The Cheat Sheet reached out to Justin Lavelle, chief communications director for PeopleLooker, to get tips on how to have deeper conversations with a new partner. Here are some of his best tips.
It’s important to engage in meaningful conversation. Some of the topics you can talk about are:
1. Family values
This can be a cause of many fights and frustrations if you both have very different ideas about extended family. It is also important that relationships start to develop between your partner and your family. Otherwise, this is fertile ground for arguments and hurt feelings. Beyond extended family, it’s necessary to understand how each approach important issues. This can include upbringing, religion, politics, and a general view of what is right and what is wrong. Your views do not need to be exactly aligned, but if they are not, it is important to know that, so you can factor that in as you move through future issues in your life together.
2. Free time
You don’t have to have identical interests, but it is essential to have a few things you enjoy doing together. Otherwise, your free time is going to most likely be spent apart doing different things. Having similar hobbies and interests makes it easier to plan things together.
One of the worst things in a relationship is when one person wants kids and the other doesn’t. Make sure this is discussed at length before any long-term commitment is made. If a person is true to his or her convictions, being denied children or pressured to have them can add stress and resentment to the relationship. It is also important to address raising kids, not just having them. Couples need to be on the same page when it comes to how to parent children.
Maybe you see yourself living in the city or living a minimalist lifestyle. Maybe your partner desires a sprawling yard in the suburbs. City living, suburbs, minimalist, tiny house, or whatever, all have very different traits and feels. For instance, it will be almost impossible to create a city lifestyle feel in the suburbs or vice versa. This can be a big sacrifice for the one who is removed from their lifestyle. Having similar interests can reduce hard feelings and resentment.
You need to be with someone who has similar interests and desires. Unless you’re going to have an open relationship, you’re going to be expected to get all your needs satisfied by this one person for a long, long time. Make sure you’re on the same page.