Are you struggling to have meaningful discussions with your partner?
A healthy discussion is where you and your partner feel comfortable expressing yourselves. Taking the time to hear one another will help you and your partner feel heard and understood. Understanding and fearless expression are what helps you feel emotionally connected. Effective communication can also help you share your feelings, needs, doubts, concerns and work out your issues.
In this article, you will learn what it means to have a healthy discussion, the benefits of developing this skill and the dangers if you don’t.
What Is a Discussion?
First, let’s have a look at what discussion means according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
- Consideration of a question in open and usually informal debate
- A formal treatment of a topic in speech or writing
What Does It Mean to Have a Discussion in a Relationship?
A discussion in a relationship is a little bit more involved than having a more simple conversation. A serious discussion is needed after some issues are present and it becomes more urgent to take them seriously.
When you have a discussion, it helps to focus on one topic and make sure that you can cover it in as much depth as you need. This will help you build understanding and feel more emotionally connected.
This topic may not necessarily be an issue, but it would be something important that you need to discuss with your partner.
What to Discuss in a New Relationship?
In a new relationship, you and your partner are getting to know each other. Discussing the things that you like and don’t like is important.
Once you establish your preferences, you can set your boundaries. This will help your partner know your preferences.
Knowing these, your partner can support you in what is important for you.
Here are some things you can discuss with your partner:
- Hobbies and interests
- Life goals and ambitions
- Values and beliefs
- Personal qualities that are important for you and your partner
- What it is that both of you are expecting from a relationship
Love Topics to Discuss in a Relationship
Staying connected with your partner comprises two things: keeping in touch and maintaining an emotional connection.
The best way to keep your relationship healthy is by maintaining an emotional connection. Good communication with understanding will help you remain connected.
The way you approach your partner to talk about a topic will set the tone for the conversation you will have.
You can open up to your partner and create more intimacy. However, your partner must reciprocate your expression of vulnerability.
When your partner listens to your darker secrets, you will develop a sense of closeness and feel accepted. Such sharing makes your relationship more intimate.
To make your love grow, you can discuss:
- Your feelings
- Your beliefs
- Your commonalities
- The things that you love doing
- Your favourite places
- The things you love about your partner
How to Have a Serious Discussion in a Relationship
- Identify the issue.
- Recognise how you are feeling about it.
- Get clear on what needs you have unfulfilled.
- Agree on a specific time and place to talk about it.
- Give yourself plenty of time and make sure that you and your partner have no other engagements.
- Tell your partner the reason for this discussion and your intention.
- Once you express yourself, ask your partner to tell you what they heard you say. This way, you will know if they understood you correctly.
- Ask your partner their view on this issue.
- Try to understand your partner’s side of things and repeat back what you understood.
- Once you expressed yourselves and took the time to hear each other out, you are now in the right place to start thing of some possible solutions going forward.
There are some topics that are more difficult to address because they involve plans for the future, you are uncertain about your partner’s opinion about something, or you just don’t know how to bring it up into the discussion.
Serious Topics to Discuss in Your Relationship
-The dynamic of your relationship. If you feel something is off, you should be discussing it
- Personal development such as a new job offer that would impact you living together
- A change in your circumstances that may affect your relationship. For example, family issues where you need to help them and that would take you away for a while, or a new shift pattern that would mean not seeing each other very much.
- Behaviours that you or your partner have and that are contributing to the relationship
- Any doubts you have about your relationship
- Any concerns you have about being together, moving in together, or living together
- Money arrangements to pay the bills, go on holiday together or manage your debts
- About the direction of your relationship and where would you like it to go next
- Plans for the future in regards to having children
Serious discussion is characterised by the need to address a problem that perhaps has been an issue for a while and for some reason was not fixed.
In a healthy relationship, you should be able to bring up any issue as soon as it arises without the fear of being judged or dismissed. So, in that sense, you know your relationship is healthy when you are comfortable discussing any and all topics.
Discussion Topics for a Healthy Relationship
Discussion topics to maintain a healthy relationship revolve around the main pillars for a strong relationship:
- Personal and relationship goals
- Planning your time and allocating the resources to achieve your goals
- Setting a timeline for your goals and major milestones
- Living together
- Your relationships with other people in your lives (family, friends, co-workers, etc.)
- Making your relationship interesting, fun, and exciting
- Having personal time and space for self-development, to relax, etc.
To maintain a healthy relationship, it’s essential to have fun and talk about things that touch you deeply.
If you are struggling to express yourself and share your thoughts and feelings with your partner, get in touch to see how we can help.
Avoiding a boring discussion depends on how emotionally involved you are in the topic. The more involved you are in the topic that interest you, or touches you emotionally, the less likely your partner will be bored hearing about it and discussing it.
Some of the discussion topics on your list should include:
- Your thoughts, feelings, doubts and concerns
- Your dreams and ambitions
- Your plans for the future for your personal life and your relationship
Help and Advice with Having Discussions in Your Relationship
Tips for Healthy and Meaningful Discussions
- Talk to your partner and let them know there is something you would like to talk about.
- Whenever you want to have a particular conversation with your partner, set the time that works for both of you to have a conversation.
- Choose the most appropriate way to have the conversation based on how important is the topic you want to discuss.
- Choose a place where you can have some privacy and feel comfortable discussing anything without interruptions or distractions
If you do not know how to have healthy discussions in your relationship and need professional help and advice, we will be happy to help! Check out our coaching options here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do healthy couples talk about?
Couples in a healthy relationship feel comfortable discussing any topic. Some of these discussions can be directly related to the relationship like sharing feelings and needs, discovering what isn’t working and finding a way to address all issues in a loving way. Other discussion topics may include some interesting and fun like planning a trip together or talking about new ideas and the purpose of life.
What are things to discuss in a relationship?
When starting a relationship, you probably want to discuss your deeper values and beliefs to see if you are on the same page. If you are already in a relationship and having some issues, you need to address everything that is on your mind, however serious or trivial they may seem.
How do you start a discussion in a relationship?
First of all, get clear on the point of the discussion – your intentions and what you want to achieve. The clearer you are about your feelings, needs, and expectations, the easier it will be to express them, and the more likely your partner will understand you.
How do you fix communication in a relationship?
Good communication is the very foundation of a healthy relationship. If you feel unheard and misunderstood, it is time to fix your communication. To improve your communication, you and your partner must recognise that your communication needs improving. Then, you have to be willing to dedicate the time and the effort to it. Practically, communication has two parts: expressing and listening. Both of you must feel comfortable and unafraid to share your thoughts, feelings, doubts, and concerns. You also need to take the time to hear each other out, so you can understand both points of view.