We need to talk means break up

Why “We Need to Talk” Isn’t the Best Way to Save Your Relationship

It is a truth universally acknowledged that among the most dreaded four words anyone can hear from a partner are “We need to talk.”

I looked up “We need to talk” on Urban Dictionary. According to one contributor, the phrase means “Listen to me now or I’m walking out the door.” Another defined it as “The end of your relationship, or something that could mean the end of your relationship unless you take it really seriously.” A third suggested it was “the perfect time to fake a heart attack.”

However you define it, these four words are clearly something you never want to hear your partner say.

Why is everyone afraid of being told, “We Need to Talk”?

Sometimes, of course, the thing that makes the phrase “We need to talk” so bad is what comes next. Whatever your partner says after “We need to talk about those text-messages I just found on your phone” is going to be unpleasant for both of you.

You’d think talking about your relationship would be a good thing. But if that’s true, then why do so many of us dread it?

But sometimes the phrase doesn’t mean you’re about to be called out for something. Sometimes it just means “We need to talk . . . about our relationship.” You’d think talking about your relationship would be a good thing. But if that’s true, then why do so many of us dread it?

As Patrica Love and Steven Stosny point out in their book, opens in a new windowHow to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, when one person says to the other, “Honey, we need to talk about our relationship,” you almost never hear the other person say, “Wow, that makes me so happy. I’m really eager to share my feelings about our relationship with you, too.”

Let’s take a look at why we’re so resistant.

“We need to talk” really means “I need to talk”

As regular listeners to this podcast will instantly recognize, the phrase “We need to talk” is completely inaccurate. The problem, of course, is the word “we.” What you really want to say is “I”—“I need to talk.” A lot of people in relationships use “we” when they really mean “I.”

‘I need to talk’ tells the other person that what you’re about to say is subjective. It’s your own experience.

“I need to talk,” or “I need to talk with you,” sounds much better. Because it tells the other person that what you’re about to say is subjective. It’s your own experience. “We need to talk” sounds like some kind of moral absolute.

“We need to talk” makes the listener feel like a five-year-old

Maybe some of you’ve heard of a kind of psychology from the 1970s called Transactional Analysis. One of its main points was that we all have inside us what you might call a parent, adult, and child.

The adult part of you tends to be practical, rational, and mostly interested in solving problems. When two people in a relationship are talking adult-to-adult, that’s usually a good sign.

The parent part of you is mostly concerned with enforcing moral authority. And the child part of you mostly just wants the parent to get off their back so they can go back to having fun.

The phrase “We need to talk” most often sounds like a moral judgment coming straight out of parent mode. That can quickly put the person hearing it right into child mode. Obviously, that’s not what you want when you’re trying to work something out between two adults.

There are two kinds of roles in relationships. Only one of them says “We need to talk”

As Love and Stosny point out, another problem with the phrase “We need to talk” is that, when it comes to relationships, there are two different kinds of people, or at least two kinds of roles. And people in these two roles tend to think about relationships very differently.

In the first role, the fundamental thing in a relationship is to feel connected. If you don’t feel the other person is connecting with you—let’s say they forget your birthday, for example—that can feel very threatening.

In the second kind of role, the fundamental thing in a relationship is to perform well. You’re not so preoccupied with whether or not you feel connected; you’re more interested in whether you’ve done a good job, taken care of your partner’s needs, checked all the boxes.

What someone who doesn’t want to talk hears when you say “We need to talk”

Now let’s explore what happens when people who are accustomed to playing these two different kinds of roles get together.

Let’s say Jamie is the first kind of person. Jamie is most reassured in a relationship when feeling close and connected.

Jamie is in a relationship with Ronnie. Ronnie is more of a “check all the boxes,” kind of person. The thing that makes Ronnie feel most reassured is the feeling of having done a good job.

Jamie and Ronnie start out quite happily together. But as time goes by, Jamie notices that Ronnie’s idea of a relationship seems to have more to do with getting praise and for being a good lover.

Ronnie doesn’t seem to need as much intimate communication about feelings. Jamie needs these things a lot. That’s something Jamie can’t seem to make Ronnie understand.

One night, let’s say Jamie and Ronnie are watching TV. After the show ends, Jamie takes the remote, shuts off the TV, takes Ronnie’s hand, looks deeply into Ronnie’s eyes and says, “We need to talk. We haven’t been connecting lately.”

When Jamie says, ‘We need to talk, because we haven’t been connecting lately,’ what Ronnie hears is, ‘You’ve disappointed me.’

To Jamie, that’s a very loving thing to say. It means, “I really want to feel close to you again.”

But remember, Ronnie’s idea of a relationship mostly consists of doing a good job and performing well. What Ronnie hears is “You’ve disappointed me.”

Of course, disappointing Jamie is the thing Ronnie fears most. So, Ronnie reacts by getting emotionally withdrawn. Of course, emotional distance is the thing Jamie fears most. Their needs are fundamentally at odds.

Jamie gets upset and wants to talk more about those feelings. But that only makes Ronnie feel more inadequate. And so on, and so on. Not good.

“We need to talk” doesn’t work — what’s the alternative?

There has to be a better way, right? If you’re someone like Jamie and you have a need to talk about your relationship, here’s a better approach.

Don’t say “we” when you really mean “I.” Some people need to talk in order to connect. Other people need to feel connected first before they can get many benefits from talking.

Don’t underestimate the power of non-verbal connection. Sometimes it can be a good idea to connect physically first, in whatever way feels best for the two of you, before trying to communicate with words. As we discussed in opens in a new windowEpisode 18, language is a really late human evolutionary acquisition. For almost all of human prehistory, our ancestors had to rely on non-verbal behaviors—like picking the bugs out of each other’s fur—to reassure each other. Your partner may need a lot of reassurance at first before they can really feel confident that your intentions are friendly and not hostile.

Speak “adult to adult,” not “parent to child.” It’s really easy to fall into a parent-child mode when you’re frustrated and upset. When that happens, see if you can be aware of it, and get back to speaking to one another as adults.

Be patient with each other. As you’ve heard me say many times on this show, your partner doesn’t exist to satisfy your emotional needs. Your feelings are important, and you have the right to them. But your partner has the right to their feelings, too. Make sure both of you feel acknowledged as equals. If the two of you stay together, eventually you may have to just accept the fact that you’re always going to experience things very differently. No matter how much talking you do.

We Need To Talk — Ask Craig

We need to talk (how to handle that talk)

Today I’m going to discuss the dreaded 4 words you never want to hear someone say: We need to talk.

We all know that a lot of the time it really means. I’m breaking up with you.

Maybe you’re sensing that your partner is ready to give you the “we need to talk speech” or maybe they even said “We need to talk” and you haven’t talked yet.

The reason I’m doing this video is because I get a lot of guys asking me how to handle this situation and by the time they get to me the talk is already done and mistakes have been made.

If you guys sense that your girlfriend or wife is about to leave you, contact me immediately. Go to AskCraig.net. Sign up for the coaching option as soon as you can. I am very busy and hesitating will make the difference in when I can get to you. The sooner I get with you, the more likely I can help you correct an issue before you make any more mistakes. If I can get with you before the talk, that would be ideal.

I got an email from Martin who said: Hey Martin that said, my girlfriend and I haven’t been getting along the past few months. She is out of town with her family and says she wants to see me when we return. She said We need to talk when I get back. I have a feeling like she is going to break up with me. Please help. I love her, what do I do in this situation. I am really worried.

He is already having separation anxiety. When that happens people lose emotional self control.

So what do you do If your girl says:+ I’m not happy, I want to break up. Panic. Run out of the house and don’t look back.

I’m totally kidding. Say, Oh is that it? I thought it was something important.

Okay don’t do that either. But believe it or not, that reaction would make her more attracted to you than begging for her to give you another chance.

She will probably give you some of the BS reasons as to why she’s breaking up with you. I don’t want a relationship now. I’m busy with school. It’s not you, it’s me. None of that is true.

What it means is her attraction level for you has dropped. Bottom line. It dropped to a point where she would rather be single than with you. Right now she’s not in love with you- at the moment.

A woman in love will do ANYTHING to keep someone she loves. You ever heard the song by Barbara Streisand? I am a woman in love and I’d do anything to get you into my world and hold you within.

So what do you do? Accept the break up. You may try to talk her out of it. DON’T. I know it is terrifying that you think if it ends it will end for good. That is not usually the case.

Tell her you love her and that isn’t what you want. Tell her if she changes her mind to call you.

If she says I’m not going to change my mind. DO NOT TRY TO ARGUE THAT. Simply say People change their mind all the time and leave it at that. She’ll probably start trying to console you saying that she’s not going to.

Of course right now she is going to say that! That is how she feels! If she thought she would change her mind, she wouldn’t be breaking up with you.

You know how when you just ate a huge meal, you feel like you’ll never want to eat again… You really feel like that at the time and you can’t even remember what it was like to be hungry. Obviously I’m using that as an example so you can see that feelings change. I don’t want to get 100 emails saying how dare you equate being hungry to love.

If she tells you she wants to say friends. Tell her you are not interested in being just friends. Politely decline.

Your behavior will make a huge difference on her attraction level and re attracting her.

You may make the mistake of trying to use logic and reason. You may try to convince them to stay. The more you do, the more you are making them feel trapped. That will only push her away further.

NEVER try to talk to a woman logically about working it out. I’ve tried it. It does not work. That does not change their feelings.

She need time and space away from you. Chances are you were saying and doing things to make them feel trapped.

So you take all the space you want. You are now a free man to date whoever you want. Do it. When she starts to realize that she is going to lose you, then her feelings will change.


So to summarize: If a woman ever surprises you with We Need to Talk. Remain calm. Remember that feelings can and do change. 1) Accept the break up. Do not try to talk her out of it. 2) Tell her you love her and to call you if she changes her mind. 3) Tell her you are not interested in being friends. 4) Take space, and start dating other women.

The sooner you do the better you will feel. I’m not going to get into all the details of what to do from here. I just wanted to focus on how you handle that talk when it happens. The key is emotional self-control.

Serious conversation with a man: how to conduct it, tips

The phrase “We need to talk” is so multifaceted and unpredictable that it frightens both sides of the dialogue. Even if you are the organizer, the reaction of the partner can be different and lead you anywhere after him. Psychologist Anna Lipatova shared how a woman should start and properly conduct a serious conversation with a man. With the help of her advice, you can prepare a speech well, build negotiations competently and avoid loud quarrels and insults. nine0003

Website editor



Psychology of sex

Relations soured

conversations with a partner

Man and woman


"We need to talk." These words very often start a difficult, unpleasant, important or very significant conversation. nine0003

Sometimes these most difficult conversations need to be initiated by ourselves. They may be the only option for maintaining a relationship. To resolve a protracted conflict in the family. For comfortable communication with a loved one. To delineate personal boundaries. To request the necessary assistance. For an important recognition. And a lot more for what. Then we ourselves become their initiators. And first of all, you have to think about how to start a serious conversation with a man.

But such a conversation is not easy to start. We fear. And how it will pass. And its consequences. We are afraid that the issue will not be resolved, but will become even worse. nine0003

But if the conversation is postponed in search of a better time and place, then the situation will definitely not change. Your partner simply will not know what worries and worries you. Men rarely know how to read between the lines and, as a rule, they also do not have psychic abilities. For how long, avoiding a difficult dialogue, we will not be able to solve the problem? a week? Month? Year? Years? Yes, it happens that people do not dare to talk about difficult things for years. Often a man avoids serious conversations because of your wrong mood, pre-aggressive, attacking tone, or inability to speak to the point. nine0003

If you have a conversation like this and you put it off because of fear and uncertainty, then the first thing you should do is accept the necessity, importance and positivity of such a conversation. By positivity, I do not mean a cheerful tone, but a positive result that this conversation will bring. Think about how wonderful it will be when the situation is resolved. In the end, the fear of destroying the relationship with a serious conversation destroys everything.

To ensure that such a conversation really becomes a salvation, and not aggravated everything even more, before starting it, read the tips below. nine0003

Start the conversation from the end

Think about what you want from this conversation. Before the conversation, make a rough plan in your head. This will give you confidence. A serious conversation with a man about relationships should be as specific and practical as possible. Guys like everything to be laid out on the shelves and not spread by thought along the tree. And such a presentation will not allow you to slide into a discussion of all those issues that have already been resolved before. And he will not let himself and his partner be humiliated to the point of making mutual claims and reproaches. nine0003

Minimize the use of negative words. And no insults, no memories of the fact that a year ago he did not bring flowers in honor of the five hundredth day from the day you met. Keep in mind that you want to solve the problem in the relationship, not destroy the relationship itself.

Numerous conflict studies have shown that negative and offensive words make a person feel defensive. And, as you know, the best defense is attack or flight. With a rise in tone and a transition to personalities, a man automatically remembers the phrase that a woman can make a hat, a salad and a scandal out of nothing. Then he just leaves. But you really had an important agenda! It just didn’t work out right to express thoughts. As a result, you will not get a conversation, but "military operations" or "an empty battlefield." And it's definitely impossible to save the relationship. nine0003

Think about the objections you might receive what's wrong with that?", "You're just picking on me"... In a serious conversation with a guy, find answers to them and anticipate their appearance during communication.

Your reaction might be: “I find such jokes very unpleasant, and I ask you...”, “I feel uncomfortable around you at such moments”, “I ask you to think of me when you want to do it again”, “If I expressed myself incomprehensibly, then I will try to reformulate”, “It is important for me that you hear me and try to understand.” nine0003

Be kind and sincere

Remember that a serious conversation with a husband or boyfriend is necessary to solve a problem, and not to humiliate a partner or seek to put him in his place. Manipulations and games in such important things will backfire on you. If you are motivated by your love and respect for the one you want to talk to, if you sincerely want to improve relations, then with a high degree of probability the conversation will be successful for both of you. The conflict will be resolved.

End the conversation on a positive note

  1. Let your partner know that with this conversation you are trying to make your relationship better, more stable. That you are interested in resolving the conflict, developing and continuing the relationship. That this relationship means a lot to you. That you are tuned in to positive communication.
  2. A difficult conversation will become much easier if you tune in to it correctly.
  3. Think about what benefits you will get if you still decide to talk. You will solve the problem. Your relationship will become stronger. You will be able to move forward. nine0062
  4. Treat a difficult dialogue not as a problem, but as a solution to it, since it has already arisen. Without starting a conversation in this vein, you will not be able to settle a quarrel, remove a heavy burden from yourself, destroy the wall of misunderstanding and become completely happy.
  5. Think of such serious conversations with your loved one as training in conflict resolution. Couples who never quarrel may break up at the first serious quarrel. Why? Yes, they simply do not have the skills to peacefully resolve complex and controversial issues. And in communication, these skills are very necessary. You just need to argue and prove your point of view correctly, calmly and do not forget to listen to your interlocutor. When you learn how to resolve conflicts, you will become even closer to each other and to a happy life together. nine0062

how to break up with a guy and still be friends with him

Sometimes it happens: at first you were happy, but suddenly the love is gone. How to make a breakup less painful and explain to a man that he is not the hero of your novel?

Website editor




Male psychology nine0003

Getty Images

Talk to yourself

Maybe this is your offense? A consequence of prolonged stress? Anger at your man that arose a couple of days ago? You need to first understand yourself, and then convey your thoughts to him. After all, everything you say hurts a lot, even if you choose the most accurate wording.

Know ahead of time

Before starting that very conversation, you need to be absolutely sure of what you are going to say. There will be no turning back: if you suddenly change your mind and tell him that you still love him, he will already lose confidence in you. nine0003

Decide for yourself that this is your final and irrevocable break. If you can't imagine that, then you probably don't have good reason to leave this person.

Choose a place and time

How to part beautifully? For such a conversation, you need the right environment. Do not start it at your house - this is your common territory, he will feel that he is sharply kicked out of his own "corner". Do not call to your favorite place - so as not to make him suffer. The best option is a quiet cafe where you can calmly discuss everything. Immediately after the conversation, give him the opportunity to be alone and think everything over. nine0003

Prepare him

Don't use intimidating phrases like "we're going to have a serious conversation." It is better to say this: "I need to discuss something important for me with you, please choose a convenient time for this."

If everything has not been going smoothly in your couple for a long time and you live under the same roof or see each other often, try to refrain from both conflicts and sweet reconciliations until you have discussed everything. After all, during that very conversation you do not need extra emotions - it is already quite difficult. nine0003

Talk about yourself

The moment of truth has come - now it is very important to pay attention to your speech. Your goal is to convey in the mildest, but peremptory form that you are no longer a couple.

How to stay friends with an ex? You should not throw accusations, even if the claims have accumulated with a vengeance. What value do they have now? It is better to devote your speech entirely to yourself and your decision. Face it: this is not a dialogue, you are just putting it before a fact. "I thought about it and realized that I could no longer see you." This is the best way to indicate the purpose of the conversation and confirm your intentions. nine0003

Give a detailed answer

A man will most likely want to know why you made such a decision. But the truth about dislike is too harsh. Nevertheless, it is also not worth completely misinterpreting: otherwise, you will plant doubts, complexes and reflection in it. And when he nevertheless guesses the truth or someone tells him everything, he will be doubly hurt.

It is better to say something like “I realized that you are not my person” or “not my future”. Don't say about him "you paid little attention to me" or "if you tried harder"... Because it's too late for a man to change something in himself. In addition, we all understand that if we are abandoned, it means that they no longer love us. There is no need to plant in his head the idea that he was out of love because of work or because he disappeared too often with friends in a bar. nine0003

Let him choose

If a man wants to get up and leave at this stage, calmly let him go and do not delay him - he needs personal space to cope with new circumstances. But many conversations do not end there - he will probably want to talk.

Let him speak, don't get into his monologue and don't argue. If he accuses you of something harshly enough, let him finish it and don't boil over. Along the way, answer his questions. It is advisable to do this truthfully, but gently: "No, I have not met another" or "Yes, this is my personal decision, and I have not consulted with anyone. " nine0003

React calmly

After you have discussed everything, outline your new relationship and next steps. If he is not ready to talk now about when you will leave or when he will pick up his things, do not rush him - return to the discussion in a few days.

It is worth talking about your further friendship only if the man himself is interested in it. 10 pluses that can be found in parting.

Don't do this when breaking up with a man: