Difficult Conversations

You might have the impression from my essay on fears that I embrace the things that scare me most in relationships. I try to. It saves me so much grief down the road.

I do my best to tackle the difficult conversations as soon as I am sure I probably need to. For instance, there are the conversations with people who are crushing on me where I tell them "you're nice" and "I don't think it would be a good idea," "I don't feel the same way," or "I'm not into guys." Those are pretty routine at this point (it's hard to believe that a few years ago I had no experience with turning anyone down).

Other times the outcome matters more. I really want them to still like me and continue in whatever relationship we have—or move on to bigger and better things with me. Maybe I'm asking someone to move in with me, or to start a relationship, or talking about concerns in a relationship. Maybe I'm telling her that I react by feeling hurt by what she's doing and we need to talk about what's going on. The point is, these are the conversations that grow relationships. These are the ones that allow it to keep going as a healthy relationship and not a spiral of misunderstandings and fears. Without the important, difficult conversations—and regular check-ins—it's hard to gauge how a relationship is going—even if the sex is amazing.

I run to the big, bad, scary conversations because that's the only way to keep going toward the wonderful ones.

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