Communication in Relationships
Honest and open communication are the foundations for a relationship where you respect each other. But we know it’s not always easy to not go to bed angry. So we’ve put together some tips to help you and your S.O. communicate better with each other and make sure you build up a wonderful foundation for your relationship.
Talk to Your Partner About Problems
Words let us connect with and get to know each other. When your S.O. says “I love you,” for the first time, your entire relationship changes thanks to those three small words. But we know the gravity of those words because we’ve heard other figures, parents, celebrities, and friends use those words, so we know what they mean.
It’s a big deal and we place a lot of weight on those words because, if we don’t, we feel alone and confused. Without words, we would have no way to know what they think, feel, or who they are.
But if there’s a problem, talk to your partner about it. If something is said during an argument that hurt you, or they did something you feel was disrespectful, it’s important that you speak up and tell them. Otherwise resentment will build and you’ll wish you had said something about it.
Know When to Take a Time Out
If you’re locked in a fight that’s lasting into the morning, being tired is going to make it worse. Not only are you locked into a fight, now you’re paying attention to how tired you are, which could make you even more angry.
Instead, you could sleep it off, then come back to it after some time alone. Or take a walk and think about things. While communication is critical, knowing when to walk away from a fight and regroup is also effective communication and is not necessarily “losing the fight.”
It gives both people a chance to calm down and reflect. Sometimes there are other factors involved in the argument that a timeout can help solve. Space in a relationship is great. While you ideally want to be romantic with someone you love, you’re not going to want to be around that person all the time. Space helps you maintain yourself emotionally and mentally, so you can always bring your best self to the table.
Don’t Be Judgemental — Be Curious
We all have our way of doing things, but we might take different paths to achieve said results. If you’re S.O. critiques your way of doing things, but you know that it works, it can completely invalidate your way of thinking and make you feel bad. But you’re not wrong. And they’re not wrong either.
The important thing to do in this situation is try to understand the other’s point of view. Try to say something similar to “I’ve never seen this done before! Can you show me how?” or ask “How do you prefer to do this? I’d love to learn.” That way, you get to be in their mindset and see why it’s important to them do a task a certain way. Learning from each other is an important way to get to know each other and strengthen the relationship.
Make Decisions Together in a Relationship
When one of you asks “What do you want to do?” and the answer is “I don’t know. You decide.” or “I really don’t care.” it forces the other person to take responsibility for something the other actually cares about and wants your opinion. We forget that to ask someone for their opinion is a sign of respect. But it’s important to give input in a relationship, even if it’s something as simple as what to eat for dinner. It shows you care and are involved with things that affect the other person.
Try to agree on making a decision together. Each of you should give your own input and figure out decisions together. It will make your relationship stronger to know that you’ve worked together on making a decisions, no matter how big or small that decision is.
More than anything, realize that most people aren’t saying something out of malice. We all say stuff we don’t mean all the time. Whether it’s because we had a bad day, or we’re tired and have no energy to handle an argument, or too distracted to be involved. If you’ve ever felt like that and you’re locked in a heated discussion, do your best to realize that emotions are running hot and, when both of you have had time to cool down, you can probably reach an agreement.