by Joan Ko
The longer two people share a relationship together, the more comfortable they get that talking about random things start to be second nature. It makes you feel like you've found your "person" int them. Sure, you can go on and on about your favorite TV series or your childhood memories. But we can all agree that there are topics that you can't easily discuss because of certain ground rules that you have yet to set.
But when things are speeding up and you can feel yourselves being serious about each other, certain things need to be laid out on the table. Check the list of need-to-know discussions below, and see if you and your boo need to have the "talk."
1. Who's paying?
If you're carpooling to your date, sharing a meal for dinner, or seeing a movie at the mall, the question we always need to set clear expectations to is "Who will pay the bill?" For the more traditional boyfriend-girlfriend setup, the guy is expected to offer to pay for the date, but it's better to be open to letting the girl pay for herself if she wants to. We don't want to create unnecessary drama over paying the bill, so it's best to agree on an arrangement that both parties are comfortable with.
2. What are we?
Just because you're dating and you've been texting each other multiple times a day doesn't mean you are on the same page. You need to DTR (define the relationship) stat! Because unless you've both agreed on how you'll label your love life, ambiguity may still linger over where you and your boo fall in the relationship diagram. If you haven't talked about it, don't stress about how you'll introduce him to your set of friends. He has a name for a reason, so stick with that for the time being.
3. How much space do you need?
We don't want to burst your bubble, but it's really easy to blow out too fast in the honeymoon phase when you're being extra clingy to each other. If you're always coming out as demanding, your S.O. may lose interest or feel too trapped. You don't need to report where you are or what you and your own set of friends are planning this weekend–it's important to respect your own space and time. After all, spending time apart can be beneficial to your relationship in so many more ways than one.
4. What's been bothering you?
If you've noticed an unusual change in the way they talk or act around you, then the best way to appease your suspicions is to simply ask. It's better to vocalize your concerns rather than try to pick up vague signals that you may easily misinterpret. Likewise, if there's something bothering you about their behavior or a certain situation, then you have to tell them before your minor concern about that night out they had with their squad turn into a full-blown war between you and their circle of friends.
5. Are you intimate enough?
Do not assume that you and your partner can show the same kind of physical affection. As your relationship grows, you should start being open to talk about your expectations around physical intimacy. Does it bother you that they don't hold your hand in public? Is it weird that you're always the first one to lean in for a good night kiss? Do you want to try something new in bed? Tell them how you'd like to be "handled" and caressed. When your partner starts to feel distant because they're not being as romantic or touchy as you expect them to be, then perhaps talking about affection is just as important as showing it.
6. Are you over your past?
It's likely that your current partner and you yourself have been involved in relationships before you even knew each other. As we mentioned before, laying everything on the table is a must if you want to have an open and healthy relationship with your S.O. Do you have issues stemming from your past relationships? Are you still in contact with your ex? These are topics you need to discuss in order to be transparent and gain each other's trust.
Relationships, as wonderful as they are, can get a little complicated but having the more difficult conversations early on will definitely help keep you and your S.O. in the right track. As long as you hear each other's viewpoints out, no topic is off the table for discussion which means less future drama. Now, can you finally sit down and have these conversations with bae?
ALSO READ: In Focus: What Your Boo Is Trying To Tell You Based On His Body Language
Banner photography from BURST, GIFs from GIPHY