level.
But what do you need to be talking about with your partner to make your relationship successful? It all comes down to clearly defining your own needs, authentically presenting yourself to your significant other, and honestly expressing where you want your relationship to go.
Here are some things you should talk about with the person you're dating if you want your relationship to last forever.
1. Your Personality Type
Make sure you and your partner have the same, or at least can speak each other's, love language if you want your relationship to last. A few dates in, I like to tell my partner I'm an introverted Pisces who needs a lot of alone time but also needs to be texted nonstop and loves physical affection. So deal with it!
For a successful long-term relationship, you need to tell your partner how you navigate stress. If you need alone time after a long, hard work day, tell your partner. If you crave affection directly after a fight, let your partner know. Otherwise, things could be lost in translation, leading you or your partner to feel either ignored or smothered.
Introvert, extrovert, Virgo, Gemini, INFP — whatever it is, make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to your personalities.
2. Your Five-Year Plan
If, in five years, you plan on moving to Fiji and becoming a surf instructor, then tell your partner pretty early on, in case that particular adventure is not in their five year plan as well.
If you want your relationship to last, it's important you're both on the same page about where you want your relationship to go, whether it's about location, careers, monogamy, kids, vacations, or something as simple as hobbies and friends.
But before having this conversation, make sure you know what you want your own life to look like, so you're able to provide a clear description of the future you want to meld with your partner.
3. Your Thoughts On Monogamy
If you are polyamorous and your partner believes in strict monogamy, then you need to have a discussion on how to approach that difference early on while dating if you want your relationship to have any chance of lasting.
Other things to consider might be how much time you think is important to spend together. How much do you two need to be in contact in terms of texting, phone calls, and emailing? How present do you want to be on one another's social media accounts, and can you still be friends with your exes? What about emotional infidelity? Are either of you the jealous type?
If you're looking to get into a serious, long-term relationship, make sure you both know what exclusivity looks like to you, if that's what you want in your relationship. Clearly and explicitly defining what your relationship looks like is the only way to avoid the confusion and potential hurt that could come along from miscommunication.
4. Your Relationship Deal Breakers And Red Flags
If there's something you want your partner to know about your relationship preferences but are afraid to tell them, let them know ASAP. It will feel like a weight off your shoulders, and if they have a problem with whatever "secret" you're disclosing, then weeding them out sooner rather than later will be beneficial to your love life and waste less of your time.
Let me give you an example: I'm sober. I don't drink, and I don't do drugs. For many mature, relationship-minded men, this is OK. But for some guys who are just looking to get me drunk and hook up, it's not.
I once showed up to a Tinder date at a bar and ordered a Diet Coke. When my match asked me why, I told him I don't drink. He then said, "If I knew you weren't gonna be getting drunk, I wouldn't have wasted my time." Nice.
Now, I disclose all my insecurities, "secrets," and deal breakers from day one. I don't drink. I don't know if I want kids. These are some medical issues that I deal with. If someone wants to run, let them run early. Otherwise, they're welcome to stick around.
5. How You Feel About Money
Do you like to splurge on elaborate vacations and dinners? Let your partner know early on, because if they like to pinch pennies, you might not be a good match.
Money isn't just important in the moment, but it also exposes how you and your partner will most likely feel about your future together. Are you saving up for kids and a house? Are you being frugal or wasteful?
It's important you're both on the same page and that you have the same long-term goals, so one of you isn't saving up for a condo while the other is wasting all of your cash.
While the money talk can be a bit uncomfortable, it's the necessary, adult thing to do. Yes, it's scary, but you are an adult now. I know, how did that happen?? (Unless you're a 6-year-old reading this article, in which case, get off the computer! Where's your mom?)
So when it comes to making a relationship last, it turns out honesty is the best policy. We're only as sick as our secrets. What are you hiding?
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