It’s my opinion that the best time to have this kind of discussion is before a serious relationship develops.
Here’s how you do it.
- Find excuses to bring up a conversation about things you hope to experience in your life.
- Encourage him to talk about fun and enjoyable things he wants to experience in his future. Get him talking about his dreams (both work and play).
- Ask him one or two simple questions about the kind of relationship circumstances that would be ideal for him to be able to live life to the fullest.
- Keeping the same “wouldn’t it be cool if…” tone of conversation, bring up a few of the standards for any relationship that would make you happy. Phrase it that way to avoid introducing negativity into the conversation.
- End this conversation by turning to him and saying, “you’re interesting to talk to. I want to keep this open kind of dialogue between the two of us. Whatever happens between the two of us, I want to be supportive of you. Let’s openly discuss what we hope for and what we need.”
After you say this, he will realize he’s just had a miniature version of “the talk” with you. He’ll be amazed at how relaxed he felt, which is an uncommon experience for most men when discussing relationship issues.
This positive experience will cause him to be more open to future discussions… and less likely to bolt or shut down when you bring up more specific relationship needs and desires as things unfold.
The primary reason men bolt or shut down during “the talk” is because of a particular kind of fear. It’s the fear of being asked to commit to things he is not ready for.
Men value their freedom, and they often have a misperception of relationships. They often think a commitment means less freedom instead of more happiness.
By framing early discussions of the relationship in a positive way, he realizes you want him to express his desires for the relationship. This makes him less nervous and more open to frequent discussions.
As a result, you both feel happier with where things are going. Note that one of the keys to making this work is getting him to talk about things he wants. That’s what makes him receptive to hearing what you need and desire.
When you affirm his desires and encourage him to dream big, he realizes you could be a team player in his life, someone who enhances his dreams rather than shutting them down.
It’s what you already want, but this is just a method of helping him to realize it. Assuming you find a man who has the same desire (to encourage you in the pursuit of your dreams) open, positive communication will speed you toward a beautiful future.