Communication is one of the most integral parts of a healthy and flourishing relationship. Without regular and transparent communication resentments build and couples start to detach from each other. This can begin in slow and small ways, but eventually may lead to bridges that will prevent you from getting back to each other. Be mindful of the importance of maintaining open communication and don’t things spiral and drive a wedge between the two of you. Although communication can be scary and hard, sometimes the obstacles in a relationship that are the hardest to overcome are the things that bring us the closest.
I’ve come up with some suggestions that I’ve used effectively with my clients that should help you to break down the barriers to communication with your partner whenever they arise.
Maintaining regular communication helps you stay connected
Engage and allow time for playful texting throughout the day. It will help remind your partner that you’re thinking about them. You can reflect on something cute that the two of you shared the previous night or discuss a suggestion for an upcoming plan. Being creative is always a plus. Try to think of things when you’re texting that appeal to both of you, so that the communication is truly reciprocal.
Communicate appreciation and gratitude to your partner on a regular basis
This can be done verbally and non-verbally. Verbally you can let your partner know what you appreciate that they did or said to you that week or how they supported you. Non-verbally you can demonstrate caring by a wink at a dinner party, leaving a thoughtful note or any time you take an intentional moment alone to have a shared moment to appreciate each other.
Women like to feel appreciated for the acts of kindness they do within a relationship, which helps them feel “seen.” They also appreciate follow through because it indicates that they’re on their partners mind. Remembering to follow-up with a question about their day or a comment of gratitude can go a long way in making a woman feel comfortable being vulnerable.
Men like to feel safe being vulnerable. They want to feel they’re appreciated for what they bring to a relationship and that their purpose and value within the relationship is not undermined. The more a woman can point out ways in which she values what her partner is “providing,” (not necessarily in a material sense in a relationship), the safer her man will feel being vulnerable.
In both cases, feeling “seen” helps improve openness to vulnerability and feelings of confidence in the relationship.
Striving for reciprocal communication is imperative
If either partner is bored or lonely, it is critical to share mindful and truly reciprocal communication about difficult topics. Relationships need nurturing and caring, or they wilt like any other living thing. If you ignore and don’t address uncomfortable issues, you are at risk of not being equipped to confront more challenging topics later. Discuss and strategize about how to improve your relationship. Make sure that each partner feels reciprocated and that their needs are being met. This is crucial for the relationship to flourish. Believing that you can find solutions together is a positive way to go into conversations.
Set aside designated date nights to reconnect
Scheduling date nights is very important in breaking down barriers that have developed in your daily communication patterns. They give couples and opportunity to reconnect with each other as human beings. Try to talk to each other as adults with interests and talk as little about children or work as possible. Make an agreement to leave the cell phones off the table. Use the time to reconnect about topics and interests that you have in common. If you need to communicate about certain relationship issues do so carefully. Date nights are for couples alone. Double dates are fun, but there should be date nights set aside exclusively for you and your partner at least once a month.
Hopefully, these recommendations will assist you in improving communication between you and your partner. If after a few months you’re still struggling I would suggest you consider seeking the support of a trained couple’s therapist for a few sessions for some additional tips on effective communication strategies.
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