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Anyone who's been in a relationship knows the happy ones don't just require love, patience, and unicorn glitter. They also need heaping doses of vulnerability, hard work, and direct communication — even about the most uncomfortable topics. Unfortunately, it's easy to get bogged down silently stewing about something, turning yourself inside out in a frenzied search for the kindest, smoothest, least stressful way of bringing up a concern that could at best be described as awkward and at worst be described as, well, terrifying.
But, in order to have a strong relationship, you can't avoid those complicated issues forever. At some point, we have to calm our nerves and find the courage to have a frank chat about the state of the relationship, an honest conversation about money, or maybe even a discussion about proper personal hygiene.
To help find the best way to broach this serious stuff, we sought out professional help from Dr. Lori Buckley, psychologist and sex therapist, and Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist and author of Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How To Live With Them, and When to Leave Them. They shared a few practical suggestions on how to make those awkward-but-necessary talks at least a little less cringe-inducing.