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We need to talk: The worst words you can hear in a relationship

“We need to talk,” are probably the four worst words you can hear in a relationship, whether that relationship is friendly or romantic literally nothing good happens after that sentence.

Last week I said those words, not to Boyfriend, but to one of my best friends. I told her that it was time we had a chat about her insistence on returning to her ex over and over and over again. They broke up a while ago because they have very different views on relationships and several other reasons that are not mine to tell. The day they broke up I was there for her and I was there for her every time she took him back after that but there comes a point when you just can’t do it anymore. So I told her, after seeing her falter and slide back into their old routine, that we had to talk, now.

There is no good time to tell your friend that you hate her boyfriend, there really isn’t, but after the break up you should feel safe to tell her that she can do better. Shouldn’t you? Not when she keeps going back to the same guy.

But you can only watch your friends hurt for so long before saying something isn’t really a choice but a necessity; our friendship now has a rule, no more talking about her ex and I can’t be the shoulder to cry on anymore.

The whole talk was short but I felt terrible. I felt like I shouldn’t be allowed to comment on someone’s broken relationship when mine is going so well, like somehow I lost my right to say something when I met Boyfriend.

In the end I want my friend to be happy, that’s it. I want her to see how beautiful and talented she is; I want her to walk away from the man who’s only made her miserable and my opinion wouldn’t be any different if I were still single.  I’m thankful that my friends never let me go back to some of the guys I dated before Boyfriend; one night my best friends spent two hours talking me out of a relationship with a boy who had been awful to me but I had never been able to see it.

Sometimes we all need a talking to–not all the time, but sometimes–and it helps. Maybe I couldn’t make my friend change her mind about her ex but at least someone finally told her the truth, at least finally someone said, “We need to talk.” If it had to be someone, I’m glad it was me. I doubt my friend knows how much she means to me but I hope one day to be sitting at her wedding watching her in love and happy.

Love isn’t easy. Some people are worth fighting for and some just aren’t. If you’re not happy, give up the fight and go find someone who will love you, someone who your friends can at the very least respect.

Shannon Hunter: The perfect time to say ‘I love you’

There have been a couple of moments recently where I’ve realized that I’m not just in love with Boyfriend, I’m head over heels cartoon birds singing me songs when I wake up IN LOVE. But I still don’t know how to say it; probably because I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to find the perfect time to say the words, “I. Love. You.”

I don’t think there is a perfect time though, I don’t think that we need to be on the island with all of our friends, or on a trip to the beach or anything other than with each other; as many times as I’ve said it to the air for it to count he kind of has to be in the same room and within hearing distance.

I’ve taken to poking at him and saying his name but every time he says, “What?” I sing-song, “Never mind,” which drives him mad but it’s become an inside joke between us; it reminds me of The Princess Bride, never mind is my as you wish.

I was afraid before, afraid to wait the eons that exist between, I love you and I love you too, but now my fear is outweighed by my desire to tell him how much he means to me. I’m a lucky girl, how I ended up with someone who can make my heart speed up and slowdown in the same breath I don’t know. But I do know that I am a lucky girl. I never thought I would find someone who fit perfectly in to my life and into my heart.

I’m terrified that he won’t say it back, I’ve never been more afraid of anything, but I don’t need to find the perfect time to tell him that I love him, I just need to tell him. I can tell him when we’re making dinner, when we’re going for a swim at my pool or when we’re sitting on the couch watching more HBO than we probably should; because there is no perfect time to tell someone that your life is better with them in it.

So my life is better with Boyfriend in it and I need him to know that because the words are practically bursting from my throat, because saying it is better than not saying it, because even if he doesn’t say it back I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. But he better say it.

Maybe I’ll say it tomorrow, maybe I’ll say it the next time he wears the blue shirt that makes his own blue eyes sparkle, maybe I’ll say it the next time I fall asleep next to him after a day in the sunshine or maybe I’ll just say it the next time he smiles at me. I’ll never find the right time and nothing in life is ever perfect but maybe I’ll luck out and find a slightly more appropriate time than while playing video games or falling asleep.

I Picked You

Last weekend Boyfriend and I got into a bit of a tiff. I had jokingly said, “Let’s talk about our relationship and the future and be all romantic and stuff.” To which he responded, “We don’t need to talk about the future. We’ll just keep having fun and petting kittens and being together.” Aside from noticing that we tend to speak like children of the internet on a regular basis, I was a little put off by the idea that he just saw the future as same old, same old and never moving forward because that is definitely not what I want our relationship to be.

Having grown up in a household where yelling was how most discussions happened I am always a little nervous to have a real discussion because I don’t like yelling and I don’t like fighting. Because of this, I avoided having a conversation about why I was upset and I just let it sit for a day. The next day Boyfriend came over and insisted that we talk because I had been acting “weird.” And he needed to know why. So after a lot of avoiding I finally told him why I was upset and his response made it all better.

When I told Boyfriend that I was upset because I was afraid he was just passing the time with me and it wouldn’t matter if I was me or any other girl he responded by saying, “Shan, I picked you. I could have been with someone else but I wanted you, I picked you.” So we’re not perfect and it isn’t easy but we picked each other and even if the future is uncertain I think it’s worth figuring it out together.

I wish I wasn’t so afraid of confrontation. I can do it at work, in interviews and on twitter but when it comes to someone I care about it’s really hard for me to say what I think when I’m upset. I’m afraid that with one wrong turn he’ll leave me because everyone who came before did. But that’s kind of how it works isn’t it? All the ones that came before were wrong because you have to wade through all the bad relationships to find the good ones.

Whatever happens in the future with Boyfriend I know that he chose to be with me and doesn’t want to be with anyone else and for now I’m happy with the plan for the future which is simply to keep being happy and having fun. Eventually we’re going to have this conversation for real and without all the interweb speak, except that there totally will be interweb speak because we’re nerds of epic proportions. At that point we’ll have to see if we’re ready to go in the same direction because a year from now I’m going to want to live together and in two years I’ll want to think about other options for our future.

For now the future is a little bit uncertain but at least I know I have someone who gets the joke when I ask husky owners if their dog’s name is moon-moon.

Follow Shannon on Twitter at @Shananigans.