The old saying “talk is cheap” is definitely not true when it comes to dating. In fact, when you’re starting to form a bond with someone special, talk is everything! This is the most important time in a relationship to find out everything there is to know about your new partner. You should be discussing your beliefs on religion, finance, family and other important topics that are sure to come up again and again if you stay together as a couple. If you’re just starting to date someone new, here are five conversations you should have before you take the next step in your relationship:

1. Religion

Religion (along with money and politics) is one of those things that you’re not supposed to talk about, according to those who “mind their manners.” We think you should throw that idea out the window! If your faith is the cornerstone of your life, don’t you want to date someone with the same mentality? When you’re dating someone new, tell them how you feel about God, how often you attend church and how you expect to raise your children when it comes to religion. If the two of you disagree about any of these topics, your match may not be the right person for you! And isn’t better that you find that our earlier?

2. Commitment

You’ve just started dating someone new and you are head over heels about the person. They’re attractive, smart and funny, and obviously have great taste because they’re dating you! There’s only one problem. They’re also dating three other people. You don’t want to lose your heart to a person who is giving their heart to four people simultaneously. So before that happens, ask them what they’re currently looking for in a relationship and listen carefully to their answer! It will save you a lot of heartache, or it will put you one step closer to taking your new connection to the next level!

3. Finances

Depending on your financial point of view, you may either see money as something that “makes the world go round,” or you may see it as “the root of all evil.” Whatever you believe, money must be talked about in any and every relationship. And (we’re sorry to tell you) you won’t just talk about finances at the beginning of your relationship. You’ll be discussing this one for the rest of your lives together.

However, if you can begin to get comfortable discussing who pays for what early on in your relationship, you can make it easier on yourself (and your partner) in the future. If you feel your relationship has any real potential, start talking to them about money matters. Be honest and open. If you have any credit card debt, it’s better that you talk about it than run from it. And since time is money (pun intended), it’s best to do it early on!

4. Career

Who you are is more important than what you do, but careers do play a huge role in nearly all of our lives. Think about it: if you work for a living, you probably spend at least 40 hours a week at your office or your worksite. How do you feel about what you do for a living? Is it the most important part of your day? Or do you simply work to earn a paycheck? Talk about these questions with your new match and get to know how they see their career and their workplace. Not only will it help you get to know them better, but it will give you a clear idea of where they are headed in the future when it comes to their nine-to-five.

5. Physical Expectations

Many people are scared to talk about sex, and for good reason as it’s not always something we openly discuss! We especially don’t talk about sex with new people, but the new person you’re dating is exactly the person with whom you should be talking about sex! 

No matter what your physical expectations are (no sex before marriage, no sex before we are exclusive), you need to spell them out clearly to the person you are dating. Doing this will set clear boundaries for both of you, allowing you to get to know each other better without having to worry about what the other person may be wanting when it comes to physical expectations.

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