Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Communication is the most important skill you can have in your relationship. It's how you get your needs met, build trust with your partner, and grow together as a couple. But it's also something that we often neglect to practice—and when we do talk about our relationships, we're either too passive or too confrontational. As long as both partners are willing to work on their communication skills, though, there are ways to make sure that you're actually communicating well and not just letting things fester inside you or saying things without thinking first!
Love doesn't mean you don't argue.
You might be surprised to learn that arguing is a normal part of relationships. When you're in love, it's easy to let your guard down and think that your partner will never hurt you. While this may be true, it doesn't mean they won't argue with each other — or with you!
Arguments are not a sign of an unhealthy relationship, toxic relationship or even an argumentative personality type. But what do arguments mean for the future of your partnership? Are they something to avoid at all costs or should you embrace them as a way to grow closer together?
Listen to understand, not to respond.
Listening is not the same as hearing. Listening involves more than just hearing words. It means you are focused on the speaker and their message, open to understanding what they're saying, and willing to suspend judgment until you understand them fully.
When we listen attentively, we can arrive at our own opinions about a person's opinion—even if it differs from our own. When we listen well, there are no interruptions or distractions; we're present with full attention for the duration of what's being said. This doesn't mean listening with your mouth closed; it means listening actively with sincere interest in understanding another person's perspective before responding with your own perspective or opinion.
Explain your feelings without blaming.
When you have a problem with your partner, avoid blaming them for the issue. Instead, explain what happened and how it made you feel. For example: "I'm feeling frustrated because I asked for help with organizing our finances but then found out that most of the bills had not been paid."
You could also say something like: "When I come home from work every day exhausted and see that there's still no dinner ready, it makes me feel like we don't spend enough time together."
Next, explain why this issue is important to you: "It's important to me because I want us to get ahead financially so that we can finally take the vacation we've always dreamed about." This part helps your partner understand why they should care about your concerns—and gives them a clear idea of what they can do next time so that these problems won't happen again!
Talk about your relationship in the context of our lives.
Your relationship is important and should be talked about often, but what makes it work and feel good will always come back to how your life together fits into the larger picture of your own happiness. So, share your hopes and dreams with each other: What do you want out of life? How do you want to grow as individuals? What makes both of you happy? What saddens or worries each of you? These are questions you can ask each other and hopefully open a bridge of communication that surpasses simple surface-level conversations.
Make sure you're getting your needs met.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your needs are being met. The first thing is to talk about your needs with your partner. This is a two-way street, so they need to know what you want and expect from the relationship as well. Communicating with them isn't always easy, but it's important that you can be direct and clear about what you need in order for both of you to feel satisfied with how things are going.
You should also pay attention to how often they communicate their own needs (or don't). If they're good at verbally expressing themselves, then this part should come naturally; however, if they tend not to voice their own concerns or requirements—either because they're shy or because they assume that everyone else knows what's best—it might take more effort on your part than usual for both of you to get on the same page regarding expectations and desires within the relationship.
In addition to talking about what each person wants from one another, it's important that each member of the couple makes sure that their own needs are met as well! If one person feels like their happiness isn’t prioritized by their significant other than there might be trouble brewing beneath all those “I love yous."
Talk about what makes you feel loved.
Don't expect your partner to read your mind. They can't, and if they could, they wouldn't want to. It's not fair for one person to have all of the responsibility for making sure their partner feels
loved in a relationship; it should be an effort that both partners take part in equally. Don't assume you know what makes them feel loved! Think about something specific and tell them about it—it doesn't even have to be big or expensive (though it could be).
Don’t assume that because your partner loves you or has done something nice for you in the past, they’ll automatically do so again without asking or telling them specifically how much of an impact this action had on you! Ask questions like “What was your favorite part about last night?” or “What made my gift so great?” This can help open up lines of communication even more than just saying “thank-you."
Being a good partner means showing up and being present, both physically and emotionally, every day.
If you're going to be a good partner, you need to show up and be present. This is not just about making time for your partner when they need it—it's also about sharing yourself in everyday moments. Being a good partner means listening well, communicating clearly, and knowing how to give feedback in a way that isn't hurtful or destructive.
Being present in the moment means being fully engaged with your partner as they talk or share something important with you. It means asking questions and showing interest in what they're saying instead of worrying about what else might be going on at work, or waiting for them to finish so that you can get back to scrolling through Instagram or watching TV (which are both valid behaviors).
Being present also involves having empathy for their experiences and feelings; if they're upset about something that happened at work yesterday but still talking about it today even though things have calmed down since then, being an attentive listener means letting them know that even though things have settled down, for now, doesn't mean it's not worth discussing later on once things start heating up again!
The key is to remember that the purpose of all this communication is to deepen your relationship, not just talk or argue. You can’t expect everyone else to change but yourself, and even if they do, it might not happen in the way you want. The only person who can make you happy is yourself—so focus on being a better partner for yourself first!