At the start of your relationship, things were different.
You and your partner shared many intimate, loving moments. You would stay up late at night and talk about everything under the sun. You felt so close to them. They were your best friend, confidant, and lover.
Then, over time, things began to shift. Your relationship became less about bonding and sharing those intimate, loving moments. Now, it was about awkward silences, bickering, and answering “How was your day?” with one-word answers like “Fine.”
If this situation sounds familiar, you may be facing some relationship communication problems.
Do you want to improve your relationship and keep it alive starting right now? Learn to solve your communication problems by putting these helpful tips into practice.
1. Ask Unique Questions
Instead of simply asking your partner how their day was and leaving it at that, try asking them questions that are more personal and unique to them.
Doing this will ensure that your conversation goes above and beyond the norm. Rather than the conversation ending at “Fine,” you’ll have a real opportunity to connect with your partner and hear more detail about their day and how they’re feeling.
Try asking some questions like these:
- What’s something that made you smile today?
- What are some quick ways I can make your day more enjoyable?
- How did you take care of yourself today?
- Did you learn anything new today? If so, what was it?
- What do you wish you could do more of today?
- What do you want to do less of?
The next time you want to start a conversation with your partner, try using a few of these questions. They’ll make it easier for you to be more open and converse in a way that’s rewarding.
2. Practice Active Listening
You’ve heard the term active listening before, but you may not be familiar with what this practice actually involves. Active listening involves concentrating, listening, understanding, and remembering what the speaker is saying.
Next time your partner is trying to tell you something, remove any distractions that make it difficult for you to be present in the conversation. Don’t check your phone. Don’t think about arbitrary things like what you want to have for dinner.
Instead, show that you care about your partner by giving them your full attention. Make eye contact with them while they’re talking to you. Ask for clarification if you’re not sure what they’re trying to say.
If you want more tips on how to become a better listener, give these a try.
3. Be Sensitive of Your Partner’s Feelings
Often, the end of a relationship comes when one partner is no longer sensitive to the other’s feelings.
This signals to the other partner that they are no longer cared for, and they may begin to look elsewhere for the support they need but are no longer getting in their relationship.
To have relationship success, you and your partner need to work together as a team. Instead of making decisions without consulting each other, keep one another in the loop. Don’t keep unnecessary secrets from your partner.
When your partner brings up an important topic or complaint, hear them out. Listen to what they’re saying and be sensitive to how they may be feeling. Instead of being defensive, work with them to understand the issue and come to a solution.
When you act with sensitivity towards your partner, you’ll find that the lines of communication open up. And, dealing with challenges will become worlds easier.
4. Pay Attention to Nonverbal Cues
Communication involves a lot more than just the words your partner is saying. Eye contact, body language, their tone of voice, and inflection all contribute to how successfully he or she can communicate. On top of listening to your partner’s words, you also need to know how to read their nonverbal signals.
Of course, mastering an understanding of your partner’s nonverbal cues takes time. Once you’re familiar with them, you’ll find it easier to understand what they want to convey.
For example, an increase in the volume of their voice may indicate that they feel as though they’re not being heard. Alternately, it could mean that they’re trying to escalate the conversation and are becoming more involved emotionally.
5. Express Yourself
Healthy communication in a relationship is a two-way street.
As important as it is to be sensitive and listen to your partner, it’s also essential for you to express what you’re feeling, too. If you’re unwilling to be open and honest with your partner about things that are bothering you, you’ll never truly learn how to fix communication in a relationship.
6. State the Obvious
You told your partner that you loved or appreciated them last week. What more could they need? You think.
But the truth is that everyone needs some reassurance from time to time. Don’t hesitate to give your partner some reassurance when he or she needs it.
7. Spend More Quality Time Together
At the beginning of any relationship, spending lots of high-quality time together is a given.
As you become more comfortable and the honeymoon phase fizzles out, you may find yourself calling a “Netflix and chill” night quality time. But it’s not. How much are you really bonding while you binge-watch The Office for the 15th time?
Make an effort to plan date nights. Spend time together without the distraction of screens. Find things in real life to talk about and enjoy. Together!
Don’t Let These Communication Problems Be the End of Your Relationship
Communication problems arise in all relationships over time. No couple has a perfect relationship one hundred percent of the time. To have a successful relationship, both parties need to work to understand and care for one another.
Start by using these seven tips as a guide.
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