Things to Help You Tell Your Boyfriend How You Feel

Go ahead, express yourself.
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Talking about feelings can be uncomfortable and fraught with worry, especially when you're talking about how you feel with your significant other. Opening those lines of communication with some sound boundaries from the get-go can make potentially awkward conversations go much smoother.

1 Your Personal Inventory

It's easy to slide into people pleasing mode and undermine your own conviction when you're talking about feelings. Before you have The Talk with your boyfriend, take some time to think about what exactly it is you want to express and what things are most important for you to convey. Suss out what things are really important and what things are add-ons; stuff you don't necessarily need to cover right this second but if the conversation leads to it naturally you can bring them up.

2 Be Real, Be Honest

Go into the conversation prepared to be as honest as possible. Sometimes that can be uncomfortable because you may be telling your boyfriend something he doesn't want to hear, but staying true to yourself will enable you to get those thoughts that are most important to you across in the clearest way. Being honest and direct leaves little room for being misunderstood. Don't talk yourself out of how you feel midway through the conversation if you're getting negative feedback; stick to your guns.

3 Dialogue, Not Monologue

Talking about your feelings probably isn't going to be a one-way conversation. Once you've said your piece, your partner may have a response. Take the same rules you have for yourself into consideration when listening to how your boyfriend responds. Let him be honest and direct, and be open to what you're hearing from him.

4 Do a Dry Run

Before you sit down to have a heart to heart with your boyfriend, run your thoughts by a mutual friend you trust or a family member who knows both of you. Tell your friend what you want to talk about and ask her to give you feedback. She may be able to help you choose your words carefully to avoid things that might be misunderstood. She could also give you confidence going into the conversation feeling like you're on the right path.

Based in Las Vegas by way of Anchorage, Alaska, Daniella Cortez is a lifestyle and relationship columnist with particular expertise in music journalism and cultural analysis. Cortez draws on her background as a community health educator and victim advocate to contribute pieces about relationships and sex to a series of advice blogs.