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Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — now

By Liza Finlay
Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — now

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — now

Critical conversations

There are five things you need to know about your partner — now.

Relationships often suffer when communication, expectations and emotions are up in the air. You need to know exactly where your partner stands. So why not talk about it...today?

Enough with the guessing games! To eliminate uncertainty and press the reset button on your relationship, ask your partner the following five questions…

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — nowPhoto: Eugene Choi/iStockphoto

02What does love look like to you?

Love isn’t generic. It’s not one-size-fits-all. If, for you, taking care of the taxes and digging out the driveway is the ultimate expression of adoration, it may not be so for him. Ask your partner to fill in the following sentence: You really know I love you when I __________?

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — nowPhoto: Marilyn Nieves/iStockphoto

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03How will I know when you are really angry?

All of us have a routine stress reaction — an anger reflex. The fight or flight response is soft-wired in our circuitry. Some of us explode; some of us retreat.

Is your partner Mount Vesuvius, or is she a Polar Ice Cap? Learning to recognize the patterns you play out when under stress is the first step toward changing the dance.

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — nowPhoto: Kangah/iStockphoto

04What is the greatest cause of that anger?

OK, so you’ve figured out what “I’m furious” looks like. Now what? Diagnosing the dynamic — you explode and I retreat, or you get cold and I get hot — is just the first step.

Next, rewind the tape slightly, and sleuth out what sets him off. What are his hot buttons? Anger is usually a byproduct of hurt or fear, so really you’re learning to detect his sensitive spots. These are predictable and if they can be predicted, they can be avoided.

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — now

05What is the biggest threat to your sense of security in our relationship?

Let’s face it, we all have raw spots. We’ve all been wounded. Those wounds leave scar tissue — a protective layer we wear over past hurts.

What are her sore spots? Has past infidelity made her super-sensitive to what she perceives as flirtatiousness on your part? Has a past bankruptcy made full financial disclosure a must? Maybe an overbearing ex has made your man wary of attempts to clip his wings.

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — now

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06What is your biggest wish for us?

Knowing your partner’s longings gives you clues not only to where he wants and needs to go, but also to what has most affected him in his life thus far. What happened in our past forges our future — it gives our inner GPS the settings it needs for future striving.

What does your partner most crave for the two of you? A financially secure future? To remain best friends forever? Find out where his emotional roadmap is taking him. You’d be surprised. Oh, the places you’ll go!

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — nowPhoto: laflor/iStockphoto

More relationship tips!

Relationships: 5 conversations to have with your partner — now

Improve your relationship today by asking these five critical questions.

This article was originally published on Mar 22, 2013

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