3 CONVERSATIONS YOU’LL REGRET NOT HAVING
I love the advancement of technology almost as much as I hate it and what having it has done to us as a people. I started to worry when my niece and nephew asked what that sound was coming from the phone, with the cord attached to it. That’s right people a dial tone…they had never heard a dial tone. Now I worry about the fact that my unborn child may never understand the pain of a paper cut or how hilarious it was to prank call someone and they actually not have a clue who was calling. I sit around and think about these things, but the one that I really want to talk about is a simple face to face conversation. We must admit our failure and do better ladies and gentleman.
When we get together with friends for game night, it usually turns into hours of talking. Yeah, we start with games, but always get caught up in a conversation and end up talking for hours. We started unintentionally hosting conversation parties that lasted at least 5 hours. Last weekend,we got together and the same thing happened. We started off playing a game and after a few rounds got caught up in conversation.
One of the topics of discussion made me reflect on my relationship. We have made it a point to focus on our communication. I often say this to people, communication can be the solution to many of your problems. When you are looking for the person you want to spend your life with, you should consider deal breakers (which I discuss a little more here.) My personal pet peeve is when someone mentions a deal breaker that describes them as well. For example, if you feel your partner needs to own their own house, but you still live with and off of your parents, you should hold off on demanding that accomplishment from someone.
When my husband and I started dating, we would talked on the phone, we would text, we would video chat and we would also get together and talk face to face. I understood him and who he was, so when he sent me messages, I was pretty much spot on in knowing what he meant and how he meant what he said. Today, people don’t take the time to read facial expressions and body language. People don’t get to listen and learn someones personality, so when they send a text you can’t figure out if they are upset and pretending to be fine or if they are being sarcastic, and so on.
Even more concerning, people are dating for years and never discussing the topics that are most important before deciding to get married. If we recognize that finances are one of the top reasons for divorce, than we should be discussing our financial habits, expectations and status to avoid this being a source of concern in our relationships. If you have bad credit and we plan to buy a house together, than we should discuss this because your credit will negatively impact the interest rates we receive on joint accounts. This is not something to be embarrassed about especially if you plan to get married. Don’t let me get caught off guard by finding out when we go to start the house hunting process (or car buying process or any other relevant process) that you have concerning credit. If we are moving in together or getting married, I should know and understand your financial situation so I can properly make moves.
It’s not just financial conversations that we are missing, but people are also not talking about their views on family, family goals and so on. During our premarital class they had us talk about how we would handle holidays between our families and how we would deal with family issues. After we discussed where we stand on these issues we then met with our parents to discuss changes that will happen when we get married. This was one of the most eye opening conversations. I never really thought about how we would split our time with family or how we would handle our parents disciplining our children. There were so many discussions that were very interesting and worth while, but on my own had never thought about addressing.
Another huge issue for me is the problem with lending money. When we join our finances, we make decisions together. An interesting idea that our pastor suggested, was to decide early how much we are willing to help people financially. So this year, for any reason, if someone needs to borrow money we will only allow up to $500 total. Once that $500 is gone we cannot assist any further. I’m sure we all know a family member or a friend’s family member who will continue to take advantage and pull others down into their financial issues. Don’t let other people’s issues become your relationship’s issues.
So how do we get to discussing these issues?
It can start off very simple. When you take interest in someone, make it a point to take time to talk to them as well as listen to them. Simply ask a question and see where the conversation ends up. When you start practicing early being open with communication it becomes natural to you later as the relationship develops.
This may start off strange, but ask random questions and practice being open to answering these random questions when asked. Now, you may be like me and not know where to start so after a random search and some thinking you could as things like when was the last time you got lost in your thoughts and what were you thinking about? When have you ever felt proud of yourself (self critical)? What are you most grateful for and why? What values are important to you in a relationship? If you discovered you had 24 hours to live what would you change right now? What about your parents did you hope you would never start doing and now find yourself doing?
Let these conversations take you wherever they may go. You can learn a lot from a person when a conversation just flows. Even though we have the advancements in technology that allow us to take many short cuts, conversations are not a place where we should cut people out. We need to interact with and really get to learn each other. So while our children may not know the frustration of rewinding a tape they should know simple face to face communication. That means being an active participant by engaging through speaking, listening and eye contact. Phones away people, it’s time to talk!
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