Are you really compatible?

Conversations for the Future

My partner and I love to discuss the future – where we want to live, if we want more kids, and, of course, the big M – Marriage. I think it’s important to talk early on in your relationship about your expectations for the future and your long term compatibility. Having conversations around your wants, needs, beliefs, and values about major life events will allow you to get a deeper understanding of your partner and discover any potential relationship deal breakers. What I’ve noticed working as a relationship coach is that many couples form strong emotional attachments and have loads of chemistry but ultimately can’t make it work because their values, beliefs, or needs are incompatible. Instead of shying away from these conversations, have them early on. This will save you from investing too much time in a relationship that won’t work in the long run or worse still, one you feel “stuck in” because you’ve invested too much time in building a life together and don’t want to start over.

Starting the Conversation…

If you’re in a relationship that could become life long, it’s best to discuss values and beliefs early on. These don’t need to be high pressure Chatting Over Drinksconversations. Instead, while you’re out to dinner or watching The Fosters on Netflix, casually chat about whether or not you want a family or how many kids you imagine having someday. These conversations will give you valuable insight into what your partner wants. You should pay close attention if they mention something that is not in your life plan. For example, they say they never want children and don’t understand why lesbian couples would go to all the trouble to get pregnant or adopt. This should be a red flag for you if you know you want kids.

Once you’re past the casual conversation phase of your relationship and you’ve moved into the phase where you both know you’re serious about your commitment and lifelong love potential, it’s time for a deeper conversation. Start having discussions about your beliefs and values. These can still be fun conversations. My partner and I found a list called “7 Conversations to Have Before You Get Married.” We had a great time going through them on a long car trip. We kept the discussion light but honest; asking each other follow up questions and “what ifs” (you can find the list HERE). The questions covered topics like Debt & Finance, Kids, Parenting, Aging Parents, and Life Priorities.

What did we discover?

The first thing we realized is that we’ve done a great job of talking about our beliefs, values, and needs already. The only issue we hadn’t discussed yet was what to do as our parents’ age. Luckily we had both thought about that issue already and had similar views (I knew I loved this woman for a reason!). Regardless if you’ve already discussed a lot of these bigger issues or not, it’s always good to continue the conversation. Even though my partner and I are raising two kids together, I joined the family when the youngest was four. We want to have more kids together and have discussed how and when but never the particulars of having an infant. I discovered having a home birth, using natural products, breastfeeding, and practicing attachment parenting are all important parenting values to my partner. Never having had an infant I had no clue what all this meant and how it would affect me and our relationship. Clearly this is an important topic for us to continue discussing before we have more children.

Moving Forward

Choosing someone to spend your life with is more than just finding someone you have chemistry with – it’s finding someone who wants similar things out of life. Having discussions like the one I had with my partner with help you understand each other better and uncover relationship red flags. Having these conversations early and often will help you pave the way to creating a fulfilling lifelong relationship together!

About Christine Dunn-Cunningham

Christine Dunn-Cunningham specializes in helping lesbians and other members of the LGBT community create deeply connected, passionate relationships that last. She helps singles find their soul mates and couples communicate better, connect more deeply, and move past issues that plague their relationship. You can watch her video “5 Things Successful Couples Do to Create Extraordinary Relationships that Last for Decades” for free: Click Here to Watch the Video Now!