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How to have a serious talk without sending the wrong signals?

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misskitty

Brilliant_Rock
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Hi ladies! A friend of mine came to me for relationship/communication advice and I'm not sure what to tell him. It's sort of LIW-related, so I thought I'd ask here.

My friend has been dating his girlfriend for almost a year. He's at the point where he wants to have some serious (future-oriented) talks with her, but the last time he tried to initiate a conversation about the future, she took it completely wrong and thought he was trying to dump her, and he basically just said "never mind" and tabled the discussion. I wasn't there, so I don't know a whole lot about how he approached it, but it's making me think.

How do you and your SO ease into serious talks without it being stressful? I mean, the words "We need to have a talk" are pretty ominous sometimes.

Also, any good responses for the total misfire? I honestly have no idea what I would want to hear if I were frantic and saying "Are you breaking up with me?" because I'm pretty sure I'd be panicky and not believe him if he said no.
 

goodfun7580

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
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120
Hmmm, thats a tough one. Maybe he could just throw out a question like "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" just to get the dialogue going. Or he could come right out, when the moment is right and say "I could see us having a future together" and see how she responds. I know with my FF talking about the future just came naturally, and don''t really remember how the convos started.

If she freaks out and thinks he''s breaking up with her, he could just say say that is the opposite and that he would like to discuss the future with her. Good luck to your friend!
 

trillionaire

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 18, 2008
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3,881
LOL! Guys are so funny. Two of my GF''s thought they were getting DUMPED when their guy proposed! hehehe.

Maybe he could try something like asking her if she wants to go out got coffee, or dessert or something, and having the conversation while they are out? Something that doesn''t seem ''break-up-ish''.
 

caribqueen

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Dec 22, 2008
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I guess I''m a little confused. Why would she think he was trying to dump her? What did he say? And why would he just drop it? Why couldn''t he just clarify with her that he''s not dumping her and where he was going with the conversation? If he was trying to have a conversation about their future and she somehow got upset thinking he was dumping her, sounds like she would''ve welcomed some clarification.

My BF also never had problems communicating, in fact sometimes I think he communicates too much. I think your friend needs to just "spit it out" as I like to say. I''m not the kind of person to beat around the bush and I can''t stand people around me to do that also. Put it right there on the table. If he''s the who wants to start the conversation then he could say, "I see this going x,y,z....." and then he can ask her "How about you?"
 

misskitty

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Date: 1/30/2009 6:16:52 PM
Author: caribqueen
I guess I'm a little confused. Why would she think he was trying to dump her? What did he say? And why would he just drop it? Why couldn't he just clarify with her that he's not dumping her and where he was going with the conversation? If he was trying to have a conversation about their future and she somehow got upset thinking he was dumping her, sounds like she would've welcomed some clarification.
I can sort of clear this up. They're both superbusy professionals, and they really only see each other on weekends. Here's where I think he may have gone wrong: when he called her to ask about dinner plans, he said "We need to talk." He wanted to say something ahead of time, because he knows she doesn't like being blindsided by serious conversations.

Like a lot of you, these conversations just happened naturally for me & B, which is why I'm at a loss.

I guess the real question is, what's a good substitute for "We need to talk" ?
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
I usually start with, "So, here''s a question for you..." and go from there.
 

caribqueen

Brilliant_Rock
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I maintain that conversations with significant others work well when the person initiating the topic start by sharing their thoughts first." Whether you have a bone to pick or an important topic like the future of the relationship to discuss (it''s best to be in a casual setting, coffee or lunch) just jump right in with "I feel...," "I think..." I want you to know..." Since he''s the one initiating he could start with something like, "I have a few thoughts to share with you, it''s nothing bad, but I just want us to have open communication and I want you to know where I stand...."

I think if he throws it on her first by asking HER the question, then yeah, she might feel blindsided.

He could also just share his thoughts and then tell her there''s no pressure for her to respond now (if she''s hesitant that is). He could tell her that she doesn''t have to make up her mind now or share her feelings now. She''s free to do it when she''s ready. That way, he''s communicated where he stands and it''s up to her to take her time and let him know where she is. I personally like it when people give me space and don''t paint me into a corner where I have to respond right then and there if I''m not ready to.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2007
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14,167
Date: 1/30/2009 6:46:59 PM
Author: misskitty
Date: 1/30/2009 6:16:52 PM

Author: caribqueen

I guess I''m a little confused. Why would she think he was trying to dump her? What did he say? And why would he just drop it? Why couldn''t he just clarify with her that he''s not dumping her and where he was going with the conversation? If he was trying to have a conversation about their future and she somehow got upset thinking he was dumping her, sounds like she would''ve welcomed some clarification.

I can sort of clear this up. They''re both superbusy professionals, and they really only see each other on weekends. Here''s where I think he may have gone wrong: when he called her to ask about dinner plans, he said ''We need to talk.'' He wanted to say something ahead of time, because he knows she doesn''t like being blindsided by serious conversations.


Like a lot of you, these conversations just happened naturally for me & B, which is why I''m at a loss.


I guess the real question is, what''s a good substitute for ''We need to talk'' ?
I don''t blame her for getting upset, "we need to talk" is never a good thing! I think he should just be honest with her and say "look, I love you very much and would really like to set a time to talk this weekend about taking our relationship to the next step."
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Date: 1/30/2009 8:50:25 PM
Author: neatfreak

Date: 1/30/2009 6:46:59 PM
Author: misskitty

Date: 1/30/2009 6:16:52 PM

Author: caribqueen

I guess I''m a little confused. Why would she think he was trying to dump her? What did he say? And why would he just drop it? Why couldn''t he just clarify with her that he''s not dumping her and where he was going with the conversation? If he was trying to have a conversation about their future and she somehow got upset thinking he was dumping her, sounds like she would''ve welcomed some clarification.

I can sort of clear this up. They''re both superbusy professionals, and they really only see each other on weekends. Here''s where I think he may have gone wrong: when he called her to ask about dinner plans, he said ''We need to talk.'' He wanted to say something ahead of time, because he knows she doesn''t like being blindsided by serious conversations.


Like a lot of you, these conversations just happened naturally for me & B, which is why I''m at a loss.


I guess the real question is, what''s a good substitute for ''We need to talk'' ?
I don''t blame her for getting upset, ''we need to talk'' is never a good thing! I think he should just be honest with her and say ''look, I love you very much and would really like to set a time to talk this weekend about taking our relationship to the next step.''
DITTO!!!
 

misskitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
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1,691
Date: 1/30/2009 8:50:25 PM
Author: neatfreak
I don''t blame her for getting upset, ''we need to talk'' is never a good thing! I think he should just be honest with her and say ''look, I love you very much and would really like to set a time to talk this weekend about taking our relationship to the next step.''
I like this a lot! I don''t know why, but I just could not think of a good way to phrase this. Thanks!!
 

purelily

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2008
Messages
352
ETA I replied to the wrong post!

Ooh, thats a tough one.


I would definitely stay away from we have to talk. What about starting the conversation with how happy he is in the relationship.
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
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4,511
I am a weirdo. I do it naked. 1) I know I got his attention 2) He can take whatever I say when I am naked. 3) It is hard to be mad when you are naked.

 
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