Having open and honest conversations with your partner about your feelings, expectations, and fantasies can be challenging, but also rewarding.
It can help you deepen your connection, enhance your intimacy, and explore your desires. Here are some tips and examples on how to communicate effectively with your partner about these topics:
Create a safe and comfortable space.
Ask your partner what they need or want to make this conversation feel like a safe space to explore. The best kind of soulful communication happens when we feel safe and free to speak our thoughts, dreams, fears, and fantasies without repercussions. Think of it as an “off the record” conversation. You can also set some ground rules, such as no judgment, no interruptions, no pressure, and no retaliation. Choose a time and place that is conducive to a relaxed and respectful dialogue, such as a cozy couch, a quiet bedroom, or a romantic dinner.
Use “I” statements and avoid blaming.
When you express your feelings, expectations, and fantasies, use “I” statements to help explain your subjective experience of what happened. For example, instead of saying “You never pay attention to me”, you can say “I feel lonely and neglected when you spend hours on your phone”. This way, you avoid making general statements about your partner’s behavior that can sound accusatory or defensive. You also take responsibility for your own emotions and needs and invite your partner to empathize with you.
Be clear and specific.
When you communicate with your partner, be clear and specific about what you are feeling, what you want, and what you don’t want. For example, if you are feeling bored in your sex life, you can say “I feel like we are stuck in a rut and I want to spice things up”. If you have a specific fantasy that you want to try, you can say “I have always wanted to try role-playing as a teacher and a student”. If you have a boundary that you don’t want to cross, you can say “I am not comfortable with involving other people in our sex life”. Being clear and specific helps your partner understand your perspective and preferences and avoids confusion or misunderstanding.
Listen and respond with curiosity and compassion.
When your partner shares their feelings, expectations, and fantasies with you, listen and respond with curiosity and compassion. Try to understand their point of view and ask open-ended questions to learn more about their thoughts and feelings. For example, you can say “That sounds interesting, can you tell me more about why you like that?” or “How do you feel when I do that?” or “What would make you feel more comfortable or excited?” Avoid criticizing, mocking, or dismissing your partner’s feelings, expectations, and fantasies, even if you don’t agree with them or share them. Instead, acknowledge and validate their emotions, and express your appreciation for their honesty and vulnerability. For example, you can say “I understand why you feel that way, and I respect your opinion” or “Thank you for trusting me with your fantasy, I love how adventurous and creative you are”.
Negotiate and compromise.
After you and your partner have communicated your feelings, expectations, and fantasies, you may find that you have some differences or conflicts. This is normal and natural, and it does not mean that you are incompatible or doomed. It just means that you need to negotiate and compromise to find a solution that works for both of you. Try to find a middle ground that satisfies your needs and respects your partner’s boundaries and be willing to make some adjustments or concessions. For example, if your partner wants to have sex more often than you do, you can agree on a frequency that is reasonable and realistic for both of you. If your partner has a fantasy that you are not comfortable with, you can suggest an alternative that is similar but less extreme or offer to fulfill their fantasy in a different way, such as through role-playing, watching porn, or reading erotica.
Remember that negotiation and compromise are not about giving up or giving in, but about finding a win-win situation that enhances your relationship.