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Learn how to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend how you really feel.

 

Sometimes it's easier to keep quiet in the name of being "polite." Quite often, we ladies are willing to sacrifice what we really want in hopes of keeping the peace and avoiding fights. When a guy asks, "What movie do you want to see?" we might say, "It doesn't matter," or "Whatever you want." How many times have you settled for a burger when you really had your heart set on sushi?

When my husband and I first started dating, he would always take me to a particular Italian restaurant. I generally love Italian food, but at this eatery, the food was lacking and the portions were insultingly enormous. After about the fifth time of dreading baked ziti, I suggested that we try one of my favorite places instead, and he absolutely loved it. “Wow! Why didn’t you suggest this earlier?" he said, continuing, "I hated going to that Italian place, but I thought you liked it, so I wanted to make you happy.” Miscommunication at its finest.

Learning to speak up from the start is not only important for building self-respect, but it will get you the respect you deserve from your partner.
You don't have to be considered "high maintenance" to get what you want out of the relationship! In fact, communicating ineffectively is only a recipe for disaster. The following tips will put you on the path to free and open communication:


Focus on the Long Term

"Long term" is relative: Whether you're hoping for another date or a marriage proposal, focus on utilizing each conversation as an opportunity to build trust. While it may be tempting to sit back to avoid saying something "stupid," let go of your need to play it safe all the time. Listen to your partner, and reflect on what you want to convey and achieve for yourself and the relationship. Even if you disagree with what your significant other is saying, speaking up and sharing your insight can lead to a deeper, intimate conversation. The more in-depth conversation you share, the more you'll learn from each other. While there's no benefit in being purposely disagreeable, agreeing unequivocally can lead to a very boring date. Speak up with confidence and you'll be surprised by how much fun and meaningful the conversations become.


Step Into Your Partner’s Shoes

As human beings, we love to tell stories about our coworkers, friends, family, and ourselves. And yet, we don’t always see the world as it is, but as we see it. Keeping that in mind helps to consider alternative perspectives. For example, while your boyfriend may say he doesn't like country music, perhaps he's simply never heard good country music before. By giving suggestions and sharing life experiences, you can actually help broaden the cultural and experiential scope of others. And of course, be sure to listen to and consider your partner's take on everything, too. Relationships are all about growing with another person.


Be Authentic

There is no doubt that most people get nervous on dates -- even sometimes with their significant other. And actions can certainly speak louder than words, which means your date may very likely pick up on such mixed signals. But sharing that you are feeling nervous or uneasy will actually makes things more comfortable for both of you. By being honest with yourself and your partner about the things that cause anxiety, stress, or worry, he or she will have the opportunity to be more sensitive to what's on your mind. Give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts, and allow your emotions to guide your conversation without getting too worked up or overwhelmed.


Practice!

Finding your voice will open the window to engaging in more open relationships – not only personally, but professionally, too. And although you may stumble over your words as you first try to express yourself, you can learn from the experience and move on. Just don’t ever beat yourself up about failing to make your point! Though it may not come easy, the more you practice speaking up, the better you'll get at it – and the more rewarding your relationships will become.



By Amanda Caswell

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Love Magazine: Learn how to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend how you really feel.
Learn how to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend how you really feel.
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