Keeping the Love Alive: How to Communicate with Your Partner Better
No matter how long you have been together, your relationship can still suffer if you don’t know how to communicate properly. In other words, if you don’t exert effort to improve your communication skills, your partner can end up firing back insults, retreating from the situation, or even emotionally detaching themselves from you.
Make no mistake about it. Communicating properly with your significant other can be challenging. However, while difficult, it can be done. Be on the same page with your partner by keeping in mind the following tips:
Remember that your partner cannot read your mind. Unless your significant other has the ability to read minds, you can’t assume they will know exactly what you are trying to convey. Even if there are instances where you feel like you are very obvious about how you think or feel, your partner can still be totally clueless unless you verbalize it clearly.
Rather than becoming upset about your partner’s inability to understand your message, work instead on ensuring you are able to articulate your thoughts in the clearest way possible.
Discuss issues and concerns in person. When dealing with relationship issues, consider it ideal to discuss things in person rather than over the phone or through text. Sure, texting is less uncomfortable but it’s easy to get misunderstood when the other party can’t hear the tone of your voice or see your facial expressions.
Speak your truth. What good is your relationship if you are constantly walking on eggshells and unable to say how you truly feel? If you want your relationship to prosper, you need to be straightforward and honest.
Understandably, there are things that are difficult to deliver and hard for the other person to hear but honesty is crucial if you want a loving and healthy relationship. Whether it’s telling your significant other you are not ready to take the next step yet or opening about the things you want in the relationship, honesty is always the best policy.
Practice active listening. There’s hearing and then there’s active listening. The latter is deemed more ideal since it can help you understand the other party instead of just merely hearing what they are saying.
Active listening requires giving the other person your undivided attention, establishing and maintaining eye contact, and asking questions to ensure you are both on the same page. So, yes, checking messages on your phone while your boyfriend is talking is NOT active listening.
Use the sandwich method. When you have to deliver something that can be difficult for the other person to hear, using the sandwich method can be your best recourse. Basically, the sandwich method involves delivering the difficult information in between two positive statements.
The sandwich method can look something like this: “Listen, babe. You make me so happy and I love you so much but I’m really having a hard time with you constantly away. I always love spending quality time with you.”
Use “I” statements. When you are having a misunderstanding with your significant other, using “I” statements would be ideal. In other words, rather than using “you,” appear less offensive by using statements starting with “I” instead.
For instance, rather than saying, “You never help with the house chores,” say “I feel upset when you don’t help with the chores.” It is not only more polite, it is also less accusatory.
Be mindful of your body language. When you communicate with your partner, keep your body language in check. Remember that communication is not limited to the things you say alone. It also involves your actions.
For instance, even if you say you are willing to meet halfway or that you understand where your partner is coming from, they will surely doubt you when you cross your arms or roll your eyes. Bottom line, always make sure your body language matches what you say.