Nobody wants to hear, “We have to talk,” because you know what’s coming! But sometimes, you need to clear the air and get things off your chest to improve situations and redirect the relationship in a better direction.
What is the best way to start that conversation? I suggest you start by stating all the good things you experience about the relationship. How you enjoy each other’s company, how much fun you have together, how you appreciate all the sweet things your partner does, etc. Then, you can interject that there is one thing that is bothering you that you want to share. At this point, you clearly without blame, express how you FEEL when “this particular thing” happens and how you would be much happier if it stopped. Again, clarify that you enjoy the relationship because there are so many other positive things you share and that you hope your partner can see how you feel and you can find some mutual compromise.
What you are doing is opening the floor to discussion and hopefully, to a solution. You are stating how you feel about a certain problem that makes you uncomfortable and allowing your partner to see the situation through your eyes. You are keeping the environment open, cordial, flexible and pleasant. When you interject anger, disgust, stubbornness and annoyance, you will be putting your partner on the defensive, which will defeat your purpose of creating change.
Keep in mind that you may need to change as well in order for things to be a win-win situation. So, let’s say that your partner is always late and doesn’t call. To avoid your worrying, can he text you his approximate ETA? Can you go separately to your destination and meet him there? Can you give him an “earlier” time so he arrives at the real time? Flexibility, compromise, understanding and respect are all components of a good romance and both of you need to adjust to meet the important needs of the other, so that resentment and frustration do not become the foundation of your relationship.
Amy Sherman is the co-founder of http://www.womendatingafter40.com. She is a Dating/Relationship Coach and author of “99 things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!” You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org