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Sex + Relationships

The Conversation Every Long-Term Couple Should Have

For a lot of people in relationships, talking about the future can be scary, terrifying even. But, however much you want to avoid that question of “where are we going?” – that conversation might be what helps you have a healthy and happy relationship. ​

Most people have an idea of where they want to end, what kind of career they want to pursue, and if they ever want to get married or have kids, even small things like knowing they’re going to adopt a dog. Usually, these kinds of things are non-negotiable and incredibly important, as they should be. It is your future after all. 

But sometimes, our vision of the future might be different from our partner’s. This isn’t a bad thing! Some people believe that you shouldn’t even date someone whose goals don’t match up with yours, but in my humble opinion, that’s some serious bull.​

You and your partner don’t need to see the same future to have a successful relationship. My boyfriend and I have completely different ideas of what we want from our lives (he never wants to have kids, and every time I look at a baby the fever hits me like a train), but our relationship is still the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in.

That doesn’t just magically happen though. The key to any healthy relationship? Communication, especially when it comes to issues like these. Now, I’m not saying that every relationship has to have a clear and defined end goal. I’m not even saying that you should run right now to your partner and ask if they plan on living in the city, and how many kids they want and how many people you’re allowed to invite to the wedding. All I’m saying is that every long-term couple should have this conversation at some point.​

Knowing where your relationship might go allows you to not only think about the far-off future but enjoy your time together now all the more. Knowing that the bf and I plan to break up when he graduates in a year is a little sad, but because of that, I value every single moment I have with him even more and the little things that might go wrong tend to matter less. 

Think of it this way: having that conversation takes the pressure off. Whether you decide that your futures aren’t compatible, that you want to stick it out for the long haul, or even just to see where it goes, the guessing is gone. You at least have an idea.

If nothing else, this conversation will open up the pathway to healthy communication and good conversations that will ultimately improve your relationship.

Sara Slaughter

South Carolina '21

Sara Slaughter is a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. She enjoys musical theatre and is involved in productions on campus. She is currently bingeing Criminal Minds.
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