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Question: Talking with my partner about my preferences- How can we do it without offending one another?

Dear Lounge Advice,
I have recently been intimate with someone who I consider I lifestyle friend. We became close friends in that we were very open with each other and hanging out or talking frequently, and being intimate during the week. We decided to be roommates out of convenience and shared lifestyle view, although before move in date, I've noticed that he seems to act judgmental with me. He has always been somewhat this way. Today, I shared a story with him about a personal preference for partners, and he said he thought I was a hypocrite for expecting to be fulfilled in that preference, because I wasn't displaying the same quality for the opposite sex. I was very offended and brought it up the next time we spoke. He insisted that he had the right to his own opinion and got off the phone. I feel very disappointed. I don't know what to make of this or how to talk to him. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.


Sincerely,

(Anonymous)

  
Dear (Anonymous),

It's one thing to express an opinion and another to outright judge someone for their preferences.
If he is firmly expressing an opinion, he most likely won't harp on his views. If he is trying to pass judgement on you, he may bring this up continually and try to change your mind about it.
Which do you feel was really going on? A critical judgement or a firmly stated opinion?
I'm looking at both sides of this the best I can with the information at hand. I don't know the dynamics involved, I didn't hear his wording or his tone of voice, etc. So, it's dificult for me to land on either side of this issue comfortably.
Perhaps you both just need to be painfully open with each other. You need to state how you felt about this and that you should feel comfortable expressing your preferences without feeling like you're under a critical eye.
He should be able to express opinions to you when you share things. He should not have to feel that you will get upset if he offers a differing view from yours.
This is a common painful growing experience for new couples.
My husband has very strong opinions on matters and I want him to feel completely comfortable about expressing these to me, even when he adamently disagrees with me. I may get my feelings hurt, but I cannot take it personally because he has the right to express himself, even when we don't see eye to eye.
I, however, have the right to feel free to state my convictions without feeling that he wants to suppress my points of view because they differ from his.
All of this takes time, patience, humility and extensive communcation. This may mean that you will both have to break out of your comfort zone and change a few essential things that will be mutually beneficial.
Sometimes a few little changes will put you on the right path, so just talk to each other and be open to one another about your feelings.
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