Do you know what a “relationship bomb” is? Even if you’ve never heard that phrase, you’ve probably dealt with a few.
A relationship bomb is a situation where things could easily blow up in your face. Here’s a common relationship bomb: the dreaded state-of-the-relationship talk.
There are times when talking to your man about the future of your romance can be a tricky business. If you approach the topic the wrong way, BOOM!
When a relationship bomb explodes, you’ll almost always end up feeling a sense of disconnection from your partner. Sometimes a bad talk about the future will even bring the relationship to a grinding halt.
That’s no good.
But you can’t just ignore this particular relationship bomb, either. If you need to talk to your guy about where the relationship is headed, you can’t just avoid the conversation.
Ticking bombs that get ignored have a tendency to explode. It’s better to do something proactive.
Fortunately, I’ve uncovered some amazing tips from a literal explosives expert.
Recently, I read about an interview with a Navy EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) professional. [i] Naval EODs defuse bombs for a living. How do they do that without getting blown up in the process?
They follow three simple rules. And the great thing about those rules is they work just as well for relationships as they do in combat.
1. Don’t Ask “What If” Questions
When you’re getting ready to talk to your guy about where the relationship is headed, you’re likely to imagine all the directions the conversation could go. Some of them good, and some of them bad.
What if he doesn’t feel as seriously about you? What if he thinks you’re clingy and pulls back? What if he’s not thinking long-term at all?
Don’t explore every possible negative outcome before you tackle a sticky subject. That’s a game you’ll never win.
Instead, when you start imagining disaster, apply the brakes, and then move on to tip number two.
2. Focus on What You Can Control
There’s one thing you can always control. Yourself.
The single biggest way you can do that in this situation is by keeping your cool during the conversation.
If it becomes clear he’s not quite ready to move into more serious territory, don’t panic. You don’t have to take the leap right then and there. Instead, tell him how you feel and invite him to take some time to think about it.
Be sure to give him space, too. Don’t bring the topic up again right away. He’ll need some time to digest the information without feeling pressured.
3. Know the Next Step
So you tell him you want to take things to the next level. If he asks what you mean by that, you can’t say, “I don’t know. Just…the next level. You know, more serious.”
Know what YOU want from the relationship.
Don’t go into the conversation blind, hoping he’ll lead the way. Search your own feelings and decide before hand how you’d like to see the future unfold.
You might tell him you want to meet his family. Or that you’d like to have some conversations about life goals. If things are already somewhat serious, you might even ask if he’s okay with discussing things like whether or not he wants kids.
The point is, don’t open a can of worms without a plan.
Before you have the conversation, you need to have an idea of what getting more serious looks like to you. The more specific, the better.
When explosives experts do their jobs, things don’t blow up. You can work the same magic in your relationship.
When it’s time to have a state-of-the-relationship talk with your man, stay away from the what-if game, keep calm, and know what taking the next step looks like before you talk.
Stick to those three tips when you’re ready to move from casual dating to long-term romance.