Sex expert advice: 5 ways to progress your relationship

If you’re happy in your relationship then talking about the future is only natural, whether it’s taking your relationship to the next level and making it official, moving in together, or getting married, knowing when the time is right can be tricky. So how can you communicate with your partner effectively about relationship progression?

With this in mind, Lovehoney has partnered with sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight to reveal tips on how to talk to your partner about taking your relationship to the next stage and how to know when it’s the right time to progress in your relationship.

How to talk to your partner about taking the next step in your relationship


Sex and relationship expert, Annabelle Knight shares 5 tips on how to take the next steps in your relationship. 

  1. Firstly, dismiss the idea of right and wrong: When you’re talking to your partner about progressing your relationship to the next level it’s important to remove any notion of ‘winning.’ This is a conversation not with one partner pitted against the other, but rather two people side by side against the world.

  1. Keep your focus: If the conversation begins to spiral or evolve to be about something completely different then agree to take a step back and get back on track.

  1. Learn to listen: More often than not we spend time during deep conversations waiting for our partner to finish their sentence, so we can start ours. This prevents us from really hearing what your other half is trying to say. So, for any important conversations make sure you tune into their words so you can really hear their meaning.

  1. Process properly: After you’ve both said your piece take some time out to process what’s been said, how it’s made you feel, and what you want to do about it.

  1. Seek clarity: Don’t be afraid to ask your partner to repeat any points you don’t understand. Moving forward in any relationship relies heavily on understanding your partner, this goes for what they mean when they speak, as well as who they are as a person.

How do you know when it is the right time to progress in a relationship?

Knowing when the right time to progress in your relationship can be difficult, sex and relationship expert, Annabelle Knight has created the acronym T.I.S.S – Trust, Intimacy, Security, Support, to help couples figure out if the time is right.

  1. Trust: Trust is a key component of any happy and healthy relationship. It’s also something that isn’t learned overnight. If you and your partner can, hand on heart, say that you trust one another then it may be time to progress your relationship.

  2. Intimacy: Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to how often you’re intimate and what levels of affection you need from your partner.

  3. Security: Nope, I’m not talking about burglar alarms, I’m talking about how safe and secure you feel with your partner.

  4. Support: Supporting your partner and knowing that they in turn support you is one of the cornerstones of a long-lasting and meaningful partnership.