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How to Discuss a Problem With Your Boyfriend

by S. Grey, studioD

Discussing problems with your boyfriend can seem difficult, but by using the right methods, you can be effective in this endeavor. By being direct and calm and tailoring your message to your boyfriend's emotional life, you can better address issues with him. Such skills enhance communication with your boyfriend, leading to a stronger and happier relationship.

Reduce your stress level. Lowering your stress is the first step to resolving conflict, according to HelpGuide.org. By doing so, you are able to think more clearly and communicate better. This process is important because infusing emotions into the discussion can alter your tone and how your message is received. Remain calm to better serve you in talking about your issues with your boyfriend and reduce the chances of alienating him. Decrease your stress by taking deep breaths in and out through your nose or attending to your senses, bringing your awareness to the present moment.

Speak directly and with confidence. This style of communication matches how men communicate, leaving less room for misinterpretation. According to Discovery, this simple difference in communication can prevent exacerbating conflict between you and your boyfriend. By adopting this type of communication, you are not only explicitly stating your issue to your boyfriend, you are also enhancing your own self-assurance. In the end, your boyfriend will know exactly where you are coming from, rather than becoming lost due to differences in communication styles.

Use 'I' statements. 'I' statements shift blame from others and allow you to take responsibility for your feelings. These phrases also facilitate civil discussion between you and your boyfriend, whether your issue is with him or others. For instance, the statement "I felt aggravated when she forgot the paperwork because I had to repeat the amount of work I did before" is less blaming than "She forgot the paperwork because she doesn't respect me." By taking ownership of your feelings, you better contribute to problem-solving.

Give your boyfriend time to listen and reflect. Men process emotions differently than women; men's process may include taking more time to think over what you tell them. Allow your boyfriend to pause and consider your issue without pressuring him to respond quickly. He will likely give you worthwhile material. When he pauses, he is not necessarily ignoring you, but is probably giving careful deliberation to your problem. Wait for him to mull over your issues and provide his input.

Include your boyfriend in problem-solving. Men tend to be natural problem-solvers, so brainstorming possible solutions will help him feel welcome, wanted and competent in addition to reducing your stress. After you have aired your grievances, including your boyfriend in this process can be an inadvertent relationship-building tool. Work together to create solutions that are beneficial to you when the issue is your own or beneficial to both of you if the problem exists within your relationship.


  • Choose the right time to talk about your problems. If your boyfriend is stressed, he may need some time to calm down before you ask him to help you with a personal or relationship issue.

About the Author

S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images