Today, I want to talk about what happens after you’ve met someone and decided to start seeing each other exclusively. How do you effectively express your needs in a hookup culture that fears commitment? Can you keep your communication from breaking down?

How do you combat all of the misinterpretations and confusion that comes with a new relationship to get to a new level of comfort and loyalty?

After you have cozied up with someone who shares your goals, how do you take things to the next level? The two of you have similar desires, interests and long-term plans. This is where a lot of couples fall prey to comfortability. They stop putting in the work. 

Commit  to Communication

Just because you’ve found your person, doesn’t mean your work is done and it’s smooth sailing from here on out. Some of the strongest couples fall victim to unmet expectations, miscommunication, and false assumptions.

Just as it was important to find someone that shared the same intentions, likes, or interests as you, it is equally important to ensure the expectations within those shared beliefs and ideals are communicated routinely.

You have to be comfortable communicating about the minutiae of your daily routines as well as the big life choices. Small false assumptions can slowly cripple a couple overtime. 

It’s often the small things that go wrong and break the camel’s back, resulting in a disproportionately large reaction. 

An apple a day keeps the Doctor away, but daily dialogue keeps the divorce attorneys at bay. 

Nourish your relationship with a daily check in. Before you go to sleep each night, open a dialogue with your partner. Make this part of your bedtime routine. Ask each other things like:

Don’t Assume Anything

Your partner can not read your mind. You cannot expect them to know and remember all of your likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. 

For example, I once had a client who was absolutely irate that her match had taken her out on his boat for their third date. When I pushed her for clarification she explained that on their first date she told him, “I’m not a very outdoorsy person.”

She then felt as if he hadn’t listened to her and ultimately disrespected her by taking her to do something she (in her mind) had explicitly told him she would hate.

From the outside looking in, it’s clear this was just a matter of miscommunication and incorrect assumptions. You can’t assume others will interpret your words correctly. Be specific when you communicate your needs, boundaries, etc.

At the center of all failed partnerships is a breakdown of communication, in part because we tend to assume things rather than talk about them. All too often we take each other and for granted and in that, we make assumptions about one another that we compartmentalize silently.

In fact, the better a couple knows one another, the more likely they are to make assumptions instead of asking the other person directly.

And you know what they say about people who assume things…they make an ass out of you and me.

Next time, just ask.


People are constantly evolving, as are our relationships. It’s an organic process. That said, expectations of a relationship can change over time.  

Maybe you have to relocate for work and your partner is not moving with you. You never consciously entered into a long-distance relationship, but now here you are.

No matter what the pending distance you will soon face, it will challenge your commitment. So, be sure to set and communicate newfound expectations, as it relates to this new facet of your relationship.  

How do you navigate this new normal? Do you now need to talk or FaceTime daily or multiple times a week? Whatever you both decide needs to be discussed before moving day. Without setting and discussing these expectations, especially when there are sudden and unexpected changes, no relationship, long-distance or otherwise, will survive.

When in Doubt Talk it Out

Have you ever heard someone say the cause of their divorce was too much communication? Because I sure haven’t.

Don’t assume your partner is aware of something if you haven’t discussed it. Alternatively, don’t use your partner’s lack of awareness as a weapon. Often, couples will accuse one another of not being present in the relationship if the other was not aware of a particular conflict or issue. 

No one will ever fault you for talking through things to establish and clarify expectations. 

Couples that maintain strong bonds, long-term relationships, and successful marriages put all their cards on the table. They will communicate anything and everything to one another out of mutual respect and love. It is not an annual exercise, it’s a daily process that fortifies the even the strongest of relationships.

So don’t let your communication falter; your relationship is likely to follow. Think of communication as a necessary part of your relationship’s daily upkeep. So be sure to get your daily dose of conversation in. You will build a strong, lasting bond with your partner that will be able to withstand whatever changes come your way.