Communication is the Key to a Healthy, Long Relationship
Relationships can give you a lifetime of joy, but they require a lot of hard work and commitment. Sometimes your relationship may feel like it is lacking, and you and your partner may be struggling to effectively communicate. Open and honest communication should be a staple in every healthy relationship. Improving communication in your relationship can go a long way in ensuring that it is a long and happy one.
However, it can be difficult to figure out how to effectively improve your communication skills. After all, communication in a relationship isn’t always about words. Your partner may have a different love language than you, so they will communicate differently than you. It is important to understand how they feel most comfortable communicating, so you can take the necessary steps to improve in your relationship.
Regardless of their love language, here are some tips to help you improve communication in your relationship.
Pick the Right Time
It is important to bring things up to your significant other if it bothers you, but what is just as important is picking the right time to tell them. Far too often we bring something up when we are already upset, frustrated, or annoyed. This can lead to communication going poorly. Set aside a time when you know you will be in a calm mood. Also, make sure that you will have the proper time to discuss the issue. You need to discuss whatever is bothering you all the way through.
Focus on the Little Things
Having a healthy relationship doesn’t always mean needing to have constant deep conversations. Take time to focus on the little things in life. Make small talk. These “insignificant” details, like talking about their favorite TV shows, asking how their day went, or sharing mundane experiences, can actually be huge for your relationship. John Gottman and Janice Driver researched this idea by asking a group of married couples questions about their relationship and found that these “mundane and often fleeting moments” have a greater impact on how healthy your relationship is.
Talk Face to Face
If you intend on talking about a serious matter, do so in person. Avoid talking about something serious over text or through letters and emails. Often, things can be misinterpreted. As we mentioned previously, your partner may not share the same love language as you, so seeing you in person and responding to your body language can be helpful to the conversation. You should be mindful of how your body is communicating to your partner. Even if you don’t mean it, your body may tell your partner you’re disinterested. Talking in person allows you both to fully convey how you are feeling.
Far too often, we spend more time waiting for our partner to finish speaking so we can have our “turn” rather than really listening and understanding what they are saying. Show your partner that they have been heard. Show you are listening using nonverbal communication. Then once they have finished speaking, respond directly to what they have said. If you are unsure of what they meant, relay that to them in a respectful manner, asking for clarification. Be in the moment and be an active listener.
Openly Discuss Your Sex Life
Sex should be much more than just feeling physically satisfied. It’s about developing a much deeper connection with one another. You should talk openly with each other about what you both want sexually and what you are both comfortable with. This will build trust, openness, and more excitement in your sex life. Also, communicate during sex. This doesn’t always mean dirty talk. Give verbal cues as well as physical ones to express you are enjoying the moment.
Never Stop Flirting
Communication doesn’t always have to be serious. It is important to continue flirting with your partner like it’s the first time you’ve met. Flirting adds a level of playfulness and excitement to your relationship. This can involve compliments and more. Flirting shows your significant other that you are still willing to work for them like you were in the beginning.
Open and honest communication is the key to a successful relationship. It allows you to understand how your partner is feeling and respond accordingly. It doesn’t always have to be a serious, deep conversation, and it doesn’t always have to be spoken. If you are interested in learning more about improving the communication in your relationship, contact Lifeworks Counseling Center.