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Stop Hiding These 9 Things if You Want a Serious Relationship

Stop Hiding These 9 Things if You Want a Serious Relationship

You might think that hiding big, bad things from your partner will make your relationship better, but it will actually tear down the trust your partner has given you. The relationship might seem better at the time, but everything eventually comes to light, and when your partner finds out you’ve hidden things from them, they will wonder if you’re telling them the truth about anything. If you want a serious relationship, you shouldn’t hide these nine things from your partner.

1. Your dreams.

Your partner needs to know what you want to accomplish in your life. Openly share your dreams for the future. Let them know what goals you want to reach in your education, career, or family life, and what steps you’re going to take to reach these goals. Your partner will know what you want to accomplish and will not stand in your way, and will even know how they can help you reach these goals a little easier.

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    2. Your natural beauty.

    Don’t be afraid to show your partner who you really are. This means they don’t always get to see you dressed up for a night on the town. Sometimes they’ll see you when you wake up – without makeup, with messy hair, puffy eyes and all! They’ll see you with flat, wet hair when you get out of the shower. They’ll see you sweating and throwing up when you’re sick. You shouldn’t feel like you need to always be made up, combed, and have freshly brushed teeth just to be with your partner.

    3. Your food intake.

    Do you really want to live your life always ordering the small, healthy meal on dates, when you could be ordering the food you really crave? Your partner isn’t going to judge you for wanting a burger over a salad! Don’t be afraid to eat what you want when you’re with your partner, and don’t indulge yourself in private and then keep it from them later.

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    4. Your past.

    You don’t have to spell out every dirty little detail or even throw out your numbers, but make sure your partner knows what your past was like. This can mean everything from your childhood, to high school troubles, to past relationships. If there was an issue in your past, it could crop up in your current relationship, but if you partner knows about it, you won’t have to worry. Being upfront about your past also means there will be no surprises if anything comes out of the woodwork later.

    5. Your expectations.

    Make clear from the beginning what you expect from your partner and the relationship. If you’re serious, then you should feel comfortable telling them you want to get married at some point and whether you would like to have kids, for example. Just make sure you present this in a positive way, so your significant other doesn’t feel like you’re issuing an ultimatum.

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    6. Your boundaries.

    You might be happily in love, but you don’t want to become one person. No matter how much you have in common and how much you love spending time together, you need to keep a part of your identity separate from them. Make your boundaries clear about how much time you need alone, how much physical space you need when you’re together, and what you’d like to do with your free time.

    7. Your beliefs.

    It doesn’t matter whether you and your partner share the same beliefs, as long as you’re upfront about them. Don’t hide your religion or political affiliation just because your partner thinks differently. This could cause major problems later. Be truthful about your beliefs from the start so your partner will know where you stand.

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    8. Your personal problems.

    This goes for problems happening now, or things that have gone on in the past. Tell your partner! Being in a relationship means you’re in a partnership. You have someone to share the burden with, so take advantage of that! Don’t worry if they’ll yell at you or judge you – if you’re truly in love, you can get past anything.

    9. Your financial status.

    You don’t have to pull out bank statements, but if you have a lot of debt or college loans, make sure your partner knows. Some people work really hard to keep good credit scores, and they need to know if your money issues will affect them once you’re married. It doesn’t mean that money is a deal breaker, just that you may have some things to work through before you join finances with your sweetie.

    Featured photo credit: QuinnDombrowski via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on January 24, 2021

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

    Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

    For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

    But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

    It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

    And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

    The Importance of Saying No

    When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

    In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

    Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

    Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

    Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

    “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

    When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

    How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

    It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

    From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

    We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

    And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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    At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

    The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

    How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

    Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

    But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

    3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

    1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

    If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

    2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

    When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

    Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

    3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

    When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

    6 Ways to Start Saying No

    Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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    1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

    One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

    Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

    2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

    Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

    Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

    3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

    Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

    Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

    You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

    4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

    Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

    Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

    5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

    When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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    How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

      Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

      Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

      6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

      If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

      Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

      Final Thoughts

      Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

      Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

      Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

      More Tips on How to Say No

      Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
      [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
      [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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