The euphoria of a new relationship can often often lead us to avoid the important and often difficult conversations that need to happen in the early stages of a new relationship.
Clinical psychologist, Odwa Gogo, says that it’s important to know whether the relationship you’re going into is aligned with your values and is what you are looking for.
“You have to know the kind of person you’re with so that you can make a decision on whether this is something you’re willing to get into, and the same for the other person getting into it with you,” Gogo says.
Here are the four conversations new couples need to make time for
Gogo reckons that the most important discussion that new couples need to have is one that will reveal each others intentions for entering the relationship.
“The most important conversation that couples should have early on in the relationship is whether the two parties are headed towards something serious, or if they’re just playing around. Sometimes a person might enter a relationship with serious intentions only to realise later on that the other party was only there for the fun, and had no intentions of building a future with you,” Gogo says.
Relationship exclusivity can no longer be assumed. Gogo says both parties should be clear on what type of relationship they are entering into.
“It’s important that this is made clear early on in the relationship. Both parties need to be clear on the type of relationship they are going into. Is it just the two of them, or is the relationship open to dating or being intimate with other people,” Gogo explains.
“If you have children, this is something you should disclose from the beginning. Some people may feel that if they disclose that they have a child, they might push the new/potential partner away, but sooner or later this will come out and create an even bigger issue in the relationship. It’s always best to disclose right at the beginning,” Gogo says.
She further explains that a women who doesn’t have children needs to know what she’s walking into, so that she can decide early on if this is something she’s willing to take on or if she’s not ready.
What you stand for
“It’s important to share what your new partner’s value systems are, about what it is that you stand for, about who you are, what is going on within your life and what your expectations are so that you’re giving your new partner the opportunity to accept or reject you for who you are in totality,” Gogo says.
She adds that obviously there are certain pieces of information that might be sensitive, and that you needn’t unpack at such an early stage. There is a level of this type of opening up that needs to happen.
“You still need to guard your heart and protect who you are but within that, still give the other person enough respect to afford them an opportunity to know exactly what it is they are entering,” Gogo concludes.