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Dating & Relationships

A new trend in business meetings and in personal coaching is having “big conversations.” Instead of tiptoeing around controversial topics in order to maintain decorum, managers are actually encouraged to bring up emotion laden subjects.

By encouraging debate and even conflict over taboo topics, managers bring potential problems and hidden agendas out into the open and onto the table to be dealt with. So long as managers make it clear that nobody will be punished for disagreeing with the status quo or for taking an unpopular position, this method is considered to be highly successful in team building and strategizing.

What about in our personal relationships? Instead of dwelling on superficial topics or trivial issues in order to maintain equanimity, what if we go for the big conversations? Does the time we spend texting and snapchatting really count toward getting to know someone? What if we were to discuss the uncomfortable subjects earlier in a relationship? Can we be more honest and straightforward in our daily conversations?

When you are beginning a relationship or going on the first few dates, there might be some ways you can improve your time together so that you don’t waste weeks or months being so superficial that you never find out who the other  person really is. Perhaps our conversations can go “big” instead of continually dwelling on the cocktail party trivialities that couples often spend a lot of time on, especially in the early months of their relationships.

Of course, on your very first date, it’s probably not wise to launch into deep and murky waters. For example, you might not want to bring up those underlying fears that have haunted you ever since a traumatic incident in first grade, or launch into a tear-filled account of how you broke off your engagement with only weeks to the wedding just as your new date pulls out your chair.

On the other hand, there is some wisdom behind the new “go big” trend. Don’t be so afraid of revealing your true thoughts and feelings or of asking the big questions that all your conversations remain on the superficial (even though not uncomfortable) level.

Ladies, do you feel obligated to “keep it chill”? Are you afraid of becoming “that woman” who spills her guts or who is considered to be overly emotional? Gentlemen, do you fear women bringing up intimate or potentially difficult subjects? Does this make you feel pressured? What can we learn from the master conversationalist?

Immediately after asking the Samaritan woman at the well for a drink of water, Jesus says to her: “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water’” (John 4:10). He leads her immediately from the mundane to the higher order. And, though the conversation was undoubtedly uncomfortable for the woman (who had to admit to having five husbands) she recognized Christ as Lord and went on to evangelize her entire town.

Sometimes, in order for something truly great to happen, we have to take the uncomfortable leap…into deep waters. We have to have the “big” conversations to get to the next level.

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9 Comments

  1. Lina-796057 February 16, 2014

    Thumbs up on your article!

  2. Lynea-297530 February 16, 2014

    Wow! Hit one out of the park with this article. I’d love to read more from this author.

  3. Leanne-387609 February 17, 2014

    Big conversations are out of my comfort zones, but I’m learning to ask the right questions.

  4. Ellen-1053084 February 18, 2014

    What would be “big” conversations? And what is too early to ask those questions?

  5. Lori-1020607 February 18, 2014

    Interesting theory, I’m with Ellen……?

  6. Laraine Bennett February 20, 2014

    To answer your question, Ellen, a big conversation would be one where you discuss topics that might be controversial, or which might result in an emotional discussion, or where you mention a personal subject (perhaps an event that had a big impact on you as a child or a personal story about your spiritual life). Perhaps you already discuss these sorts of things, but some people present a superficial front when dating; perhaps they pretend to know all about sports because they think that is what the guy wants to hear, even though they don’t have a clue and would rather watch The Bachelor, or they never bring up personal topics that are really important to them because they fear it will scare the other off. But sometimes, these are precisely the conversations you need to have, even early in the relationship, in order to find out who the other really is, and also in order to reveal your true self.

  7. Heather-1033703 February 22, 2014

    I have found that bringing up “biggies” has been detrimental. Maybe it’s my approach, or maybe my timing. But as a single mom, I don’t have time to waste. Like another article I just read, I don’t want to settle. But I also don’t want to waste my time, or a man’s time, when there are some very ‘big’ things they need to know and be able to handle. I realize that sounds a little arrogant, but getting involved with me means dealing with a child on the Autism Spectrum and dealing with an irrational ex. These are things I feel wouldn’t be fair to learn about after spending weeks or months together. So I will keep bringing them up and go with the idea that God’s leading me closer to the one He has in mind for me.

  8. Sally-1011334 February 22, 2014

    just a thought!

    What about making your profile as honest and direct as possible – hopefully that will help to edit out people who don’t agree with your not-negotoiables. I’m probably too honest and detailed on my profile but at least I know I’ve done my best to cover what’s important to me.

    Good luck and god Bless everyone. :)

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