Want to know what makes a good relationship? Surprisingly, it’s not flowers, chocolates or dinner dates (although those definitely help!). No, it’s regular, honest, open communication. Because the more you and your partner are aware of each other’s feelings, the more you’ll be able to relate to each other and create a strong foundation on which to build a lasting relationship.
Take a look at our tips to improving communication with your partner, and look forward to a healthier relationship (and maybe even more flowers and chocolates, too!).
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to facilitate effective communication isn’t by talking – it’s by listening. And not while you’re Facebooking or watching TV – actively listening to your partner and being fully engaged with what they’re choosing to share. The more your partner feels that they have the space to communicate, and that their words and opinions have value, the closer the two of you will ultimately become.
Again, good communication isn’t necessarily verbal. Take a moment to look at your partner’s body language and you’ll see they’re talking without saying a word. If their arms are folded, they may be feeling defensive. If they’re having trouble making eye contact, they could be finding it difficult to express themselves. And if their tone is becoming loud, it could be because they feel misunderstood. Learning to read these cues will give you insights into your partner’s emotions and help you communicate more effectively with them as a result.
It’s finally time for you to talk! And we don’t just mean talking at your partner – we mean talking to them, and actively involving them in your conversation. Sharing is a crucial part of any relationship, as the less you communicate, the more your partner could feel excluded or unwanted. Let them know if you simply want to talk about your day with them or if you need an actual problem solved, and they’ll be able to give you the support and validation you need.
4 Be aware
It’s important to remember that communication is as much about how you use your words as the words you actually use. Resist the urge to yell, shout or resort to name-calling, and, instead, use phrases like “I feel” or “I need” in order to address issues in a non-confrontational way. Be honest, be open, be vulnerable, and most of all, kind – and your relationship will go from strength to strength.
You’ve had a crush on someone for ages but then they start dating someone! What do you do? Read our pro advice here.