Ready to Commit? 7 Things to Talk About
You meet this amazing individual and you swear its fate. It feels as if someone is sending electric shock through your entire body. The chemistry is magnetic and you are drawn to their energy. You haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since your first encounter and here you are, 3 months later, and the heat is still burning.
Neither of you wants to rush into anything, but sexual tension is thick as fog. Fighting the urge to climb inside of each other’s skin, you constantly remind one another that patience is a virtue and that your connection outside of the bedroom is what’s most important. Yes, all is bliss in the “honeymoon” period.
While the high that is experienced at the start of a relationship is intoxicating, it can also be deceiving. Often, the “honeymoon phase” blinds you from seeing the truth. Do not get so caught up in the rush of new love that you lose your ability to make rational decisions. If you are truly hoping to build something that will last past the “honeymoon phase,” then you cannot tiptoe around difficult conversations.
Here are some topics you and your partner should discuss before entering into a relationship.
1. HIV Status, Sexual Compatibility, and Intimacy
We can’t continue to arrogantly ignore the statistics that remind us that the number of those infected with sexually transmitted infections is steadily rising. The first key to survival is self-preservation. Take care of yourself and your body. One of the most important conversations you should have with your partner is regarding their sexual history, risky sex practices, and their health status.
Do not put yourself in a position to get, “caught up in the moment” before you see you a clean bill of health. If your partner is unwilling to get tested or to provide documentation that they are in fact STD and HIV free, do not entertain the idea of anything more than a platonic friendship.
Also, before things get serious, you and your partner should discuss your sexual compatibility. One of the most common reasons relationships dissolve is due to a difference in sexual needs and/or lack of intimacy. Compatibility is defined as, “a state in which two things are able to exist or occur together without problems of conflict.” A relationship should be a safe space where two people can exist in peace, embrace their similarities and respect their differences. If you and your partner are not compatible and in sync regarding your idea of what it means to have a healthy sex life, your ability to exist in harmony will be challenged.
Note: This is also a great time to talk to your partner about mental health issues and addictions.
2. Finances and Spending Habits
Nothing kills the mood like talking about finances, but research suggests that financial problems is to blame for many relationships and marriages ending. I do not recommend interrogating your potential partner about their personal finances on the first date. However, recognizing how important it is to talk about these topics will save you the torment down the line.
When your dating situation is on the cusp of friendship and relationship that is the perfect time to start talking to your potential partner about their money management and finances. Set aside some time to talk with your significant other about their financial philosophy. Are they extremely frugal or an impulse shopper? How important is it for them to save for a rainy day? Do they currently make enough to maintain their lifestyle, or do they believe in living life to the fullest, even if that means living paycheck to paycheck?
The last thing you want to do is seriously get involved with someone before you have a firm understanding of their finances.
3. Parenting and Blending Families
When you are a parent before you make the decision to merge your life with another person, you first have to determine whether or not you and that individual agree when it comes to what constitutes good parenting.
Talk to you partner about how they feel about children and what their role will be in your child’s life. If they have children, how do they expect you to engage with their children? Talk about the relationship that each of you have with the child’s other parent. What are their discipline strategies? How can they positively impact your child’s life?
Introduce your partner to your children. Watch them interact. See how your child responds to them. Do not build a relationship with someone and then force your children to accept your decision. Children are brilliant judges of character. It’s important to ask yourself whether or not your prospective partner’s lifestyle, attitude, and actions will add value to your child’s life or simply cause a disturbance. If you are unsure, do not pursue a relationship with that person.
4. Moral Code of Conduct
Last week, I was watching an episode of Divorce Court (one of my favorite shows). During this particular episode, there was a young woman who was in court requesting a divorce from her husband because shortly after getting married, she realized he practiced Satanism. His religion went against everything Christianity taught her about faith and God.
While this is an extreme example, you have to question how a woman unknowingly marries a man who practices Satanism. The truth is, it is easy to get caught up in the lust and fire of a relationship and fail to probe your partner about serious issues like religion. Judging by the disgusted look on her face, had this young woman taken the time to converse with this man about his religious practices, she would have never said, “I do.”
Before entering into a relationship, you want to make sure you and your partner understand each other’s moral code of conduct. While you do not have to share the same religion or agree on politics or world issues, you do want to make sure that your belief systems are not offensive to one another.
5. Where is this going?
You don’t ever want to share your life with anyone who you have to pressure into a relationship or marriage. To prevent the heartache of finding out years later that you and your partner are not on the same page regarding relationships and marriage, be proactive and ask these questions up front.
Trying to force someone who never wants to get married to see the value of marriage is the surest way to exhaust your heart. Make sure that before you put your feelings, time, and love into a relationship you and your partner are traveling down the same path. Do not settle for “friends with benefits” arrangements, a relationship with no title, or a partnership that has no final destination when you know that what you are looking for someone to spend forever with.
6. Delegation of Responsibility
In a world that pressures men and women to adhere to gender assigned roles in a relationship, it is crucial that you and your mate have a discussion about how duties will be delegated. If your expectation is that your woman cooks you 5 meals a week, make it known before entering into a relationship. If you are a woman who believes a man should be the sole provider, you definitely want to disclose that to your partner before making it official.
Every couple has the authority to define how their home will be ran, but the discussion of roles, expectations, and delegation of duties must occur before making the choice to be in a relationship.
7. Shared Vision
I pride myself on being a hustler. My desire to have a life full of personal and professional accomplishments is the reason I have a, “by any means necessary” attitude. I work long hours. I am not always able to participate in leisure activities. Occasionally, I zone out and forget to give attention to my personal relationship. I know myself enough to know I could never date someone who isn’t constantly striving to elevate their life to new heights.
It’s important to ask your partner about their goals and work ethic in order to understand what their vision for life is. What do they aspire to do with their talents and skills? Are they in tune with their purpose? How passionate are they about bringing their dreams into fruition? Can they respect your devotion to your goals? You want to make sure that the person you are entering into a relationship with shares the same vision of success that you do.
Pray you all seek and find everything you need or plus. Move in love.. Until we meet again lovers and friends. Be well. Be prosperous. Be passionate.
Jazz Keyes is a community activist, poetess and a nationally certified Life Purpose and Career Coach. Keyes supplies clients with the necessary tools and techniques to awaken their divine energy, heal their open wounds and create an aura of love, compassionate and tranquility. In 2013, Keyes was named “13 People to Watch For” by Rockford Register Star and in honor of Black History Month 2014, Keyes was recently named a“Neighborhood Hero” by ComEd’s Power of One Campaign. Keyes in currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Psychology and hopes to one day be a best-selling author and motivational speaker. She has devoted a great deal of her time and energy on mastering the art of communication in order to create healthy, dynamic, long-lasting relationships.