How to Initiate a Serious Conversation With a Boyfriend Without Scaring Him

A sweet smile can take away some of you guy's fear about a serious conversation.
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Whether you want to bring up a big move that you're making, talk romance or get an issue that you're having out in the open, initiating a serious conversation with your guy almost never seems easy. The stone-faced look that you greet him with may set him off, scaring him about what you're about to say. With a pinch of patience and a sense of calm, you can head off his fears and move on with what you want to say.

1 Put Positives First

Looking glum and uttering, "I have something to say that you might not like" isn't going to ease your boyfriend's fears. Instead of initiating your conversation with a negative kick-off, take a positive tone. Even though your subject matter might not come from an entirely positive place, you can start out with a statement that's not a total downer. For example, "Do you remember how happy I was when you surprised me with that awesome birthday dinner last year?" Then, you can follow up with your more serious statement of, "I felt hurt when you didn't really even remember this year."

2 Don't Demand

Avoid telling your guy what to do or giving him an immediate order. When you start out by telling your BF to do something, you run the risk of scaring him or making him resent you, writes Susan Heitler, Ph.D., on "Psychology Today" online. For example, "I want you to stop going out so much without me" is more likely to make your guy stress than, "What do you think about putting our heads together to work out a schedule so that we get to spend quality time together?"

3 Light Let Down

Not every serious conversation is going to have a pleasant ending. If you want to break things off with your boyfriend or feel like the relationship is fizzling, initiating your talk with tact is a must. Even though you're ending things with him, you can lessen the blow by not scaring him off from the start. Chances are that he knows something is up and might come into the conversation with shaky hands or noticeable nerves. Kick off the discussion with an honest, but not brutally honest approach, advise the relationship experts at TeensHealth. Don't say something such as, "I can't stand being around you." Instead try, "We've had some great times together, but I think we're starting to grow in different directions."

4 Emotion Reload

Going into a serious conversation with your war face on won't ease your boyfriend's tensions. If you initiate a talk while your emotions are high, you're likely to inspire fear -- or at least a mild scare -- in your guy. Although you might feel angry or sad, stop before you speak and run through the issue in your mind first. This can help you to calm down and soothe your overly emotional state. For example, if you're about to scream at your BF because he continuously ditches your date nights, take a break to consider why he's doing so first. Instead of going in angry, open your mind and think about other possibilities such as that he has to work more hours or has extra homework.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.