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Why my love life is better now.

I've learned to pause before engaging in tough conversations. Taking a pause to check in with myself has never once made things worse. It made everything better.

Learning to pause before engaging in tough conversations with my partner has improved my love life.

When I’m anxious or sad about my relationship, I’ve historically taken a “no time like the present” approach to talking it out. I was certain that the longer I had to wait to address what felt wrong, confusing, or lonely, the more painful those emotions would become. I’d regularly set aside work meetings, cancel plans with friends, and skip my self-care routine even for the possibility of resolution.

What I found, though, is that my “the sooner the better” method for tough conversations often turned a bad situation worse. My words were harsher, more extreme.  Silence felt intolerable, so my patience dwindled. My body language would communicate a desire for distance even when I was longing to be close to my partner again.  Naturally, my partner did not interpret these cues as indicating my readiness to hear or see her perspective.

Pausing before tough conversations to assess my readiness has been a gift to my love and sex life. It’s made me a more grounded, values-center leader at work. I can keep those plans with friends, follow through on that yoga class, knowing that taking a pause to check in with myself has never once made things worse.