4 (Awkward!) Relationship Milestones
By Laura Snyder
Relationship milestones come in all shapes and sizes. They can be good (first kiss), bad (first fight) and ugly (first time your body makes any kind of unwanted funny noise).
Some are hugely mortifying (like those that involve bad Indian food and the old plumbing of a new lover's apartment, for example). Some are uncomfortable on a smaller scale.
Here's how to grace your way through a few necessary "uh, this is weird" moments.
Awkward Moment #1: The Safe Sex Talk
Raising the issue of diseases and pregnancy might not do anything for your libido, but it's an important part of having a grown-up sex life. No conversation about open sores, infectious diseases and speculums will be romantic, so play it straight. Be direct, unapologetic and no-nonsense.
Awkward Moment #2: Morning After Anxiety
You thought you'd be in the mood for brunch - or at least a second round - come dawn, but all you want is to scurry back into last night's clothes and get the hell outta there. Don't fight that instinct. What you need is a little space, not stilted small talk over French toast. Mention that early workout you never miss, or those cats you need to get home to feed, and give yourselves some time to reflect on the evening's adventures before reconnecting.
Awkward Moment #3: You Run Into an Ex
No matter how bitter or angry or so-not-over-it anyone is, the game plan is always the same: detached, almost vague friendliness. Be all smiles, make polite introductions, say "nice to see you" and off you go on your way. As you depart, avoid making snarky commentary on post-breakup weight gain, sartorial choices or rebound relationships.
Awkward Moment #4: You Have a Fight that Goes Too Far
You're in the middle of a fight, frustrated, and you say something really, really mean. Apologies are in order immediately. (You don't need to apologize for the whole argument, but you do need to say you're sorry if you said or did something hurtful.) Follow up later with a note that lists all the things you love about him/her and how you don't really believe what you just say (even if you kind of do), and that doesn't at all try to justify the insult.
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