SCIENCE

Need To Have A Serious Conversation With Your Partner? Do It At 8:15 P.M.

05/19/2015 10:28 am ET | Updated May 19, 2015
Shutterstock / Peter Bernik

Ever wonder why it feels so difficult to connect with your partner? It might be because timing is off.

If you need to have a serious conversation with your loved one, it's best to wait until after dinner, according to a new survey of 1,000 men and women, conducted by British retailer Asda.

The survey, which asked heterosexual men and women in relationships to answer questions about their communication habits and preferences, suggests that while women are often inclined to broach serious conversations in the morning, men are more likely to be receptive to them in the evening, the Daily Mail reported.

While it's not a scientific study (and it focuses on how women approach conversations with men), the results do shed light on some universal truths about the psychology of communicating effectively within relationships.

Denver-based clinical psychologist Dr. Susan Heitler, author of The Power of Two: Secrets to a Strong & Loving Marriage, explained that the time when your partner is least stressed is likely when they'll be most receptive to a difficult or intense conversation.

"Before or during breakfast -- when folks are preoccupied with getting out the door for work -- or before dinner are bad choices in terms of emotional readiness because you're likely to be tired, hungry or rushed, which all are stress factors," Heitler, who was not involved with the survey, told The Huffington Post. "These stress factors apply to the wife, who has highest odds of a good discussion if she starts it with a friendly opener, as well as to the husband, who will listen better when he is well-fed and relaxed."

Here are some key insights from the survey that can help you have a productive, meaningful conversation with your loved one.

  • Women say they are most likely to bring up a tricky topic at 8:20 a.m., but 8:15 p.m. is when most men say that they are most likely to tune in to their partner.
  • Nearly 40 percent of men enjoy having meaningful conversations while driving.
  • The worst time to talk to a man is probably when he's playing video games or watching football. Only 1 percent of men say they listen to their partner when approached while gaming, and 92 percent of men do not want to entertain a conversation in the middle of the game.
  • Ladies, if you need a favor, ask your husband or boyfriend when he's around his family: More than one in five men say that they would comply with their partner's requests if they were made in front of his family.
  • Avoid leading into the talk with "We need to talk" -- these words truly are the most feared conversation starter, 80 percent of men say.

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