Many people know that having solid communication is the key element of every relationship, but not everyone takes the time to learn what their partner needs emotionally and physically. Misunderstanding your partner and holding things back from one another can lead to resentment and a general spell of unhappiness in your relationship. This is why learning to read one another is so important in maintaining a happy, healthy union.
Solid communication covers all the bases: emotional security, verbal and nonverbal communication, and physical intimacy. These are all essentials for maintaining a long-lasting marriage. Here are the top dos and don’ts for creating solid communication with your partner and the reasons why understanding one another will benefit you in the long run.
DO: Build trust through communication
Trust is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. It builds loyalty and makes your partner a more credible line of support. One way you can build trust is through regular communication.
If you never ask, you’ll never know. Use this motto to remind yourself to check-in with your mate about their thoughts, concerns, and feelings about how the relationship is going. Communicating with your partner about problems, thoughts, fears, and passions will allow you to give and receive emotional support that promotes trust and security. Once you can talk about everything with your mate, the stronger your connection will be with that person. So, get talking!
DON’T: Be Afraid to talk about important topics
Solid communication in relationships means being open and honest about your sex life. Sex is a huge part of any relationship, and shying away from the topic can leave many marriages in shambles. Many couples find it helpful to have a frank discussion about how often they would like to be intimate together, as well as what makes the experience most enjoyable for them. You should never feel abashed about discussing other important topics with your partner, such as future plans to start a family or your financial concerns.
DO: Pay attention to nonverbal cues
Having excellent communication with your partner means more than having a conversation. It means paying attention to nonverbal cues and body language. Look for signs such as emotional distance, folded arms, lack of eye-contact, a general air of stress, or irritated expressions and gestures. It can take some time to learn your partner’s nonverbal cues, but the more you connect the easier they will be to identify and the better your ability to communicate will become.
DON’T: Discuss important things over text
Communication is a great tool for having a healthy relationship, but you have to do it properly. For example, texting is a great way to figure out what you’re both feeling like for dinner or what movie to catch this Friday night, but it should never be a medium for discussing serious problems. That should be done in person.
Relaying your thoughts and feelings can seem less intimidating over text because it’s more impersonal. But by reading words on a screen you lose tone and context in some conversations. This can lead to misunderstandings and arguments that could have otherwise been avoided with a simple phone call or face-to-face talk.
DO: Know how to argue
Having arguments can actually be healthy for couples, so long as you have the right attitude about them. Great communication in relationships means knowing how, and when, to argue. Knowing when to argue means taking time to be alone where both parties have enough time to devote to the issue at hand.
Knowing how to argue means never going for the jugular. Arguing should not be about putting your partner down, nor should it be done for sport. Instead of attacking one another, come to an argument with the purpose of remedying a problem. Always come at the problem from a constructive angle and respectfully express your opinion without yelling or taking any shots at your mate.
DON’T: Forget to listen
Nobody likes feeling like their thoughts and concerns are going unheard. One integral part of solid communication in relationships is learning when to speak and when to listen. Hear out your partner’s concerns and get their point of views on topics and decisions before rushing to judgment. Take time to listen, this will help prevent misunderstandings or putting words in your partner’s mouth.
DO: Stay positive
Communication is strengthened when partners approach topics, serious or mundane, with a positive attitude. Remember that even the happiest of couples go through their ups and downs. Relationships are like roller-coasters: sometimes they are scary, sometimes they are thrilling.
Keep your relationship on a positive note by having a sense of humor, showing graciousness and appreciation for your partner, celebrating one another’s accomplishments, and offering emotional support whenever possible.
Be honest with each other. Without honesty, communication is ineffective in relationships. Being honest means being trustworthy, dependable, and agreeing to be truthful about what’s working and what isn’t in the relationship. Of course, honesty may hurt at times, but the sooner you are open about any misgivings that are happenings in the relationship the sooner you can work on remedying the situation.
Honesty is always the best policy. By being honest with one another you show that you can be counted on to do the right thing.
DO: Practice all forms of communication
Communicating means more than just having weekly check-ins and deep conversations together. It means sharing your life with one another verbally and otherwise. Technology allows you to communicate consistently throughout the day. Show your partner you care by sending a sweet or funny text message, FaceTime, or e-mailing.
Don’t forget that actions speak louder than words. Sometimes strengthening communication in relationships means being physically affectionate. Communicate physically by engaging in intimate behavior in and outside the bedroom. Holding hands, hugging, and kissing are all excellent ways to strengthen your nonverbal communication.