Growing up, I learned how to communicate with men by watching telenovelas and witnessing my mother and father argue. That’s why instead of having a mature dialogue with a partner, I’d drink, scream, and give him the evil eye. How could I express my feelings logically? Romper platos and sob was all the rage on Marimar, Crystal, and Yo Compro A Esa Mujer. My parents dramatic relationship also didn’t help matters.
My inability to communicate with romantic partners became increasingly problematic during the transitional period of said relationships. This is the time when you want more from your relationship but aren’t sure whether the man you are seeing wants a commitment. I didn’t know how to have ‘The Talk’ with my love interests. I was never taught to state my needs. Fortunately, I learned after a few cocotasos. And I’m here to share my wisdom so your dishes remain intact.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Having ‘the talk’ is futile if you don’t know what you want out of a relationship. You can’t express your needs if you’re unsure about what those needs actually are. Besides, any sign of hesitation on your end will lead to manipulation on his. He’ll know that you don’t know and won’t push for change. That then leads to limbo and stagnation.
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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Instead of jumping into a conversation, write down what you wish to say. This will help you sort out your feelings. You can also record yourself on your phone or a tape recorder so you can practice your tone and choose your words carefully. That way you don’t play the Blame Game when you communicate, or worse, nag, which often occurs when ‘The Talk’ is in progress. Once you feel like you can state your needs without breaking a sweat (or burning down his barn in Mexico), you are ready.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT OUTLET
‘The Talk’ does not have to happen in person. With technology today, you can call, text, email, or express yourself via Facebook chat. Don’t feel it’s the coward’s way out to use other outlets. Okay, maybe it is, but if it helps you to ask for what you want and need in your relationship, who cares if you text or email. What matters is that your message is clear and delivered.
LET ‘ER RIP
You know your message. You’ve practiced to the point where you’re calm, cool, and collected. And you know when and where and what tool you will use to communicate.
That means you are ready! So, put on your big girl panties and let ‘er rip. There is no going back.
So, you see, having ‘the talk’ doesn’t have to be filled with tears or fears. What happens afterwards, however, is still not guaranteed. No matter what, be proud that you stood up for yourself and that you expressed your need for a relationship logically. If this leads to a commitment, congrats! If not, count to ten, move on, and stay away from the silverware.