Topics to avoid with your girlfriend or boyfriend
I always advocate relationships that are fully open and trusting, regardless of how serious or monogamous they are. However, there are some topics that will do your relationship no favours being discussed in intricate detail, especially in the early stages of dating.
Much of a relationship’s success is based upon the effort each person makes towards their individual development. Things such as jealousy, arguments and the number one relationship killer are all based on insecurities that not necessarily shared. Even in a honest and trusting relationship there is a big difference between sharing your insecurities with your partner and expecting them to “fix you”, and being responsible for your own personal development.
To expand on the title of this article, below are several topics that you should avoid detailing or enquiring to unnecessary and inconsiderate depths with you partner…
It is unlikely that both you and your partner will have identical relationship histories. It’s even less likely that you share an identical sexual history! Whilst it is useful to know roughly how experienced your partner is regarding previous relationships, be honest with yourself as to how detailed you really want that knowledge to be!
It is a common feeling for someone to become unnerved at finding out their new partner has a lot more previous sexual partners than first thought. The truth is that it makes little difference to how you should strive to act in your relationship, which is why for most people it is better to concentrate on the relationship going forward rather than feeling the need to know every miscellaneous detail about your girlfriend or boyfriend’s past.
Reacting negatively to information about your partner’s past boils down to personal insecurities. Finding out that they have had more sexual partners than you initially thought does not change them from being the person you decided to be in a relationship with, nor does it increase their likelihood to be unfaithful. As feelings like these are always personal issues related to the ego, make sure you know you can deal with undesirable responses before digging deeper into a discussion on this topic.
Comparing yourself to your girlfriend or boyfriend’s past lovers is another common issue that is detrimental to your own state of mind as well as being inconsiderate to your partner’s feelings. Remember that it is absurd to be jealous of someone who no longer exists in the context you are picturing them in.
Money is a topic that can cause particular strain in relationships, and more specifically dating, as it comes with a lot of expectations and traditions. Although society is slowly moving towards full gender equality, I still know plenty of women who abide by the strict rule that men should pay for dates and spend lavishly, regardless of relative financial stability.
As a topic of conversation, the reason for discussing money is more significant than what you actually say. Complaining about mounting debts or financial woes is generally unattractive but bragging about money or possessions is equally unattractive. In other words, making it obvious that your ego is affected by how much money you have is unattractive.
Until you are taking on joint financial commitments, the topic of money is best kept simply as a representation of your chosen lifestyle and any expectations that go with that. Your partner should have a good idea about how much money you make if you live within your means and as long as you don’t base your self-worth or value on your bank balance, it shouldn’t matter what the actual numbers are.
Personal problems or issues:
You are solely in charge of your own personal development and self-esteem. A romantic partner isn’t, and should never act as, your therapist! Likewise, you should not try and act as a therapist to your partner. The most helpful way to aid your partner with any issues they might have is to point them in the direction of their own solutions and encourage them to take positive action themselves, with your love and support.
Changing your partner’s mood if they are down (getting them laughing, smiling and thinking positively) is far more effective for their mental health than discussing abstract problems in a logical fashion, unless they actually have clinical issues of course.
Find the balance between what is attractive to your partner and what creates a deeper connection between the two of you. Everything you do with your partner – including all conversations together – should be done because you have a genuine interest in them and your relationship, not for any ego-related reasons.
To summarise, if you feel that you have mastered your own ego, especially regarding your relationship, then there aren’t specifically any topics you must avoid. But if you have not yet fully mastered managing your emotions and reactions, then you may want to temporarily avoid anything that intensifies those feelings, such as the topics listed above.
Some highly recommended reading that will make some of what I have discussed in this article a lot clearer and more concise can be found HERE! 🙂
Hey Sam, how ya doin?
After last weeks article, I am particularly interested in how you approach these topics with Heidi? What I mean is do you know all these details about each other because you have been together for so long now? You lost me a little bit when you mentioned about mastering the ego at the end. The bit on relationship history I liked and could relate to.
Okay, I just read the article you linked to on the ego in relationships and now I understand more what you mean. I had read it before but I guess I forget these things. 8) Forgot how awesome that article was actually
The short answer is that in reality I no longer consciously think about these things whilst in the moment. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort working on things such as my ego over the years and when you get to a certain stage nothing is ever really a problem anymore. Having said that, there are some things I don’t feel the NEED to know (although probably still do) and that is different.
I’m glad you reread the article on the ego in relationships, as I’m sure it makes my points here a lot clearer.
Apologies if this response seems a bit rushed… I’m literally just about to head off for a camping holiday (my first ever no less) in Wales with Heidi… The place we are going to was recently voted as the best view in the WORLD, so I have high expectations!! 🙂
Thanks for writing and I will respond more comprehensively when I return on Sunday.
How was your camping trip? you and Heidi seem such a sweet couple Im actually jealous of you ha : )
The camping trip was MAGICAL, thanks for asking… although being on the side of a cliff protected only by a thin piece of material is more than a little chilly in the UK, whatever time of year it is!! I highly recommend it though as a short holiday alternative for adventurous couples! 🙂
Oh my God. Your article is a must read for everyone who wants romance. There is such a thing as too much information. Some people spill all the beans thinking by doing so it will benefit their current realtiomship. All they are actually doing is burdening the new partner with unnecessary information and clouding a new relationship. I have no interest in learning about my partners sexual past, especially. All I care about is how my partner is going to treat me and whether or not my partner is going to be faithful to me and be focused on relationship with me or not. People spare your love interest the details about what a great stud muffin you were and how greatly sought after your crotch is still. This is how you mess with your new partners head and start a relationship on a bad footing. Good article
I agree with everything you have written. Relationships should focus on the present: how things are now and how you want to be going forward. The past is irrelevant if everything is perfect as it is now.
There are times when a partner might enquire about certain aspects of your past that haven’t naturally cropped up in conversation. At those times the skill is finding a balance between being considerate towards the other person’s feelings and their perception of you, whilst still remaining open and honest!
Thanks for adding to the discussion,